This is one of my favorite delicacy dishes. The Moussaka is traditionally made with meat and bechamel sauce, but I am so happy to share with you this version that is just so delicious, and rich, and vegetarian (perfect for fasting), that you don’t even notice what you are missing. In addition, the vegetables for a moussaka are usually fried, but here, we are going to brush them with oil on each side, bake them, and then assemble our moussaka and put it back in the oven to come together as one. Okay, now this is a little bit of work, but it is no nice to enjoy the fruits of your labor after it is done. Here we go….
1 recipe Roasted Eggplant (from my blog)
3 green zucchini squash, sliced long ways, between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick (always try a piece of each raw zucchini you slice to make sure it is not bitter, if it is, no worries, just use more potatoes in place of zucchini)
3 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced about 1/4 inch thick
3 cups plain bread crumbs
1 recipe Simply Home Made Spaghetti Sauce (from my blog)
vegetable oil for brushing vegetables (or extra virgin olive oil if you are not fasting)
3 non stick baking pans, with sides, for roasting vegetables, brushed with oil
1 pot for making spaghetti sauce
(1) 13×9 baking pan, brushed with oil
The key to making a meal with different stages is organization. So, first, we need to preheat our oven to 400 degrees. While that is warming, we need to prepare our veggies for roasting. Brush your pans with oil, making sure you coat the whole bottom of your pan. Next, place your veggies nice and neat so that you can fit as many as you can in a single layer. If possible, try to let each vegetable have their own pan so that the potatoes can get kind of like “a French fry feel”. For the eggplants, please follow the directions on my recipe blog titled Roasted Eggplant. The potatoes and zucchini can also be roasted at the same temperature as the eggplant, with the same rules applying of roasting them for 20-25 minutes, and flipping them over, then roasting for another 10 minutes (you will notice we did not add salt to the potatoes and zucchini, and you don’t need to because the roasted eggplant and the sauce are going to already have salt). Since ovens vary, what we are looking for here is for the veggies to cook all the way, while getting a beautiful color, but not burn. While we are waiting for our veggies to roast, we can use this half hour to make our Simply Home Made Spaghetti Sauce. I like to make a “station” at this point to help myself put everything together for my Vegetarian Moussaka. Take veggies out of oven, and carefully use a spatula to release from the bottom of pan (they may stick a little, and that is because we did not use a lot of oil to roast our veggies, which is a healthy thing for us). Leaving oven on for baking our Vegetarian Moussaka, I transfer all my veggies to one pan, like I posted in the picture below. I carefully bring all of my ingredients to my kitchen table (or you can leave on your counter) and I place them on trivets. So, you should have your roasted eggplants, your roasted zucchini, your roasted potatoes, your Simply Home Made Spaghetti Sauce, your bread crumbs, and your 13×9 baking pan, brushed with oil. Now, this is where I sit down and relax….LOL…and I assemble my Vegetarian Moussaka. We are almost done. On oil brushed baking pan, lay your potatoes in a single layer, spread 1/3 of your sauce evenly, and top with 1 cup bread crumbs, also spreading evenly (we use the potatoes first as the foundation for our Vegetarian Moussaka). Next, place your zucchini, in a single layer, another 1/3 of sauce, and another cup of bread crumbs. The final step now is to place your eggplant in a single layer, and gently press down to make sure it is nice and tightly packed, and then add the last 1/3 of sauce and top with bread crumbs. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes. Since all items are already cooked, what we are looking for here is a nice “crispy like” outside. If you made this, I am personally very proud of you because this is hard work. Enjoy the fruits of your labor !!!