Here's Claire, sharing a Vegetarian Moussaka recipe:
On the weekends, my husband and I love getting into the kitchen to whip up something yummy for dinner, and this vegetarian moussaka is one of our favourites. It might not be the quickest dish to get on the table, but the taste certainly makes the effort worthwhile! Plus it’s filling, and pretty health to boot :)
3 large eggplants
3 Tbsp salt
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice
1 tsp dried oregano
3 tomatoes, diced
400g can brown lentils, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup vegetable stock salt and pepper to taste
4 Tbsp bread crumbs
*The recipe also calls for 6-8 button mushrooms, but I’m not a big mushroom fan, so I just left them out.
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
1 ½ cups milk
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 180°C. Remove ends from eggplants and slice into 1cm thick rounds. Lay rounds out on a large tray, sprinkle each side of eggplant with salt, and let sit for 20-30 minutes. This will draw out any bitter juices and excess liquid. Rinse, pat dry with a paper towel and place eggplant on an oven tray lined with baking paper.
Using 3 tablespoons of oil, brush both sides of each round of eggplant and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until soft and golden brown.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan and cook onion and garlic until clear. Cook mushrooms now if you’re using them. Add cinnamon, allspice, oregano, tomatoes and lentils and stir to combine. Add tomato paste, vegetable stock, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid has been reduced.
Prepare the white sauce by melting butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add flour and stir until mixture becomes frothy. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking as you go. Bring to a boil, and whisk as mixture thickens. Remove from heat, stir in cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Now you’re ready to start assembling!
I decided to make mine individual-serve moussaka by using 4 small bowls, but you can also use one 30 x 20 x 6cm casserole dish.
Take your bowls, grease with butter and spread a thin layer of bread crumbs across the bottom. Top with a single layer of eggplant, followed by a layer of sauce. Continue layering eggplant and sauce until you run out, or are near the top (finish with sauce). I ended up getting 3 layers of eggplant and sauce in each small bowl (if using a large dish, do just 2 layers).
Pour the white sauce on top and smooth out with a clean spoon. Sprinkle with bread crumbs (I also shaved some parmesan on top) and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until golden.
This is a great dish to make ahead of time, and just put it in the oven when dinner time rolls around!