Posts tagged ‘moussaka’

Vegetarian Moussaka w/ quinoa, walnuts, lentils

kali orexi!

I still remember the moussaka I had in a restaurant once a few years ago. It was heavy, rich, but delicious! Simply potatoes and eggplant and tomato sauce with cream on top, but somehow it seemed so much more than that. I’ve been wanting to replicate it (though less oily version) ever since.

I decided to mix a few ideas from these three sites and came up with this. Probably a little more complicated than necessary

the lovely ingredients

, but thats always me!

This does take about 2 hours to make, so by no means a quick dinner, but worth it once in a while.

  1. First, I soaked 1/4c quinoa and 1/4c french lentils separately.
  2. Next grind 1/2 c of walnuts, roughly
  3. Then I brought 1c of milk to boil with 4 peppercorns and 1 bay leaf. As soon as it boils remove from the heat, and cover, and keep aside.
  4. Chop 1 lg onion (or 2 small – I used 1 sm onion and 2 shallots) and few garlic cloves. Saute in olive oil (sprinkle w/ salt) until translucent. Once onions are cooked add the drained lentils and 1.5c of water. Cover, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer. (20-25 mins)**

    French lentils... see the pretty pattern?

  5. Slice 1 large eggplant in 1/4 -1/2 inch slices and place on a baking sheet. Liberally coat with olive oil on both sides with a brush or fingers. Eggplant loves olive oil!  Broil in the oven 5 minutes per side (flip over after first five minutes).
  6. Slice 2 large potatoes in 1/4 inch or less slices, and lay on a towel, because they may release some water. Pat dry and coat in olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in single layer on baking sheet. Broil 5 minutes per side. Be careful not to burn them. You get to eat the ones with the burnt edges but try to keep yourself from eating too many of the good ones, if you are like me! {After broiling the vegs, set the oven to 375.}
  7. **After cooking the lentils for 20 minutes, check to see that they are nearly cooked but not completely. Now, add the drained quinoa to this along with dried Greek herbs. Cover and cook another 20 minutes.
  8. Grind tomatoes with fresh Greek herbs such as thyme, oregano. (I used 14 oz can of peeled

    perfectly roasted potatoes

    tomatoes in tomato puree I may use more next time because I loveee tomatoes)

  9. Once quinoa and lentils are cooked, and all liquid is absorbed, mix with walnuts, tomato puree, salt, chili powder, 1/4tsp allspice, black pepper.
  10. Coat baking dish with olive oil. You can use 9×13 for thinner version or 8×8 for thicker one.Layer the eggplant then potato, then quinoa mixture. Repeat.
  11. Pop in the oven while you make the bechamel sauce for about 10 minutes.
  12. To make bechamel sauce, melt 2 TBS butter in a pot. Add 2 TBS flour, and stir on medium heat for a minute or two so the flour gets cooked, but does not turn brown. Now strain the milk you boiled earlier, and add it slowly to the roux(butter and flour), stirring or whisking to avoid lumps. The boiling with bay leaf really does make a difference here, gives a really nice aroma and taste. Once the milk has thickened turn off the heat and add some freshly grated nutmeg.  (original recipe says to whisk in an egg yolk, but that is optional)
  13. Grate 1/4c parmesan or kefalotyri(Greek) cheese. You don’t need much at all, you can also skip this.

    quinoa, lentils, and walnuts

  14. Take the baking dish out of the oven and pour oven the bechamel sauce. Sprinkle lightly with the cheese. Put it back in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned.
  15. Kali orexi! (Greek for “good appetite” or “eat up”) 🙂

This is my entry to CWF- Quinoa hosted by Priya at Rajasthan Recipes and Kiran.

 

 

 

 

 

And also to Vegetarian Foodie Fridays.

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