Makes 8 servings
- 3 1/2 pounds eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
- 1/2 cup (about) olive oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup finely chopped peeled carrots
- 1 cup finely chopped celery
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 12 ounces portobello mushrooms, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
- 7 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 3 1/2 cups whole milk
- 4 large egg yolks
preparationCover 2 baking sheets with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides of eggplant rounds with salt. Arrange eggplant in single layer atop towels. Let stand 30 minutes.
Position first rack in bottom third of oven and second rack in top third of oven and preheat to 425°F. Remove eggplant and paper towels from baking sheets. Pat eggplant dry. Oil same baking sheets. Brush both sides of eggplant rounds with 1/4 cup oil. Arrange in single layer on baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes. Turn eggplant and rotate pans in oven. Continue baking until tender, about 15 minutes longer. Cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery. Sauté until onion is very tender, about 12 minutes. Mix in garlic, then mushrooms. Sauté until juices evaporate, about 10 minutes. Mix in oregano and cinnamon. Add tomatoes and parsley. Cook until mixture is thick, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Lightly oil 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange half of eggplant rounds in single layer in dish. Spoon half of tomato mixture evenly over eggplant. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese. Repeat layering with remaining eggplant, tomato mixture and 2 tablespoons cheese.
Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Stir 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Simmer until sauce thickens, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 1/2 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk yolks in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot sauce. Pour sauce over vegetables in dish. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over sauce. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)
Bake moussaka until heated through and sauce is golden brown on top, about 45 minutes (or about 55 minutes for refrigerated moussaka). Cool 15 minutes.
Link to source for this recipe:
This is a great recipe that can be prepared ahead of time and baked on the day of your celebration. Years ago, my husband and I started using a separate Roaster to prepare our turkey so the oven could be freed up for other things. This has worked well for us. I also must share that if even the above recipe is too difficult, if you are not into cooking, or if fixing something a vegetarian will enjoy seems too daunting, do not distress. SImply go to your nearest health food grocery, and they will have everything you need. Tofurkey with gravy in the freezer section, sides that are guaranteed vegetarian, just don't sweat it. A few helpful tips: many mixes, especially soups contain meat products so read the label. Gelatin is a no no for vegetarians because it contains animal products.
This article also has some great advice.
This time last year, we were making difficult decisions about putting my mother in a nursing home and had to transport her across the country so she could be closer to her family. I am truly truly thankful to have such a great family who would (shudder here) actually be just as happy to have pizza and lots of wine for a holiday meal just as long as we are all together. This year, I am really greatful we do not have to take a harrowing plane ride with a sick Mom right before Thanksgiving. The meal is just food, the important part is being with those you love.
So..just simplify and enjoy all your blessing this year!