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Vegetarian Moussaka

April 20, 2010

This one has taken me a while to post, even though it was so incredibly good I should have shared it

vegetarian moussaka

immediately.  This recipe comes from everyone’s favorite cook Dave Matthews.  You read that right- this is a recipe he adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook, and that I found on Food & Wine and adapted from there.  This is a variation on a Croatian moussaka layered with vegetables and a rich tomato sauce, and topped with a thick layer of feta cheese whipped with eggs that forms a really great crust.  Be sure to really let the tomato sauce reduce to 4 cups so you don’t end up with a watery dish.  While Dave Matthews called for lasagna noodles, I replaced that with eggplant slices to give it a more Greek feel.  I loved the results and served it with a Greek salad.  Serves 12.

Ingredients:

3-4 T olive oil

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 28 oz can whole Italian plum tomatoes

2 T tomato paste

2 c water

2 T finely chopped basil

2 lbs. cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced (to cut cost, I used half button, half cremini)

1/2 c dry white wine or vermouth

2 T soy sauce

2 T chopped dill (or I used 1 t dried)

2 lb. zucchini, sliced 1/2″ thick

1 large eggplant, sliced 1/3″ thick

6 large eggs, beaten

1 lb. feta cheese, crumbled

1/4 lb. sharp provolone, shredded

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Heat 1 T olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat and add the garlic and cook for one minute.  Add the tomatoes and their juices, the tomato paste and the water and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer, breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon, until reduced to 4 cups- about 30-40 minutes.  When reduced, remove from heat and stir in basil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a large skillet, heat 1 T of the olive oil over high heat and add the mushrooms.  Season with salt and pepper and continue cooking over high heat until the mushrooms begin to brown and the liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes.  Add the wine and soy sauce and boil until the liquid has reduced- about 5 more minutes.  Add the dill and set aside.

Meanwhile, toss the zucchini and eggplant slices with 2 T of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Spread the vegetables in a single layer on baking sheets  and roast for 10-15 minutes until golden on the bottom.  Lower the oven heat to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9″ x 13″ glass or ceramic baking dish.  Layer 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom, then top with a layer of 1/3 of the mushrooms, eggplant and zucchini.  Top with another 1/2 cup of sauce and another 1/3 of the mushrooms eggplant and zucchini.  Repeat with 1/2 c sauce and the final layer of zucchini and eggplant and another 1/2 c sauce.  Top the last layer of sauce with the remaining mushrooms, then pour the rest of the sauce over the top.

In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the crumbled feta and pour over the casserole.  Season with pepper only and sprinkle with the provolone.  Bake for 45 minutes, until the top is golden.  Cover with foil and bake for 15-25 more minutes, until it’s hot in the center and sauce is bubbling.  Uncover and let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving, so it will hold its shape when cut.

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