Nothing sings Mediterranean more than Moussaka. Layered potato and eggplant slices are married with a lentil, browned onion, and mushroom mix combined with tahini. This dish emerges from the oven with a savory, umami smell that will make your mouth water.
Moussaka: Mediterranean Potato and Eggplant Bake
For the Layers:
- 2-3 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices (should cover the dish twice, in two layers)
- 1 large eggplant
- 2 tomatoes
For the Mix:
- 1/4 cup red lentils, pre-soaked for 2-3 hours
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 peeled tomato
- 2 medium onions
- 10.5 ounces chopped mushrooms
- 1 small sweet potato, diced to small cubes
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 1/2 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup tahini sauce
To Make the Layers:
- Slice potatoes and eggplant to get widest 1/2-inch thick slices.
- Put baking paper on an over tray (or two), place one layer of potatoes and eggplant slices, brush with olive oil on both sides, and season with salt and pepper.
- Put in oven for 15-20 minutes on 350°F.
- After first 10min flip slices.
- When done and nicely browned put aside to cool.
To Make the Mix:
- Finely chop the onions, put in large pan and fry with olive oil on moderate heat until the onions are nicely brown and caramelized.
- Add the chopped mushrooms, salt and pepper and fry until mushrooms are slightly burnt.
- Add the minced garlic cloves and diced sweet potato and fry for 2 minutes more.
- Add 3/4 cup hot water and stir well.
- Cover and cook on small heat for 15 minutes.
- Turn heat off, take cover off, and let cool.
- Meanwhile, strain soaked lentils and rinse well.
- Put in food processor with walnuts, peeled tomato, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Turn food processor on pulse several times until mix is combined, but still coarsely grained.
- When the onions-mushroom-sweet potato fried mix can be handled, move 1/2 of it to the food processor with lentils mix. Pulse it 3-4 full cycles to combine into one mix. Take out mix from food processor and combine with what is left in the pan.
- Start layering in the following order; potatoes, eggplant, tahini, 1-inch layer of mix, potatoes, tahini, eggplant, and tomatoes.
- Brush tomatoes with olive oil.
- Put in oven for 40 minutes on 430°F. Take out from oven and let cool for 1 hour.