A dish that really does deserve the time it takes to prepare and for me, a reminder of many holidays spent in Bulgaria. The incredible smell conjures memories of myself sat at my grandmother’s and aunties’ kitchen tables, peering at the hustle and bustle around me in a family that loved to cook. I hope it establishes lots of happy memories for you too!
Moussaka is a traditional dish served throughout the Mediterranean and the Middle East. There are slightly different versions depending on the country. I hope you love my variation – vegan moussaka.
Vegan Moussaka and Tzatziki
- For the moussaka:
- 1 whole leek, chopped, greens and all
- 2 carrots, chopped
- olive oil, for cooking
- 1 aubergine (eggplant), chopped
- 2 large baking potatoes, chopped
- 1 green (bell) pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
- 1 x 400 g (14 oz) tin of tomatoes
- 250 ml (81/2 fl oz / 1 cup) vegetable stock
- 500 ml (1 lb 2 oz / 2 cups)
- Cashew Yoghurt or any plant yoghurt
- 2 tablespoons Gluten-free Flour Mix
- pink Himalayan salt and black pepper, to taste For the tzatziki:
- 375 g (13 oz / 11/2 cups) Cashew Yoghurt (see page 140) or any plant yoghurt
- 1/4 cucumber, finely chopped
- 1/2 garlic clove, peeled and grated
- 1 tablespoon chopped dill
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF/Gas 6). In a big pan on a medium heat, add the leek and carrots to some olive oil and cook until soft for about 5 minutes. Add the aubergine, potato, pepper, tomatoes, bay leaf and thyme and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Add the tinned tomatoes and stock and cook on a medium heat with a lid on for another 10 minutes.
- Once the vegetables have softened, pour the mixture into an ovenproof dish and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
- Add all the tzatziki ingredients to a bowl, give them a good stir, then set aside. Now start to assemble the moussaka. Mix either cashew yoghurt or your choice of plant yoghurt with 2 tablespoons of gluten-free flour mix and salt and pepper to taste. If it’s too thick add water to thin it out. Take the vegetables out of the oven and pour over the topping mixture – make sure the whole surface is covered. Heat the grill, pop the moussaka underneath and cook for 10 minutes or until the top is nice and golden brown.
- Once browned, let the moussaka cool for 10 minutes before serving with the tzatziki and some crispy greens.