Roasted Moussaka


2 medium eggplants (1 ½ Lb.)
partially peeled and sliced length wise

Sea salt

3 Russet potatoes, peeled and sliced length wise ½" thick

2 large zucchini, sliced length wise ½" thick

Extra virgin olive oil

For the Bechamel

⅓ cup + 2 tbsp olive oil

⅔ cup flour

½ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

4 cups milk, warmed

2 eggs

For the Lentil Sauce

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 ¼ cup COOKED black lentils
(from ½ cup uncooked black lentils.)

1 14 Oz. can crushed tomatoes

½ cup broth or water

1 tsp dry oregano

½ tsp nutmeg

Pinch cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 400.

While oven is heating, spread sliced eggplant on a large pan lined with paper towel and sprinkle with sea salt, then set aside for 20 to 30 minutes.

When time is up, pat eggplant dry with paper towels.

For the Bechamel

In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium high heat until shimmering but not smoking.

Stir in flour, salt and pepper, then cook until golden.

Gradually add warmed milk, whisking occasionally, over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, then add nutmeg.

In a small bowl, whisk a small amount of bechamel mixture with 2 eggs.

Then return all to the pan with the remaining bechamel mixture.

Continue to stir or whisk the mixture bringing to a gentle boil for just 2 more minutes.

Taste and adjust salt and pepper, then remove from heat and allow to cool and thicken (it should be a creamy, thick and smooth bechamel sauce).

For the Lentil Sauce

In a pot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat.

Sautee onions and garlic for a brief 3 to 4 minutes till fragrant, tossing regularly.

Stir in COOKED black lentils, crushed tomatoes and broth or water.

Season with a dash of salt, oregano, nutmeg and a small pinch of ground cinnamon.

Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cover only part way.

Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

To Bake Vegetables

While lentil sauce is simmering, bake the vegetables.

Arrange potatoes, zucchini and eggplant slices on lightly oiled baking sheets.

Brush with olive oil, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes, just until tender.

Assemble Vegetarian Moussaka in a 9" x 13" baking dish.

First, pour some sauce on the bottom of the baking dish and spread.

Layer vegetables on top, then add the remainder of the lentil sauce.

Finally, spread bechamel sauce on top, making sure to smooth it out well with the back of a spoon.

Place moussaka casserole on the middle rack of your heated oven.

Bake for 45 minutes or until top bechamel layer turns golden brown.
(If needed, place under broiler and watch very carefully till top turns a nice golden brown.)

Remove from heat and let rest 20 minutes before cutting into 12 squares. Enjoy!
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