Monday, April 6, 2009

Vegetarian Moussaka

Sometimes you have to meet your fear squarely in the eye, stare it down, and obliterate it. While I'm not ready to lock myself in a room full of rats, I am willing to make eggplant for dinner tonight. I don't know what it is about eggplant that freaks me out, but until now I have managed to avoid it in all my culinary explorations and adventures.

A Vegetarian Moussaka is on the menu for dinner tonight, so of course eggplant is going to play a role. I broiled the eggplant, layered some soy crumbles sauteed with diced onions on top, piled on some chopped plum tomatoes sprinkled with oregano and kalamata olives, and then topped it all off with a bechamel sauce with feta stirred in. The eggplant is so mild and unobstrusive, I have to wonder why I harbored such an aversion for so long.

Vegetarian Moussaka
Remove skin from 2 eggplants and cut into 1/2" slices. Place on paper towels and sprinkle salt over slices, let sit for 1/2 hour. Place eggplant slices on baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Broil for about 15 minutes. Layer bottom of casserole dish with eggplant slices. Chop 2 onions and saute in 1 tbsp. olive oil, when onions are soft add soy crumbles and 1 tsp. parsley flakes or 2 tbsp. diced fresh parsley, cook until heated through. Layer soy crumbles on top of eggplant. Drain a 28 oz. can of plum tomatoes and coarsely chop tomatoes, mix in 1 tsp. oregano, add a handful of chopped kalamata olives. Place on top of soy crumbles. Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a saucepan whisk in 2 tbsp. flour continue whisking until smooth, pour in 1 1/2 c. 1% milk, stir constantly until milk thickens. Add 2/3 c. of crumbled feta. Stir until feta melts in.
Place in oven and bake at 375F for 45 minutes.

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