January 11, 2013

Winter Vegetable Moussaka

Moussaka is amazing. For those not in the know, it's a Greek casserole made with layers of potato, ground beef, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, and topped with a creamy blend of yogurt, feta, and eggs.

fun was had with the waffle blade on the mandoline

But eggplant and zucchini are summer vegetables and we try to eat seasonally and domestically (right now all the summer produce in our grocery store is coming from Mexico) so I decided to give it a try with winter vegetables. This version includes potatoes, brussels sprouts, turnips, and onion pre-roasted with olive oil and butter then layered with canned tomatoes, spices, and topped with yogurt-feta yumminess.

It was fantastic. 

It wouldn't be moussaka to me without the buttery potato layer but the rest can be altered. Might I suggest sweet potatoes and kale? Pumpkin was going to go in this batch but I ran out of room so I think a pumpkin-potato-spinach version is coming soon. As far as I'm concerned one can not have to much topping so while I always double what my recipe calls for, I think tripling or quadrupling would not be unreasonable.

Here is my (somewhat unspecific) recipe for Winter Vegetable Moussaka (based on and reworked from a standard version in one of my go to cookbooks The Mediterranean Cookbook)

Winter Vegetable Moussaka

1# Brussels sprouts
3-4 turnips
12 red potatoes
2 onions
lotsa garlic
optional: 1 # ground beef, other vegetables as desired
butter, olive oil, and salt to roast
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 Tbl tsp fresh thyme and/or oregano (2 tsp dried)

For the topping:

3 cups strained plain yogurt (I use unstrained Greek yogurt)
4 large eggs
1 cup feta, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste

Slice or chop the vegetables. Coat in olive oil/butter and sprinkle with salt to taste. Roast in a 400* oven until soft and crispy (aprox. 30 minutes). Lower oven to 350*.

{NB - I normally slice some of the veg (like turnips and potatoes) and chop others. Depends on what texture you're looking for. Try it both ways and see what you like best.}

Beat together eggs, yogurt, some salt, and pepper.

Put a layer of vegetables in a large casserole followed by a layer of canned tomatoes with juice. Sprinkle with thyme and/or oregano. Repeat until all ingredients are used. Top with yogurt mixture. Crumble feta over that.

Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour until golden brown.

What favorite recipe have you adapted to use seasonal ingredients?


  1. that looks wonderful with all the winter vegetable. I really missed having turnips in the garden this year. I just bought a butternut squash and am hoping to make a squash and spinach/kale/chard lasagna.

  2. yum! loooove lasagna with bitter greens. Do you make your own noodles?