Eggplant potato moussaka with cashew tofu cream recipe


This vegan rendition of the Greek casserole tastes like it was made in a fabulous vegan restaurant nestled in a majestic olive grove at the base of Mount Olympus. Taste what moussaka could really be and warm up to this idyllic dish of roasted eggplant, potatoes, and zucchini layered under cinnamon-spiked tomato sauce and silky cashew and tofu Béchamel sauce (a recipetester favorite!). This refined recipe has more tomato sauce and cashew cream for an extra substantial dish perfect for potlucks or nibbling on all week long, as the flavors deepen the next day. Serve with a simple salad of diced tomatoes and cucumbers.

  • Yield: 6 Servings
  • Total Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes


For Vegetable Layer and Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or more, for brushing, plus more for pans
  • 1 pound eggplant
  • 1 pound zucchini
  • 1½ pounds russet or large baking potatoes (large, long potatoes work perfectly in this recipe)
  • Sea salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup finely chopped shallot
  • ⅓ cup dry red wine
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
Cashew Tofu Cream (Bechamel)
  • ½ cup unroasted cashews, soaked in cold water until softened (about 20 minutes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 ounces soft silken tofu
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
For Assembly
  • Olive oil
  • ½ cup fine dried vegan bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • Dried oregano
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
How to Make It
    Prepare the Vegetables
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line three large baking sheets with parchment paper and generously oil the sheets with olive oil. Wash the eggplant and zucchini, and trim the stems. Scrub and peel the potatoes. Slice the eggplant, zucchini, and potatoes lengthwise into approximately ¼-inch-thick slices.
  2. Arrange the vegetable slices by kind on separate baking sheets in a single layer; do not overlap the slices. Brush the slices with olive oil and sprinkle the vegetables with little bit of sea salt. Roast the pans of zucchini and eggplant for 15 minutes, or until tender. The potatoes may take longer, 20 to 22 minutes, or until the slices can be easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the Tomato Sauce
  4. Place the oil and minced garlic in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Fry the garlic for about 30 seconds, then add the shallot and cook until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine and simmer to reduce slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, cinnamon, bay leaves, and salt. Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should reduce slightly. Turn off the heat and remove the bay leaves.
  5. Make the Cashew Tofu Cream
  6. In a food processor, blend the cashews (remember to drain the soaking liquid) and oil, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, until a creamy paste forms. Add the remaining cashew tofu cream ingredients. Blend until completely creamy and smooth.
  7. Assemble the Moussaka, opa!
  8. Generously rub a 9 x 13-inch casserole with olive oil and preheat the oven again to 400°F. Spread ¼ cup of the sauce on the pan, then add successive layers in order of eggplant, potatoes, sauce, and half the bread crumbs. Spread all the zucchini on top of this. Top with a final layer each of eggplant, potatoes, sauce, and bread crumbs. Use a rubber spatula to evenly spread the cashew tofu cream over the entire top layer. Decorate the top by scattering with pine nuts and healthy drizzles of olive oil. Dust the top generously with oregano and a tiny pinch of nutmeg.
  9. Bake, covered with foil, for 45 minutes, uncover and bake for another fifteen, then broil the top for 2 to 4 minutes until browned spots appear (for that authentic Greek homemade casserole touch). For easier slicing, cool 10 minutes to allow the topping to firm up.

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