Mel Christensen

Mel Christensen

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Grilled Vegetable Moussaka with Cauliflower 'Bechamel'


Grilled Vegetable Moussaka with Cauliflower Bechamel.

Serves 8-10


  • 4 large red capsicums, quartered, deseeded
  • Olive oil spray
  • 2 large eggplant, cut length-ways into 1cm-thick slices
  • 3 large zucchini, trimmed, cut length-ways into 1cm-thick slices
  • 300g fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly  (Buffalo or Bocconcini would work well here too!)

Meat sauce:

  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g extra-lean beef mince
  • 1 x 800g can chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 150ml red or white wine
  • 1 tsp each of dried oregano, basil and thyme
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp natvia (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cauliflower ‘Bechamel’ sauce:

  • 1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 200ml leftover gravy (or you could always use chicken stock instead for a healthier option!)
  • 200g Greek yogurt
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs lightly whisked
  1.  To make the meat sauce, brush a large non-stick frying pan with oil. Heat over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 7 minutes or until onion is soft. Increase heat to medium-high. Add the mince and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps, for 3 minutes or until the mince changes colour. Add the tomato, paste, wine, sweetener and herbs, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for at least one hour or until sauce thickens.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat grill on medium. Line a baking tray with foil. Place the capsicum, skin-side up, on the lined tray. Spray with olive oil spray. Cook under grill for 6 minutes or until charred and blistered. Transfer to bowl, cover tightly with cling wrap and set aside for 5 minutes (this helps lift the skin). Peel and halve length ways. Place half the eggplant on the lined tray. Spray with olive oil spray. Cook under grill for 4 minutes each side. Transfer to a plate. Repeat, in 2 more batches, with zucchini and remaining eggplant.
  3. To make the cauliflower ‘bechamel’ sauce, steam cauliflower until soft.  Process in a food processor along with the gravy, yogurt and seasonings until smooth.  Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Whisk in the egg.
  4. Preheat oven to 180°C. Cover the bottom of a large deep oven proof dish with the meat sauce, follow with a layer of eggplants, capsicum and zucchini.  Top the zucchini layer with half of the sliced cheese. Next, add the meat sauce and layer with  remaining eggplant, capsicum and remaining meat sauce. Spoon over the ‘bechamel’ and finish with the remaining cheese slices.
  5. Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes or until set and golden. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool.
  6. Slice into portions and serve with a nice green salad.