- Serves 10-12:
- bread crumbs, unseasoned
- 3 large eggplants cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 10 Russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 3 zucchinis, sliced
- 1 cup shredded parmesan
- olive oil for brushing on vegetables
- dried oregano
- For the red sauce:
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes, pureed tomatoes, or canned tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 finely chopped onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound mushrooms, chopped
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 8-1o Kalamata olives, sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- For the Béchamel sauce:
- 5 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
Place the sliced eggplant, zucchini, and potato slices on baking pans.
Brush the eggplant and potatoes with olive oil and season both sides with salt, pepper and oregano.
Bake 15-20 minutes or until cooked and golden. Do not over cook the eggplant or it will fall apart and begin to melt. Make sure that it becomes golden. The potatoes may take a bit longer to cook so it is best to bake those on a separate tray.
While the vegetables are roasting, make the tomato sauce.
Cook the onions and olive oil over medium heat about 15 minutes until soft and golden. Add the garlic and cook 3 more minutes until fragrant.
Add the chopped mushrooms and cook 2- 3 minutes on high heat until slightly browned.
Pour the tomato puree over the mushrooms. Season with salt, pepper, a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, some crushed oregano and a little sugar if needed. Sometimes the tomatoes can be acidic and a little sugar mellows the sauce out. (Most canned tomato sauce already contains sugar so taste before adding it)
I also add about 1 cup of water. My favorite way to do this is to add the water in the tomato cans to get out whatever tomato puree is left inside. No waste and all flavor!
Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook until it is nice and thick. About 10 minutes.
Remove the sauce from the heat. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.
Add sliced olives and chopped parsley. Mix and set aside to cool a bit while preparing the Béchamel sauce.
Make the béchamel sauce by combining the flour and oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk well while cooking a few minutes until toasted.
Slowly add the milk in a few batches, whisking to incorporate so that it is smooth and creamy. Adding the milk all at once will create lumps.
Cook until it comes to a boil and thickens. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from heat.
Whisk the eggs together in a bowl. Add some of the hot milk mixture into the eggs and whisk to temper them so that they don't scramble when added to the cream sauce.
Add the eggs to the sauce and whisk well.
Add the parmesan cheese and mix to combine.
Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit,
Sprinkle a thin layer of bread crumbs on the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch baking pan (a lasagna pan is perfect for this recipe)
Create a layer of the roasted potato slices over the bread crumbs. Cover with a layer of roasted eggplant slices. Sprinkle with a little bit of shredded parmesan cheese.
Top with the roasted zucchini slices.
Pour half of the tomato sauce over the zucchini.
Top with the remaining eggplant slices then with the potato slices and some parmesan cheese.
Pour all of the béchamel sauce on top and spread evenly.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until the cream sauce becomes golden brown on top.
Remove from oven and allow the moussaka to cool at least 30 minutes before slicing. This will make it much easier to serve and it wont fall apart.