- 3 large eggplants
- 2 pounds yams
- 3 russet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- canola oil spray
- 1 cup dry seasoned breadcrumbs
- For tomato mushroom sauce:
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 16 ounces button mushrooms, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup dry red wine
- 1 1/4 cups good-quality prepared or homemade marinara sauce
- 2 to 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- For bechamel sauce:
- 3 cups plain almond milk
- 5 tablespoons unbleached flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 5 tablespoons vegetarian margarine
- 3 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Remove tops and bottoms of eggplants, then slice into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Place slices on paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt. Cover with an additional layer of paper towels and let sit for 30 minutes.
Peel and slice yams 1/4-inch thick. Place on baking sheet, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with oregano, salt and pepper. Toss to distribute oil and seasoning. Arrange in a single layer and roast for 20 to 25 minutes or until just fork tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
Cover whole potatoes with 1-inch cold water in a medium pot. Boil for 20 minutes or just until fork tender. Do not overcook. Remove from water. When cool enough to handle, peel skins and slice 1/4-inch thick.
Spray two baking sheets with canola oil. Press eggplant into breadcrumbs and place on baking sheets in a single layer. Lightly spray with canola oil and roast for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, prepare sauces. For tomato mushroom sauce, heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. Add mushrooms and cook down, about 5 minutes. Add red wine and simmer until liquid has almost evaporated. Stir in marinara and cinnamon. Simmer on low heat until ready to use. Thicken with 2 to 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, if necessary. Mixture should not be runny.
For bechamel sauce: Melt the margarine in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook until paste begins to bubble, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Whisk in warmed almond milk, salt and nutmeg, continuing to stir until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
Lightly spray a 9- by 13-inch baking pan with canola oil. Sprinkle the bottom with half of the remaining breadcrumbs. Cover crumbs with a layer of potatoes. Next, add a layer of eggplant. Spread half of the tomato mushroom sauce over eggplant. Follow with a layer of yams, the remaining tomato mushroom sauce and a final layer of eggplant.
Whisk beaten eggs into bechamel and pour over casserole. Sprinkle with remaining breadcrumbs. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove and let stand 15 minutes before slicing.