It doesn’t get more juicy than a plate of warm moussaka in a full vegetarian version!

Serves: 1 full dish Prep. time: 20m Cooks in: 2 hours Ready in: 2 hours and 20 minutes

1 kg eggplants
750 g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup concentrated tomato juice
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
3-4 allspice berries
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1½ cup dried breadcrumbs
salt, pepper

For the béchamel
1¼ lt water
2 medium potatoes, peeled, cut in 6
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup flour
1 tsp nutmeg
salt, pepper

Step 1
Cut the eggplants into slices of 1 cm. Season with salt and place on a colander for half an hour. Rinse with water and squeeze out excess the amount. Pat dry with kitchen paper. Fry the slices in hot oil and drain on kitchen paper. Or brush slices with oil and bake in the oven until tender.

Step 2
In a frying pan heat oil on medium heat and cook onion and garlic until lightly colored. Stir in mushrooms. Cook until all liquid has evaporated. Stir in tomato, cinnamon and bay leaf, allspice, salt and pepper. Cover with lid and simmer on low heat until sauce thickens. Discard cinnamon, bay leaf and allspice.

Step 3
Brush a medium baking dish with oil and sprinkle with 3-4 tbsp breadcrumbs. Line bottom with half eggplant slices and sprinkle with 2 tbsp breadcrumbs. Spread mushroom mix and sprinkle with 2 tbsp breadcrumbs. Cover with remaining eggplants.

Step 4
For the béchamel: Boil potatoes in the water until very tender. Whizz in your blender along with remaining water in the pan until you get a mushy consistency. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat and stir in flour until lightly browned (for 3-4 minutes). Remove pan from heat and add potato mush stirring at all times. Place pan back on heat stirring at all times until sauce thickens and acquires the desired béchamel consistency. Add some corn flour dissolved in a little cold water if it is too thin. Finally, stir in nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Step 5
Preheat water at 180οC/fan. Pour béchamel over the eggplants, sprinkle with some breadcrumbs and bake for 1 hour until a crust forms on the surface. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Photo: Anastasia Adamaki – Food styling: Antonia Kati

Και η συνταγή στα ελληνικά: Νηστίσιμος μουσακάς με μανιτάρια

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