Sunday, March 1, 2009

Eggplant-Potato Moussaka with Pine Nut Cream

This one tastes as good as it sounds. Veganomicon, I could kiss you.

Imagine a guiltless (but "wicked" tasty) combination between eggplant parmesan and scalloped potatoes plus yummy roasted veggies, all baked into a little piece of heaven. The Pine Nut cream has the texture of ricotta and has inspired Bridgit to create some very yummy pasta-bake spin offs since our first Moussaka incarnation. It's so cheesy, creamy, and delicious you could probably make a few extra bucks by letting your friends bet you it's not vegan.

Another perk? This magical moussaka serves an army and is even better the next day. It's really good cold too, which is code for "I've been eating it straight out of the pan all weekend."

Fair warning to the time-strapped and dishwasherless, it's not a 30 minute meal and it's not a one-pot wonder. Total time is probably about 90 minutes, which is more than worth it for something that can be dinner for at least two nights. If you're in a minimal effort mood, use jarred tomato sauce instead of making your own to save time (and pans).

These are all estimates. The amounts depend mostly on the size of your pan.
1 medium-sized eggplant
3 medium-sized zucchini
1.5 lbs baking potatoes (though you could really use any kind)

Pine Nut Cream
1 pound silken tofu
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons lemon juice (about one lemon)
1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
White pepper

...and1 recipe Tomato Sauce (see below)
1/2 cup bread crumbs (omit if G-F)

Preheat the oven to 425.
Cut all the vegetables into long, 1/4-inch slices, toss in olive oil, and lay onto a baking sheet in one layer.
Roast the veggies until they are tender, about 15 minutes.
While the veggies are roasting, make the Pine Nut Cream (and tomato sauce, if you're making your own).
In the food processor, blend the pine nuts, lemon juice, and garlic clove until they form a paste.
Add the tofu, arrowroot, salt, and pepper and blend until smooth.

When the veggies are ready, turn the oven down to 400 and assemble the moussaka.
Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of your pan.
Layer half the: eggplant, potatoes, tomato sauce, and bread crumbs into your pan.
Then layer in all the zucchini.
Top with the remaining half of: eggplant, potatoes, tomato sauce, and bread crumbs.
Use a spatula to spread the pine nut cream over the top of the moussaka.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned.

Tomato Sauce*1/4 cup olive oil
4 large shallots, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup red wine
15 oz. crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt

This is a fast, easy, tasty tomato sauce that you could use for anything.

1 comment:

  1. I've made this, and you are right, it is absolutely delicious the day of and the day after...


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