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Feb 5, 2008 02:39 PM

Meatless Moussaka recipes?

any home chows have a fantastic and close as possible to authentic recipe out there? I eat eggs and cheese and am thinking of making this tomorrow night. any and all welcome!!

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  1. I would use red lentils in place of ground meat - in a tomato sauce possibly with eggplant pieces, cooked down to resemble a meat sauce, then assemble as per a usual moussaka - lots of garlic of course.

    1. There's a good mushroom moussaka recipe in Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook. Your local library probably has a copy that you could jot down or copy.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mudster

        This came to mind immediately too. I brought this to Christmas dinner one year when I was vegetarian, and it vanished! Even the carnivores couldn't get enough! It's in the original Moosewood.

        1. re: mudster

          I just made the version of this that is in the recent Saveur, the 100 edition. A bit time-consuming, and HUGE. But extremely tasty, nicely complex and very filling.

        2. This is the best. I have been making it for years and even though I'm not vegetarian, I actually prefer it to the meat version. It takes a little work, but it's not complicated at all.

          Vegetarian Moussaka

          The eggplant part:
          2 eggplants
          2 tbsp. olive oil
          1 cup crumbled feta cheese

          The custard part:
          2 tbsp. butter
          2 tbsp. flour
          3/4 cup milk
          1 tsp. salt
          nutmeg and pepper
          2 eggs
          1 cup ricotta cheese

          The sauce part:
          2 tbsp. olive oil
          2 medium onions, chopped
          1 medium zucchini, diced
          1/2 medium red or green pepper, diced
          2 cloves garlic, chopped
          1 tsp. crumbled oregano
          1/4 tsp. cinnamon
          salt and pepper
          2 cups diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
          3 tbsp. tomato paste

          Without peeling them, slice the eggplants into 1/2-inch thick slices and salt the slices on both sides. Stand them upright (as much as possible) in a colander and allow the liquid to drain for about 30 minutes or so. (This step helps remove the excess water from the eggplant, and reduces any bitterness.) Rinse with water, and pat dry. In batches, brush the eggplant slices with the olive oil and broil in a single layer on a baking sheet until lightly browned (about 2 minutes per side), turning them once. Set aside.

          Meanwhile, don’t just stand there - make the custard. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in the milk, and cook until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the salt, some nutmeg and pepper, the eggs and the ricotta. Set this aside too.

          Now, make the tomato sauce. In a skillet, cook the chopped onions, zucchini, pepper, and garlic with a little olive oil until softened. Stir in the oregano, cinnamon, salt and pepper and cook for a minute or so. Add the tomatoes and the tomato paste and simmer this together for about 10 minutes, until slightly thickened.

          OK - now put it all together. Spread half the tomato sauce in a deep casserole dish, and top with half of the eggplant. Sprinkle with half of the feta cheese, then spread on the rest of the tomato sauce. Layer on the rest of the eggplant, top this with all of the custard, and sprinkle on the rest of the feta cheese. (You can make the moussaka up to this point and refrigerate overnight or so – cover with foil or something.)

          Bake at 350o F for about 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is browned and set. Let it stand for about 15 minutes before trying to cut into squares.

          Makes about 10 servings.

          1. You can turn absolutely any moussaka into a good vegetarian dish by simply replacing the meat with bulgur, then adjusting the seasonings if appropriate.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Caroline1

              I use a mix of bulgur and chopped chickpeas, or grated carrots. Ground walnuts are good too, but super rich.

              1. re: piccola

                You're right, and shame on me! I'm very allergic to chickpeas, so it didn't even occur to me to mention them, though I used to use them before this stupid allergy bit me. Lentils will work too, though they're not my favorites. I use walnuts in pilafs and ground lamb dishes as well as the occasional moussaka, but my first choice is almost always pine nuts. I keep a large bag of them in the freezer.

            2. British supercook Delia Smith has a faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabulous (and easy) veggie moussaka recipe that even my extremely carnivorous father-in-law will eat second, third helpings of. Here's the link to the recipe:

              Of course she uses the British "aubergine" instead of "eggplant", but I'm sure you could have figured that out on your own. Seriously it's SOOOOOOOOO good.