Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Summer's End

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Dad is no longer at the garden and we no longer have access to amazing fresh organic veggies every day. But that’s ok, life will go on. 

As a “last hurrah”, Mum and I made this vegetarian moussaka, something I have wanted to try for a rather long time. It may seem a waste to use the last of the fresh veggies by baking them but this dish managed to meet (and exceed) my expectations and feels like an appropriate tribute to all of the produce of this last season. The experience of the garden has been great fun and I hope more than ever that one day I am able to move out of the city and set up something for myself on a much larger scale.

Oh yes, we still have the bees though!! More news on that later. For now, just enjoy this Greek taste sensation….

Vegetarian Moussaka (recipe from allrecipes)

Serves 7

1 ½ large eggplant, thinly sliced
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large zucchini, thinly sliced
2 potatoes, thinly sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 tin (440g) whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
220g lentils (about ½ tin) drained, juice reserved
1 tsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

125g crumbled feta cheese 
30g butter
2 Tbsp plain flour
1 ¼ cups milk
Black pepper to taste
Pinch ground nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup (30g) grated Parmesan cheese


1. Sprinkle eggplant slices with salt and set aside for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.

2. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.

3. Heat oil in a large frypan over medium-high heat. Lightly brown eggplant and zucchini slices on both sides; drain. Add more oil if necessary, brown potato slices; drain.

4. Saute onion and garlic until lightly browned. Pour in vinegar and reduce. Stir in tomatoes, lentils, ½ the juice from lentils, oregano and parsley. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes.

5. In a 23x33cm casserole dish layer the eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, onions and feta. Pour tomato mixture over vegetables; repeat layering, finishing with a layer of eggplant and zucchini.

6. Cover and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.

7. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine butter, flour and milk. Bring to a slow boil, whisking constantly until thick and smooth. Season with pepper and add nutmeg. Remove from heat, cool for 5 minutes, and stir in beaten egg.

8. Pour sauce over vegetables and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, for another 25 to 30 minutes.

9. Remove from oven, slice and serve with salad. 

- Matilda