March 24, 2021
I really haven’t thought about Moussaka in years, actually decades. The last time I had it in fact was at a pub in Oxford for heaven’s sake. I do remember it being an amazing comfort food and that was exactly what I was searching to serve at last meal for months with Foix friends.
Once again I made enough to feed a small village and there was not a morsel left.
Enough for a 9″ x 11” baking dish and 4-6 good appetites.
- 4 medium eggplant, cut into 1-2” cubes
- 6-8 large firm potatoes, cut in quarters lengthwise, steamed and peeled
- 4 Shallots peeled and diced
- 1 red onion, peeled and diced
- 1 ½ lbs of mushrooms, halved and sliced
- Fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 16 ounce cans of chopped tomatoes, or whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 tube or 28-ounce jar of tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 3 cups of raw cashews, soaked overnight or in hot water for an hour
- 1 14 ounce can of coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk– begin adding only ½ of the can then adjust to reach a thick cream of pouring consistency
- 1 cup of Almond milk
- 1 Veggie broth cube
- ½ cup of nutritional yeast
- Red pepper flakes
- 1tbl of fresh or dried oregano
- 1 branch of thyme or 1 tea of dried thyme
- Cinnamon stick or 1 tea ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Allspice
- ½ tea of freshly grated nutmeg
- A handful or two of pinenuts
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Toss eggplant with olive oil, lightly salt, spread on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper
- Roast in the heated oven for 20-30 mins until pieces are tender but not falling apart
- While the eggplant roasts, cover the bottom of a heavy dutch oven with olive oil and begin sauteing the shallots and onions over medium heat.
- Add oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, and allspice.
- Add half of the mushrooms, cooking until brown, adding additional oil if necessary.
- Remove cooked mushrooms to a plate and finish cooking the remainder, returning the others to the pan
- Add chopped or whole tomatoes, using a wooden spoon to crush a bit, the tomato paste, maple syrup, the cinnamon stick, and salt and pepper to taste. Allow to gently simmer and thicken.
- Begin assembling the moussaka by laying the bottom layer of potatoes, arranging them in the baking dish. Cover potato mixture with the eggplant, then pour over the tomato mushroom sauce.
- Cover with foil, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and begin baking for 60 minutes.
- While the moussaka bakes prepare the cashew cream topping. Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender or use an immersion blender and process until very smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- 15 minutes before moussaka is finished, remove the foil and pour a layer of the cashew cream over the top. Sprinkle with a bit of nutmeg and the pinenuts. Turn up the oven to 400 degrees and cook until the cream is set and beginning to brown.
- Allow moussaka to set for 15- 30 minutes before serving.
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