We have more delicious eats for you today from the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!
Disney has been lauded in the past for their commitment to serving guests who have special dietary needs. Whether you’re gluten free, vegetarian, or have other food sensitivities, your choices throughout Walt Disney World have been steadily increasing.
We’ve also seen this emphasis at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. For the last few years, an entire Marketplace Booth, Terra, has been devoted to a vegan menu.
But beyond Terra, you’ll also find vegetarian offerings scattered throughout the other Marketplaces. (See the full listing of Festival Vegetarian options here, and a list of Festival Gluten Free options here.)
One of our very favorites was introduced this year — Vegetarian Moussaka.
A layered dish customarily consisting of Eggplant and/or Potatoes, a rich Meat Filling, and Béchamel, it’s a comforting dish that’s especially perfect for the cold weather months.
No lie — I have been dreaming about this dish since I first tasted it at the Food and Wine Preview dinner last Summer. When I had a chance to sample it once again at the Greece Marketplace Booth, it was just as amazing! It is truly one of the most delicious and satisfying vegetarian entrees I have ever tasted.
And now, you and I can both make it at home! Perfect for the next time you’d like to offer a meatless meal, this hearty casserole will please even the most die-hard meat eaters.
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
2 (11-ounce) packages meatless crumbles
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed
2 cups vegetable stock
coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
4 cups milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup flour
4 eggs, beaten
2 large eggplants, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil, divided
cinnamon, for dusting
coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 large russet potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup coarsely grated Graviera or Gruyère cheese, for baking
For Meatless Sauce:
1. Heat olive oil in a 6-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, and onion; cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
2. Add meatless crumbles and cook about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; cook 2 minutes or until lightly caramelized.
3. Add vinegar, sugar, tomatoes, ad vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours or until almost all liquid is evaporated. Remove from heat; discard cinnamon sticks and bay leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside.
For Béchamel Sauce:
1. Stir salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and milk together in large bowl.
2. Melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour; cook 2 minutes, whisking constantly until smooth.
3. Whisking constantly, add milk mixture in a steady stream. Cook 8-10 minutes, whisking often, until thickened. Remove from heat; pour into blender and add eggs. Blend on low until smooth and set aside.
1. Place eggplant slices in a colander and put colander in large bowl to allow eggplant to drain. Liberally sprinkle slices with coarse salt and let them rest until the salt begins to draw moisture to the surface, about 20 minutes. Rinse eggplant thoroughly, let drain, and blot dry.
2. Heat 3/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Dust eggplant with cinnamon and season to taste with salt and pepper. Working in batches, fry eggplant slices for 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until tender. Add additional olive oil as needed between batches. Transfer eggplant slices to paper towels to drain.
1. Bring 4-quart pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook 8 to 10 minutes until just tender. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Drain and set aside.
1. Heat oven to 350° F. Spray 10″ x 14″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Spread 1 cup béchamel on bottom of baking dish; sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese. Spread potatoes over cheese; top with eggplant. Pour meat sauce over eggplant; spread remaining béchamel over meat sauce allowing sauce to fill the sides and corners of the pan.
3. Smooth béchamel with spatula and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 1 hour, or until golden brown. Let sit for 15-20 minutes.
Cook’s Notes: Salting eggplant before you cook it draws out any bitterness in the eggplant, as well as moisture. Drawing out some of the moisture means it won’t absorb as much oil when frying. Slightly sweet and nutty Graviera is a cheese from Greece, the country’s second most popular cheese after Feta.
Want More Details About the Epcot Food and Wine Festival?
We are always working to bring you all of the latest and most important news and updates on the Epcot Food and Wine Festival right here, so stay tuned for details and check out all of the info below!
Be sure to join our Disney Food Blog Newsletter for the latest information and details on the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.
Will Vegetarian Moussaka be a featured meal on your Meatless Monday rotation? Let us know what you think in comments below!
Recipe Credit: A Taste of Epcot: Festival Food From Around the Globe Cookbook