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Oopa Moussaka

1 medium eggplant
2 medium zucchinis
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced
28-oz. can crushed peeled tomatoes
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 large baking potato
1 Tbsp. olive oil for drizzling on top
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Vegan Béchamel Sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
2 cups soy milk
1 Tbsp. cornstarch diluted in 1/2 cup water (or substitute 1 Tbsp. kuzu for the cornstarch)
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt

• Preheat the oven to 375°F.
• Cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices. Salt the slices and let them “sweat” for 10 minutes.
• Cut the zucchini lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices, and set aside.
• Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is transparent and lightly browned. Add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, salt, and pepper. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes.
• Lightly oil the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Peel the potato and cut it lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices. Layer the potato slices in the bottom of a baking dish, and spoon one-third of the tomato sauce over them. Then layer eggplant, one-third of tomato sauce, zucchini slices, and finally the rest of the tomato sauce. Drizzle the top with olive oil.
• Cover with a baking dish lid or foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
• Remove from the oven and remove the cover. Ladle Vegan Béchamel Sauce over the casserole and put back in the oven to bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the top is nicely browned. Let sit a half hour before cutting and serving. Garnish each serving with lots of chopped fresh parsley.

Vegan Béchamel Sauce
• Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and sprinkle in flour and nutmeg, stirring constantly until lightly browned and a nutty aroma arises. Whisk in the soy milk, cornstarch mixture, and salt, stirring until the mixture begins to boil; then reduce the heat and whisk until thickened.

Tip: Vegan Béchamel Sauce makes a good topping for steamed veggies.

Sweating the Eggplant
• Gently salt the eggplant slices and let them sit in a colander in the sink or on a tray for 30 minutes.

Makes 8 servings

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