Eggplant-Potato Moussaka with Pine Nut Cream

From “Veganomicon” by Moskowitz & Romero

Vegetable Layer

1 lb eggplant

1 lb zucchini

1 1/2 lb Russet or baking potatoes

1/4 c olive oil

Sauce

1/4 c olive oil

4 lg shallots, sliced thinly (I used red onion)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 c vegetable broth or red wine

2 (15 oz) cans crushed tomatoes, with juice

2 t dried oregano

1/4 t ground cinnamon

1 bay leaf

salt

Pine Nut Cream

1 lb soft silken tofu

1/2 c pine nuts, plus additional for garnish (optional)

3 T lemon juice

1 t arrowroot powder

1 clove garlic

pinch of nutmeg

1 1/4 t salt, or to taste

white pepper

1/2 c dry, fine white bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly oil three baking sheets or shallow pans.

Prepare the vegetables

Wash the eggplant and zucchini, and trim the stems.  Scrub and peel the potatoes.  Slice the eggplant, zucchini, and potatoes lengthwise into approximately 1/4-inch-thick slices.  Rub the eggplant slices with a little salt and set aside in a colander in the sink or in a big bowl for about15 minutes to drain.  Briefly rinse with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.

Place each vegetable on a separate baking sheet.  Distribute the 1/4 cup of oil among the three sheets and sprinkle vegetables with salt (except the eggplant, if salted already).  Toss to coat the vegetables on each sheet, making sure each piece is completely coated with oil.  Drizzle a little extra oil on the eggplant, as it has a slight tendency to stick (or if you’re really paranoid, place the eggplant slices on oiled baking parchment).  Spread out the vegetables on each sheet;  some overlapping okay.  Roast the pans of zucchini and eggplant for 15 minutes, or until tender.  Roast the potatoes for about 20 to 22 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned.  Allow the vegetables to cool.

While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the tomoto sauce:

Combine the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and minced garlic in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan.  Heat over medium heat and let the garlic sizzle for about 30 seconds, then add the shallots and cook until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the wine and simmer until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes.  Add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, cinnamon, and bay leaf.  Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 12 to 14 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The sauce should reduce slightly.  Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaf, and adjust the salt.

Mek the pine nut cream:

In a food processor, blend the pine nuts and lemon juice, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, until a creamy paste forms.  Add the tofu, garlic, arrowroot, nutmeg, salt, and white pepper.  Blend until creamy and smooth.

Lightly oil a 9×13 inch pan and preheat the oven again to 400 degrees, if necessary.  Spread 1/4 cup of sauce on the pan, then add successive layers in order of eggplant, potatoes, sauce, and half the bread crumbs.  Spread all the zucchini on top of this.  Top with a final layer each of eggplant, potatoes, sauce, and bread crumbs.  Use a rubber spatula to evenly spread the pine nut cream  over the entire top layer.  Scatter a few pine nuts on top, if desired.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and a few cracks have formed in the topping.  Allow to cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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