Yam and Pumpkin Moussaka

You just have to try this yam and pumpkin Moussaka recipe, it needs a little planning, the list of ingredients being slightly involved: pumpkin, red onions, yellow squash, mint, parsley and yam but the result tastes delicious.

At first,  I was contemplating sliding this post in the Curious Ingredients series, not for the yam but the pumpkin. You would think that yam is a tricky vegetable to purchase but not at all. The surprise came from pumpkin. Imagine, I was told by the not so knowledgeable vegetable shop-keeper around the corner that pumpkins are out of season at the end of November. Only one natural conclusion can be drawn from that: "pumpkin is a decoration and not a vegetable". Contrary to yam which can be found all year around though not at all ecologically friendly.

Now pay attention, here come the encyclopedic bit: Yam is extremely versatile. It can be barbecued roasted fried grilled, boiled smoked. I remember it from the Filipino and strikingly purple dessert: halo, halo. Yam means to sample, to chew or to eat depending on the language.

The variety of yam you are likely to come across in the UK is not purple but has an ugly dark brown skin and beige flesh. The skin is supposed to be hard to peel but often is not. I wondered if is because, by the time yam gets to our markets it is not freshest of vegetables any longer.
Taste wise it is slightly slimy. I am conscious now that I should not apply for the yam PR job however used in this recipe yam is good. Its function is to replace the potato and soak up all the extra oil that moussakas even vegetarian ones produce.
Yam and Pumpkin  Moussaka

Serves 2/3

For the  b√©chamel:
25g butter
30 g all-purpose/plain flour
300ml  of whole milk
1 large eggs, lightly beaten
250g Greek feta cheese
100g grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
For the vegetables:
olive oil for sauteéing
2 large red onions, coarsely chopped
flour for dusting
1 pound or 500 g of pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into smallish pieces
1 pound or 500 g of yellow squash, trimmed but not peeled, and cut lengthwise
1 pound or of yams, peeled and cut into medium slices
salt and pepper
1 handful or chopped fresh mint
2 handful of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Make a bechamel by heating the butter in a small pan, add the flour and whisk vigorously don't let it brown add the milk a little at the time as you carry on whisking, I often use the hand blender.
when the mix is creamy add the cheese turn the heat off, season to taste don't forget the nutmeg and reserve

Prepare the vegetable
Caramelise the onions: in a saucepan on hot, add a tablespoon of oil when hot, add the onions, stir well, and reduce the heat and leave to cook for 15 minutes or until the onions have coloured a little.

While this is cooking dust the pumpkin and the yellow squash with flour
shallow fry the pumpkin, reserve. Repeat with the yellow squash
add oil to the pan and saute the yam: place the yam slices in hot oil and cook until brown at the edges.

Assemble the moussaka
In a large ovenproof dish
layer first all the yam, salt, pepper, one third of herbs
then the onions and pour bechamel to cover
now for the pumpkin, more herb, more bechamel
last the squash, the rest of the ingredients

This recipe and adapted from the excellent Zester daily


Karen S Booth said...

That does look wonderful and I adore Moussaka, so a great recipe for me!

Shaheen said...

I've never ever had yam in my life, and have seen it now and again at Multi-ethnic shops, now I have a recipe that I am keen to try. Thank you, it really does look good and tasty.

Solange Berchemin of Pebble Soup said...

Really top recipe, absolutely delicious, he found it for me and thought it would capture my imagination, well I can tell you that it captured my stomach too.



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