Sunday, February 7, 2010

Vegetarian Moussaka

In my very humble opinion this is better than any moussaka made with meat ... and my tofu-phobe husband couldn't pick what was in it. He had some lamb on the side though of course.

It wasn't a massive amount of work, but is more of a dinner party dish than a weeknight special. However, it is a good contender for the freezer. Serve it with a side salad and some crusty bread.

Vegans could easily leave out the feta cheese and instead use a cashew-nut and tofu mix - just mix 1/2 cup of cashews, olive oil, basil and lemon juice in a food processor until creamy and then whizz up the tofu with it.

Now, just a note on handling eggplants. I just cut the top off and peel the rest with a Y shaped veggie peeler. In the bad old days eggplants were complicated by the need to salt them, but modern varieties have been bred to be less bitter.

Vegetarian Moussaka
Serves 6-8

1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced into thin (about 4mm ideally) rounds
2 400g cans of tomato passata, or a large jar of good quality pasta sauce
1 large handful of frozen spinach, cooked and drained
1 portion of tofu mixture (see below)
fresh breadcrumbs made from 3-4 slices of bread
large handful of cheese for topping (optional)

Tofu mixture
1 block of firm tofu
1 200g block of feta cheese or 1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
juice of a lemon
pinch of salt
a large handful of fresh basil, ripped up finely

Firstly, make the tofu mixture by blending everything in the food processor until creamy.

Then, in a large lasagne dish, place one overlapping layer of eggplant, then the passata, spinach, tofu mixture, a further layer of eggplant, and the breadcrumbs and cheese.

Bake at 180 degrees celcius for 45-50 minutes.

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