Moussaka


moussaka

After coming out of the oven, before cutting.

It’s versatile and really tasty. (If you don’t believe me, make it yourself!)

This recipe is based on the BBC Anthony Worrall Thompson one, but I’ve de-animalled it.

Serves 2-4 (I’m greedy remember, so it was 2 when I made it!)
Took 68 minutes preparation!

Ingredients

For The Body:
olive oil
1 large onion
2 spring onions
a cup of red lentils
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tin chopped tomatoes (more would be better)
1 tsp dried oregano (fresh may be better)
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
some white wine vinegar
2 large aubergines
black pepper
a little plain rice flour for dusting (any plain flour will do)
salt

For The Topping:
85g veg/soya margarine (or Vitalite)
~70g plain rice flour
~700ml rice milk (soya milk will do)
100g Cheezly vegan “cheddar” (the original recipe called for parmesan and cheddar)

Side Salad:
Tomato
Cucumber
Parsley
Mint
Olives
Crusty bread

Method

1. Place the sliced, washed aubergines in a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave for 30 minutes. This draws out any bitter juices.

2. In the meantime, cook the lentils for 10 minutes on their own in a pan.  Heat some of the oil in a large casserole dish. Add the onion and cook gently until the onion is soft. Add the garlic, cinnamon, allspice, chopped tomatos, lentils, oregano and thyme into the casserole. Simmer while doing the next steps.

3. The vegan bit really comes in now, in place of the béchamel sauce topping. It actually works pretty well. Melt the marg in a pan and stir in the flour. Take off the heat and gradually stir in the milk. Return to the heat and stir continuously until the sauce thickens. (I gradually added the flour up to this point too.) Simmer over a gentle heat for 5-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in half of the “cheese”, and season with pepper.

4. Rinse the aubergines and pat dry. Dust the slices with flour and fry in batches in the remaining oil until golden on both sides, about 8-10 minutes. Drain on kitchen paper. Set aside until ready to construct the moussaka.

5. Cover the base of an ovenproof dish (about 30x20cm) with a third of the casserole mix then cover with half the aubergine slices. Repeat the layers ending in the casserole, then pour over the topping. Sprinkle on the remaining topping. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C/Gas4 for 50-60 minutes, until bubbling and golden. Allow the moussaka to settle for 5 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

6. Serve the moussaka with a chunky tomato, cucumber, parsley, mint and olive salad and crusty bread.

This dish can be chilled before the point of putting in the oven, to be prepared before cooking. Allow an extra 15 minutes in the oven if cooking from cold.

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