Vegetarian / vegan moussaka

Recipe by Jutka Harstein

Photographs by Inbal Cabiri


Ingredients (6-8 servings)

1 ½ kg eggplants

½ cup olive oil

500 gr potatoes, unpeeled, cooked

½ cup uncooked quinoa

300 gr salty cheese (like feta) or tofu

Green béchamel sauce:

4 cups cow milk/almond milk

125 gr butter/ ½ cup olive oil

1 cup all-purpose flour/almond flour

½ nutmeg, grated

Salt, pepper

2 Tbs pesto sauce

Tomato sauce:

2 large onions, chopped

¼ cup olive oil

3 garlic, minced

2 carrots, sliced

1 red bell-pepper, thinly sliced

1 celery stalk with leaves, chopped

1 Tbs thyme

2 bay leaves

1 cup vegetable stock or water

2 tomatoes, cubed

½ cup tomato paste

1 cup fresh tomatoes, grated

1 Tbs salt

Pepper according to taste

¼ ts spicy paprika

2 Tbs sugar

1 large zucchini, sliced

½ a bunch of parsley, chopped

4 Tbs fresh basil, chopped

2 Tbs fresh oregano, chopped

3 Tbs red wine (optional) 




Prepare the layers:

Heat the oven to 200°C.

Cut the eggplants into 1cm slices and place on a lined baking sheet after brushing both sides with olive oil. Bake until golden, turning once (about 20min).

Cut potatoes into 1 cm slices.

Cook quinoa in 1 cup water. Set aside to cool.


Make the béchamel sauce:

Bring the milk to the boil over low heat in a small saucepan. In another saucepan melt butter/heat oil, add flour and whisk thoroughly to get a very thick mixture, gradually add hot milk while constantly whisking to avoid lumps until reaching a smooth consistency. Remove from heat and whisk in the spices. Allow to cool down a little before adding the pesto sauce.

Make the tomato-quinoa sauce:

Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and garlic and sauté until transparent. Add carrots, bell pepper and celery and sauté for 2 more min. Add thyme, bay leaves, stock and cubed tomatoes, mix to combine and cook for 15 min. Add tomato paste and grated tomatoes and continue cooking another 15 min.  Add salt, pepper, paprika and sugar, stir and continue cooking for approx. 30 min until the sauce thickens a little.

Remove from heat and mix in zucchini, parsley, basil, oregano, red wine and cooked quinoa.   

Assemble the dish:

Heat the oven to 180°C.

Oil a large, deep pie dish. Arrange the layers starting with potatoes, then tomato sauce, eggplants, cheese/tofu and more layers of remaining ingredients, finishing with the béchamel sauce.

Bake for 45 min or until the top layer looks golden and set.