Classic Vegetarian Moussaka
|Olive oil||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Onion||1 Large, chopped|
|Fresh mushrooms||1⁄2 Pound, coarsely chopped|
|Garlic||3 Clove (15 gm), pressed|
|Uncooked long grain brown rice||1 Cup (16 tbs), rinsed and drained|
|Water||1 1⁄4 Cup (20 tbs)|
|Fresh parsley||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs), chopped|
|Peeled whole tomatoes||28 Ounce (1 Can)|
|Crumbled dry oregano||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Ground cinnamon||1 Teaspoon|
|Cayenne pepper||1 Dash|
|Olive oil||1 Teaspoon (For Brushing Eggplant)|
|Butter/Margarine||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Unbleached white flour||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Milk||2 Cup (32 tbs)|
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet with a tight cover. Add onion, mushrooms and garlic. Saute until onion is transparent. Add rice, water and parsley. Break up tomatoes and add to skillet with their liquid. Stir in salt, oregano, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper.
Bring rice mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 50 to 60 minutes or until rice is cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed.
While rice is cooking, slice eggplants into 1/4-inch rounds. Brush each side of eggplant slices with olive oil and place on baking sheets. Bake at 350° F. 20 to 25 minutes until soft, turning once with a spatula during baking. Remove from oven and set aside.
Sauce: Melt butter or margarine over low heat in a medium-sized saucepan. Remove from heat. Add flour and stir until a thick paste has formed. Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth. Return to stove and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat.
To assemble the Moussaka: Cover the bottom of a 3-quart casserole with half of the eggplant slices, overlapping as necessary. Spread the rice mixture over the eggplant. Cover rice with the remaining eggplant slices. Top with Bechamel Sauce, spreading evenly.
Bake uncovered at 350° F. for 30 minutes until top begins to brown. Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes before serving.