Eggplants are at their very best in the height of summer and they are one of the most important staples in the Mediterranean. The moussaka principal ingredient is, of course, the eggplant. Brining the eggplant makes the eggplant extra creamy and sweeter.
Cooking potatoes in alkaline water—with added baking soda—can help tenderize the potatoes while preventing them from falling apart (see the photo of me holding the potato slice). Boiling your potatoes before you toss them into the oven, helps the pieces develop a crispy outside coating. Also, this way you are using the minimum amount of a healthy oil, the Greek extra virgin olive, for cooking. This is a fast and healthy way to cook potatoes.
Mushrooms have high water content; when they are cooked, they release a lot of liquid. It is better to cook the scallions until tender, and then add the mushrooms, this way you do not end up with a soggy mess. Food retains heat, so the mushrooms continue to cook well after being removed from the heat. Also, mushrooms are very absorbent, so they absorb the oil quickly. Greek extra virgin olive oil is a perfect complement to the delicate earthy flavor of mushrooms, plus olive oil is traditionally used in the Smyrna cuisine and it is considered the secret to good health. By steam-frying or sautéing mushrooms using water and by adding the oil after cooking you get all the health, taste and texture benefits of olive oil.
When cooking vegetables I would strongly advise you to do so in a way that retains as many nutrients as possible, and preserves color and texture. Pan-steaming or steam-frying or healthy sautéing is one of the healthiest cooking methods. The water-sautéed mushrooms are even tastier the olive oil-sautéed ones!
I am recommending you a healthy cooking method for every layer of vegetables for the vegan moussaka in order to boost flavor and minimize nutrient loss.
You can add less ground black pepper to this recipe, if you wish (be sure to taste test). Vegan moussaka is not too spicy, but it releases a very subtle pepper flavor.
This velvety vegan béchamel sauce has the right consistency, it is a classic béchamel in texture, and has a hint of nuttiness. It actually tastes better than the non-vegan béchamel sauce. Vegan béchamel sauce recipe requires only 5 healthy and accessible ingredients; its simplicity is the key to success in cooking a perfect decadent vegan white béchamel sauce.
You should try vegan moussaka, it will excite your palate!
Wine and Food Pairing
For the optimum eating experience, pair your homemade moussaka with a fresh, fruit-driven rosé wine with a dry finish. The gourmet main dish is creamy and calls for a soft, smooth rosé with floral notes and tropical fruit flavors.
Healthy and delicious moussaka is gluten-free! If you're on a gluten-free diet, do miss out on life's simple pleasures, the summery vegan moussaka.
Moussaka is a retro dish created by the Greeks of Smyrna and Alexandria; vegan moussaka is just as tasty as the traditional one: sweet eggplants, hearty potatoes and savory mushrooms, all topped with a rich vegan béchamel sauce.