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Vegetarian ‘Moussaka’

Ingredients

  • 2 red onions cut in chunks (roughly 1 inch)
  • 1 eggplant aubergine, chopped in chunks (roughly 1 inch)
  • 2 - 3 zucchini halved lengthwise and cut in chunky half moons
  • 2 red peppers de-seeded and cut in chunks
  • 2 cups white mushrooms quartered
  • ¼ cup + 2 teaspoons vegetable oil preferably mild olive oil, divided
  • cups plain tomato sauce or passata sieved tomatoes
  • ¼ cup basil pesto optional
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups spinach washed, with any tough stems broken off (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 generous tablespoons flour
  • approximately 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup grated vegetarian cheddar
  • ½ cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • or use 1½ cups of either of these cheeses

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C or 180°C for a fan oven).
  • Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with vegetable oil.
  • Place the chopped onions, eggplant, zucchini, red peppers and mushrooms on a large baking tray and toss with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. (You’ll need the rest later.)
  • Roast the vegetables for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, drizzle over the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and turn the vegetables.
  • Return to the oven for a further 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat the 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. (Don’t be tempted to use a smaller saucepan as you are going to add the roast vegetables later.)
  • Toss in the garlic and warm it through but don’t let it take on any colour.
  • Add the tomato sauce or passata and the pesto (if using).
  • Add the oregano and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Turn the heat down and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the roast vegetables from the oven when they are cooked and add them to the tomato sauce mixture in the saucepan.
  • Stir through gently, cover and remove from the heat.
  • In another small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  • Whisk in the flour.
  • Cook for two to three minutes, whisking constantly.
  • Gradually add the milk, whisking after each addition, to make a fairly thick sauce.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place the roast vegetable and tomato mixture in the bottom of the casserole dish, spreading it out evenly.
  • Top with a fairly even layer of spinach, if you are using it.
  • Spread the white sauce over the top of the casserole. Mix the cheeses together and sprinkle over top.
  • Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the top begins to turn golden brown.
  • Enjoy with a salad and /or crusty bread.
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