Some people like the beginning of Summer, when it starts to get hot. I am not one of these people. I hate not being able to cook without sweating, and I miss layering my clothing. I like when the sun goes away and the nights start to get cold and I need a blanket and a nice hand knit sweater, and I can cozy up with something simmering on the stove or baking in the oven. The smell of cooking food warming and infusing my house, and watching scary movies as I gear up for my favorite holiday…Halloween. One of my favorite things to make is this awesome and easy veggies moussaka. I’ve made it since my vegetarian days and it remains such a favorite that I have made it three times in the past month. It doesn’t hurt that we got an extraordinary amount of tomatoes, eggplant, squash and zucchini from our CSA this year.
Serves – 8 as a side, 4 as a meal.
Nutrition – You betcha!
All CSA or our garden….
4 small potatoes, sliced in to coins
4 giant tomatoes, diced
5 random peppers, diced
1 eggplant, sliced in to coins
1 baby yellow patty pan squash, sliced in to coins
1 medium sized green patty pan squash, sliced in to coins
1 zucchini, sliced in to coins
1 bunch roughly chopped purple basil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
freshly ground salt and pepper
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 TB good quality olive oil.
1 TB red pepper flakes
1 TB dried oregano
1/2 block skim mozzarella sliced (or leave off for vegan friends)
Optional – 1/4 cup pesto! I had some parmesan/almond/basil pesto leftover from a salad i made.
What to do…
1. Lay out all your veggie coins and sprinkle with salt. This draws out all the water. Muy importante. Let this sit while you make your sauce.
2. Put diced peppers in a sauce pan with garlic and half the olive oil and heat until they start to brown, then add tomatoes. Let simmer until tomatoes start to cook down.
3. At the same time, heat sliced potatoes in a skillet with the rest of the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Cook both for about 20 minutes.
4. When the potatoes are fairly soft, get out a deep, round casserole dish and start to layer. First, potatoes, then a ladle of sauce and a sprinkling of fresh herbs.
5. Then zucchini + sauce + herbs. Then eggplant, then green squash in the same fashion.
6. Finally layer the small yellow patty pan slices on top (my personal favorite)
7. I like to add a layer of homemade pesto on top of everything to kind of melt down in to everything as it bakes, but this is a personal choice and it is still wonderful without it.
8. Then finally, preheat your oven to 350 and top off your dish with your mozzarella! Now, I personally like my cheese top to be BURNT. If you do not feel the same way, you should wait until 30 minutes in to your bake time before you add your cheese. Also, we are no longer friends. Bake at 350 for an hour.
9. Cut in to servings and then let cool, so you can get to the eating part faster! YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY!!!