Vegetarian Moussaka

This is a recipe I designed for my former husband's vegetarian friends.  The basic recipe is from a little cookbook I bought on a trip to Greece many years ago, The Best Book of Greek Cookery by Chrissa Paradissis.  I simply replaced the the ground meat with a mix of tofu and portabella mushooms.

2.5 lbs eggplant (aubergines)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 c. butter or margarine
3/4 cup portabella mushrooms, some sliced, some minced in a food processor.
3/4 cup tofu, crumbled.
1/2 cup white wine
1 14.5 oz can tomatoes
chopped parsley
salt and pepper
2 heaped tablespoons breadcrumbs
2 egg whites, slightly beaten
Olive oil for frying
2 egg yolks, one egg
3 cups bechamel sauce (recipe to follow)
1 cup grated cheese

Slice eggplants into 1/2 inch thick slices, sprinkle with salt, set aside 1 hour.  Bake the tofu for 15 minutes in a 350F oven.  (This will ensure that the tofu keeps its shape instead of completely disintegrating.)

Saute onion in butter or margarine until soft.  Add the mushrooms and tofu and continue cooking until the mushroom slices are tender. Add the wine, tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper and simmer for 45 minutes.  Remove from heat, add the breadcrumbs and egg whites and toss thoroughly.

Rinse the eggplant slices and fry lightly in olive oil on both sides.

Grease or spray the bottom of a 9x13 casserole and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.  Top with half of the eggplant slices, then the mushroom/tofu mixture, then the other half of the eggplant slices.

Mix the two egg yolks and the whole egg into the bechamel sauce (recipe following) along with 2/3 cup cheese.  Spread on top of the eggplant slices, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake in a 350F oven for 45 minutes or until the sauce is golden and bubbling.  Serves at least 8.

Bechamel Sauce
6 T butter or margarine
9 T flour
1.5 t salt
3/8 t pepper
dash of nutmeg
3 cups milk

Melt the butter over low heat, then add flour and seasonings, stir until well blended.  It will look like a paste.  Remove from heat and gradually add the milk, stirring constantly to keep it smooth.  Return to the heat and bring to to a boil, continuing to cook until the sauce is thick and smooth.  Makes 3 cups.


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