There are a few things you need to know about this moussaka. One, it's labor-intensive and your kitchen will be a mess. (You've been warned.) But don't let that stop you because the second thing you need to know is that it's really good! Especially the cashew cream topping.

Moussaka With Cashew Cream [Vegan]

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Serves

6-8

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Ingredients

Moussaka:
  • 1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 5 medium red potatoes (about 1 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • Tomato sauce (below)
  • Cashew cream (below)
Tomato Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, julienned
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Cashew Cream:
  • 1 cup raw cashew nuts
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 pound soft tofu
  • 1 teaspoon whole-wheat flour
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
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Preparation

Prepare the Eggplant: 
  1. Cut eggplant lengthwise into slices about 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with a little salt and set aside in a colander for 15 minutes. Pat dry to remove excess moisture.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, turning the slices once. Set aside to cool.
Prepare the Potatoes:
  1. Bring some water to boil in a large pot with a generous pinch of salt. Peel the potatoes and cut lengthwise into slices about half an inch thick. When the water is boiling, add the slices and reduce heat to a simmer. Parboil the potatoes for about five minutes. Drain and set aside.
To Make the Tomato Sauce:
  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the garlic and onion for a few minutes, until tender. Add the wine and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes,* herbs  (oregano, thyme, bay leaf), the cinnamon and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf and set aside.
To Make the Cashew Cream:
  1. In a food processor, pulse the raw cashews until very fine.
  2. If you have a large food processor, add all other ingredients for the cashew cream and process until smooth (lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup, drained tofu, garlic clove, whole-wheat flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg).
  3. Use a food processor or hand blender to combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl: Ground cashew, lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup, drained tofu, garlic clove, whole-wheat flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
To Assemble the Moussaka: 
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a rectangular baking dish, put together the ingredients in this order: thin layer of tomato sauce, layer of eggplant, layer of potatoes, layer of tomato sauce, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, layer of eggplant, layer of potatoes, layer of tomato sauce, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, all of the cashew cream.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes, until the top has become golden.
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