Well, Passover is here. This year I was in charge of the main dish for the vegetarians/vegans the first seder. I’m off eggs and limit my dairy intake. But apparently my sister has developed a lactose intolerance and a tree nut allergy. Plus she doesn’t like mushrooms. So my ideas for the main dish started to shrink considerably. I’d had a vegetarian moussaka recently and thought I could recreate it for Passover using a milk substitute that is ok for Passover. I got my inspiration for the recipe from the Avalon Wine website. A word of warning. I mostly keep Passover. I don’t eat anything that’s specifically prohibited, but the milk I used did not have a kosher for Passover hecksher on it. Flax has been approved by Star-K as ok for Passover, so I used the “milk” as my base for the bechamel. If I didn’t have to deal with the tree nut allergy, I would have used almond milk, which you can find with a hecksher or make your own. Another option would be to use cashew “cheeze” instead of a bechamel sauce.
- 1 medium eggplant
- 2 medium/large potatoes
- 1/2 onion
- 2-4 garlic cloves
- 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Using a mandoline cut the eggplant and the potatoes into even slices. Place the eggplant in a collandar with salt to draw out some of the bitterness. If you cut the potatoes at the same time as the eggplant, you can put the potatoes in a bowl of water to prevent the potatoes from browning.
In a saucepan, heat up the olive oil then add the chopped onion and the garlic cloves. Heat until the onions are transluscent. Add the salt, peppers, oregano, and cinnamon to the pan then the tomatoes. Cook for about 10 more minutes.
Grease a pan and add a layer of the potatoes, the sauce, then the eggplant (that you’ve since rinsed off and patted dry). Then add more sauce, potatoes, then eggplant. Finish with the last of the sauce. Cover the dish and put at 375 F for one and a half hours. While that is baking, make the bechamel.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3.5 tbsp matzo meal (I used whole wheat)
- 2 cups milk of choice
In a saucepan heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the matzo meal and whisk together. The mixture should clump together. Slowly add the milk to the pan and whisk well. Lower the heat to medium low and allow the mixture to thicken. You will know the bechamel is complete when it sticks to the back of a spoon. It will thicken up more as it sits, so if need be, add more milk to thin out the sauce.
When the vegetables are completed spoon the bechamel on to the veggies and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes and allow the bechamel to brown more.
If you have used whole wheat matzo meal (or maybe whole wheat flour) the color will not be the appealing light brown. It’s more of a brownish-grey in the end. It’s not a really pretty dish. But, it is good. Like we had non-vegans at the seder who work at a restaurant and had seconds. I’d say that was a hit :).