Aubergine and potato vegetarian moussaka
- 4 large onions, finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 100ml red wine
- 2 sticks of cinnamon
- 1 tsp paprika
- 3 tsp nutmeg
- 3 tsp allspice
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 tsp tomato paste
- 600g fresh tomatoes, grated (or finely chopped)
- 600g potatoes, finely sliced
- 600g aubergine, finely sliced
- 150g feta
- 50 Parmesan / any vegetarian alternative hard cheese
For the béchamel
- 100g butter
- 100g flour
- 1 litre full-fat milk
- 100g Parmesan, grated
This vegetarian moussaka recipe is an authentic Cretan recipe from The Carob Tree restaurant in Plaka. It makes a luxurious and filling main meal, packed with local flavours and a mix of spices that will transport you to the Greek island.
- In a frying pan, sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil over a low-medium heat until soft. Add in the wine and let it cook down for a minute, before adding in the cinnamon, paprika, nutmeg, allspice, bay leaves, tomato paste and fresh tomatoes. Cook on a low-medium heat for around 40 minutes, until the sauce is thick and flavoursome. Discard the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Set to one side.
- Meanwhile, cook the béchamel sauce by melting the butter in a pan. Stir in the flour and cook for just under a minute until you have a roux. Then stir in the milk, bit by bit, making sure there’s no lumps. Bring it up to the boil, consistently stirring until it’s silky. Let it boil for a few minutes. Take it off the heat and add the Parmesan.
- Sauté the potato slices in olive oil until browned on either side. Do the same for the aubergine slices. Set the slices to one side on a piece of kitchen roll to absorb the oil.
- Now assemble the moussaka in a baking dish by adding in layers of potato, red sauce and aubergine. Pour the béchamel over the top and bake in an 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 oven for 30 minutes. Remove and top with the grated cheese and pop in for a further 20 minutes until the top is crispy. Let it cool for a further 20 minutes or so before eating.
As well as being an excellent source of dietary fibre, aubergines are also a good source of rich in vitamins B1 and B6 and potassium, while their purple skin in rich in antioxidants.