One of my coworkers was telling me about how he’d recently enjoyed this marvelous vegetarian lasagna at a restaurant that he’d just gone to, and he described it with such passion that he gave me this irresistible craving to have some, right then and there.
Since, as you probably know, I’m off grains for a little while, lasagna is off limits for me at the moment. I decided that I would have the next best thing, instead, a vegetarian moussaka.
I’m not even quite sure now that it still qualifies at the next best thing, anymore. Not sure which of the two I like best…
Since I’d been trying my hand at making my own soy milk at home (more on that to come soon!), I decided to soak and cook some extra black soy beans to use in my moussaka, along with my usual chickpeas.
When I told my co-worker about my plan, he made me swear to bring him a piece of the resulting dish for him to get a taste.
Now I was really, but really intimidated to do that. You know, I’m strange like that. I don’t mind having people from all over the world read and try my recipes, but I have a very hard time having people actually taste the food that I make myself.
Yeah, I know. I’m weird. You don’t have to remind me!
When I brought him his piece, I was really nervous and sort of came up with thousands of excuses as to why it didn’t turn out all that great, you know, and not to expect too much. I’d been in the mood for cumin, and maybe I shouldn’t have used it. Also, I’d added fennel seeds, maybe it had been a mistake after all, I wasn’t too sure anymore…
That same afternoon, I had a piece for lunch and I retasted it as if for the first time, and very objectively.
The verdict was that I couldn’t have been more pleased with this dish. The flavors worked perfectly. The texture of the chickpeas and soy beans was excellent. The thin aubergine slices melted in my mouth, like they’re supposed to, and the “bechamel” sauce added a glorious touch of smooth and tangy creaminess.
From start to finish, this dish was a complete success.
I wouldn’t change a thing!
As for my co-worker? He really LOVED it, and had nothing but good GREAT things to say about it.
He, however, would change one tiny little thing: he’d peel the aubergine.
Sacrilege! I happen to love aubergine skin.
But if, like him, you don’t care for it, be my guest and peel them.
You won’t get me to do it, though!