April 24, 2013

Vegetarian Moussaka with Sweet Potatoes


A vegetarian version of our original Moussaka. Instead of meat, we chose portobello for its meaty qualities. Plus, how can you not love portobello and eggplant together in one dish? This one also includes a layer of sweet potatoes on the bottom that really goes nicely with the cinnamon and nutmeg spices used throughout the dish.


Yield: 8-12 servings
  • 3 eggplants, peeled and cut into half-inch slices
  • 1 sweet potato, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound portobello mushrooms, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian herbs
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • salt, to taste
  • white pepper, to taste
  • 1.5-3 cups parmesan, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Cooking Directions
  1. Lay the slices of eggplant on paper towels, sprinkle lightly with salt, and set aside for 30 minutes to draw out the moisture. Then in a skillet over high heat, heat the olive oil. Quickly fry the eggplant until browned. Set aside on paper towels to drain.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and add the portobello, salt and pepper to taste, onions, and garlic. After the mushrooms have lost some of their liquid, sprinkle in the cinnamon, nutmeg, herbs and parsley. Pour in the tomato sauce and wine, and mix well. Simmer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool, and then stir in beaten egg.
  3. To make the bechamel sauce, begin by heating the milk to about boiling. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Remove from heat and gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking constantly until it thickens. Season with salt, and white pepper.
  4. Arrange a layer of sweet potato as shingles, then a layer of eggplant in a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover eggplant with all of the portobello mixture. Cover with remaining eggplant. Pour the bechamel sauce over the top, and sprinkle with the nutmeg.
  5. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

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