Moussaka by @georgeats

Serves 6
Preparation time: 45 mins
Cooking Time: 1 hour 55 mins


Tick off the ingredients as you buy them

  • For the vegetable layers:
  • Plenty of olive oil
  • 4-5 large potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 4-5 zucchini, sliced lengthways
  • 3-4 medium/large eggplant, sliced thinly lengthways
  • Half bunch rosemary sprigs, remaining half used in the mince
  • Half bunch thyme sprigs, remaining half used in the mince
  • For the vegetarian mince:
  • 2 large carrots, finely chopped
  • 4-5 green parts of spring onion, chopped
  • 2-3 sprigs rosemary, woody stalks discarded and then chopped
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme, woody stalks discarded and then chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari or gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mushroom oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 500 g extra firm tofu, crumbled into small mince like pieces
  • 1 cup red wine, see notes
  • 2 cups Val Verde Passata
  • Seasoning, to taste
  • Asafoetida, to taste (optional)
  • For the bechamel:
  • 50g butter
  • 3 tablespoons gluten free cornflour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, use less if you’re grating it fresh
  • 100-200 g parmesan, use divided (reserve half to top the moussaka)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 extra large egg

To bake the vegetables:
Preheat the oven to 180C/360F. Thinly slice your vegetables (around 1/4-centimetre width is ideal) and arrange them on 2-3 baking trays. Give each tray a good drizzle of olive oil, some seasoning and a few sprigs of rosemary/thyme. Bake each tray for around 20-30 minutes or until cooked through and golden. Repeat until you have cooked all the vegetables. Keep the oven on.

To make the mince:
Heat the oil in a large skillet or pot over a medium heat. Once warmed, add the chopped carrot and stir to coat. Turn the heat to low and cook for around 10 minutes or until the carrot has softened, shrunk and become a little brown.
Add the spring onion greens and herbs and continue cooking until the spring onion greens have softened and become fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add a splash of water at any point if the mixture is sticking.
While this is happening, whisk together the Tamari, mushroom oyster sauce, balsamic vinegar, light brown sugar and tomato paste in a small bowl.
Add the crumbled tofu into the pan and stir thoroughly to coat and combine. Pour in the Tamari mixture and continue stirring until the tofu is coated. It should take on some of the colour from the sauce. Allow it to cook for a couple of minutes until it begins to thicken, then add the red wine to deglaze the pan. Add the Val Verde passata and stir to combine. Leave to cook, stirring intermittently for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through and mince-like in colour and texture. Taste, season and taste again before removing from the heat.

To make the bechamel:
Place a medium- large saucepan over a medium heat. Melt the butter before adding in the cornflour. Whisk to combine and allow the paste to bubble up and cook out for about a minute. Add the milk and whisk to combine.
Cook for around 2-3 minutes or until the roux has thickened considerably. It should be custard like in thickness and should coat the back of a spoon.
Add the nutmeg and whisk through before adding the parmesan. Whisk well to combine and remove from the heat. Taste the béchamel and adjust for salt and pepper. Then allow to cool to a hand comfortable temperature before whisking through the egg. Don’t add the egg while the béchamel is hot or it will curdle.

To assemble the moussaka:
Place the cooked potato rounds in your L31cm x W23cm x H5cm baking dish. Arrange them so that they cover the bottom of the dish. You can also divide between two smaller dishes if thats what you have.
Scatter 1/3 of the tofu mince over the potatoes. I find by far the easiest way is to use a clean hand to spread it evenly. It will be quite a thin layer of mince but all of the potatoes should have mince atop them, even if it is a scraping.
Next, add a single layer of the baked zucchini and repeat with 1/3 of the mince. Finally, add the baked eggplant and the remaining mince.
Pour the béchamel over the top of the mince carefully so as not to disturb it and muddy up the béchamel. Use the back of a spoon to spread the béchamel to all edges.
Sprinkle the moussaka with the remaining parmesan and place the whole moussaka on a large baking tray (this will make it easier to pick up without ruining the nice top at the end). Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbling. Serve immediately. The moussaka can be kept in the fridge for a number of days. I see no reason why extra portions couldn’t be frozen (although I never have any extra at my house).

To make the moussaka vegan, omit the egg and use vegan alternatives for the dairy products.