Moussaka is quite possibly the most iconic Greek recipe in the world. It is, of course, a rich mixture of spiced ground meat sauce, eggplant (and sometimes potatoes and/or zucchini), and bechamel, often made even richer with the addition of Greek cheeses as feta. This delicious vegan moussaka recipe will delight the most diehard traditionalists, though! It is an excellent combination of classic Mediterranean diet ingredients, such as vegetables and beans, all the wonderful robust flavors associated with Greek cooking, and a few new techniques that will surprise you. It is a healthy, delicious version – you could almost place it in the category of Greek bean recipes! – of a traditional Greek classic and one of my favorite Greek recipes from season 4 of My Greek Table! Serve this with a Greek red wine, such as a Naoussa Xinomavro.
- 2 sweet potatoes peeled and sliced into thin oval slices
- 3 large eggplants trimmed and sliced into long thin ovals
- Extra virgin Greek olive oil
- 2 large red onions chopped
- 4 garlic cloves chopped
- 3 cups cooked black beans
- 1 cup canned chickpeas keep liquid
- 1 ½ cup chopped canned tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- ½ cup red wine
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 dried or fresh bay leaves
- 4 allspice berries
- Dried Greek oregano to taste
- 1 – 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp petimezi
- Seasalt and pepper to taste
For the Bechamel:
- Leftover liquid from 1 can of chickpeas aqua faba, used above
- 4 Tbsp extra virgin Greek olive oil
- 4 scant Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 2 cups almond milk
- Salt and white pepper to taste
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- Grated nutmeg to taste
Place the sweet potatoes on parchment-lined baking sheets and brush them generously with olive oil. Season lightly with salt. Bake at 400 F until softened, about 15 minutes. Remove and set aside. You can do this a day ahead.
Place the eggplants on parchment-lined baking sheets and brush them generously with olive oil. Season lightly with salt. Bake at 400 F until softened, about 15 minutes. Remove and set aside. You can do this a day ahead.
Make the sauce: Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large wide pot and cook the onion over medium heat until soft, lightly colored, and translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic.
Add the drained black beans and chickpeas and stir to coat in the oil. Add the tomatoes and stir. Add the tomato paste and wine. Add the cinnamon, bay leaves, allspice berries, balsamic vinegar, petimezi, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook the beans for 50 minutes with the cover on the pot, or until the sauce is thick and jammy.
Remove the bay leaves, allspice berries, and cinnamon. Using a slotted spoon or an immersion blender, puree about a third of the bean mixture inside the pot. Mix it well so that pureed and whole beans are combined. Adjust seasoning with additional salt, pepper, cinnamon, or allspice powder, and add the dried oregano. Set aside.
Make the vegan bechamel: Place the drained chickpea liquid (aqua faba) in the bowl of a stand mixer outfitted with a whisk attachment and whip at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, like meringue. Set aside.
Heat the four tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan and add the flour. Stir over medium-low heat to make a roux, about 6 minutes. Add in the coconut and almond milks, while whisking, and then continue to whisk the mixture until it thickens. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cool slightly and fold in the aqua faba.
Oil the bottom of a 13 X 9 inch baking pan, preferably glass or ceramic. Place a sprinkling of breadcrumbs on the bottom of the pan. Spread the softened potato slices in one layer. Place a layer of eggplant slices on top. Spoon the bean sauce over the eggplant layer. Spreading it with a spatula or the back of a large spoon so that it is evenly distributed.
Place the remaining sweet potatoes and eggplant slices in one layer. Ladle and spread the béchamel over the beans evenly and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
Place in a preheated oven at 375F and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the béchamel is set and creamy. Remove, cool slightly, and serve.
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