Whilst we were waiting for yesterday's Kohlrabi Gratin to bake we cracked on with the first part of tonight's meal. The final vegetable treat that Z brought back from Headingley Farmers Market was a rather large patty pan squash. Like the kohlrabi we have tried to grow these but we have never had any success. Our courgettes always grew no problem but these yellow saucer shaped versions of the same fruit always eluded us.
The few that we did manage to grow tended to end up in pasta sauces, bulked out by standard courgettes. Tonight they are replacing pasta. In fact they are replacing aubergines which replace pasta. In my mind mousakka is the Greek lasagne, which in turn is the Italian cottage pie. A mince sauce is the starting block to all three and I always try to make my mince a day in advance. The flavours intensify and the consistency is much better.
The spicy mince sauce was layered with thinly sliced patty pan squash which I had fried before hand. The finished dish was then covered in a cheese sauce and baked until the top was golden brown. Unlike the a bechamel sauce for lasagne, the sauce for the top of mousakka has an egg beaten through it so that it sets during baking.
Unlike aubergine, the squash retains some of its crunch during cooking giving the finished mousakka a much nicer texture. When we get back to growing our own vegetables again I think we'll give these another go. They are so pleasing to look at and have a little more versatility than ordinary courgettes. We did make a little bit too much mousakka but I can't see it hanging around too long before it is eaten.