We have the Greeks to thank for many a great things, including the wonderfully tasty and moorish moussaka.
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 1.5-2 hour
We suspect it’s what eggplants were created for in the first place. Inspired by this dish, we made it vegan and got creative with the toppings. It might not fly with your yia yia, whose moussaka is most definitely the best in the world. But if you don’t eat meat (or even if you do), this might be the next best thing. To all the Greeks, we’re sorry, we love you, thank-you. Καλή όρεξη!
We used a 37cm bake pan, allowing for two eggplant/tomato sauce layers, a single layer of bechamel and crunchy toppings.
- 4-5 medium size eggplants sliced into 1cm thick discs
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and white pepper to taste
Fable tomato sauce:
- 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 250g Fable, chopped into smaller pieces
- 3-5 garlic cloves (or more to your taste)
- 1 brown onion diced
- 3 tbsp Tomato paste
- 3 tins diced/ crushed tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 cloves, ground
- 2 tsp black pepper, ground
- ¼ cup Nuttlex (or your preference of butter)
- ⅓-½ cup flour
- 2-3 cups of your choice of milk or milk alternative
- 2 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ yellow or brown onion
- Salt and white pepper to taste
- 2 cups of roughly diced stale bread (ok if not stale)
- 2 tbsp Nuttelex
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ¼ cup spring onion, thin sliced green portion
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Salt eggplant discs and leave in a colander for 30 minutes. Rinse and squeeze out excess liquid.
- Place eggplants in a baking tray, combined with 3 tbsps of olive oil, 2 tsps of salt and a couple turns of pepper. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes until soft and mostly cooked through.
- While eggplant is roasting, prepare Fable tomato sauce. Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a heavy bottom pot on high heat. When hot, add Fable and saute for 5 minutes, scraping any bits that get stuck to the bottom.
- Add garlic and onion and continue to saute for a couple more minutes.
- Add tomato paste, evenly coating all of the Fable pieces.
- Add tinned tomatoes and remaining spices, stir to incorporate and ensure any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan are scraped up. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Season to taste.
- While the sauce is cooking, prepare the bechamel. Melt butter/ oil over medium heat.
- Whisk in flour. It should combine to the consistency of wet sand. Add more flour if needed.
- When flour is combined, add 3 cups of your choice of milk at once and whisk quickly to combine with flour and ensure there are no lumps. Lower heat to low and add cloves, onion and bay leaf. Bring to the simmer while whisking.
- As it is simmering, you can choose to thin the mixture out with more milk if you prefer a looser consistency.
- Simmer for 3-5 minutes and season to taste with salt and white pepper.
- Prepare the croutons by heating butter or olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Add bread and spring onion all at once and toss over the flame for 1 minute and set aside.
- To assemble, line your baking try with one layer of eggplants dics, slightly overlapping one another. Then evenly spread ½ Fable tomato sauce mixture on top. Top with another layer of eggplant discs, followed by the remaining sauce mixture.
- Top with a single layer of bechamel sauce.
- Finish with evenly distributed croutons and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the top is nicely browned.
Serve with a drizzle of your best olive oil and a glass of wine. Καλή όρεξη!