The famous Greek dish Moussaka is often likened to its Italian cousin, the lasagne. But this pasta free dish won't leave you hungry. Thick and velvety slices of roasted aubergine layered between a mixture of lentils, tomatoes, and warming spices, topped with lashings of creamy béchamel.
3 large aubergines
Olive oil to brush the aubergine
2 large red onions
4 large cloves of garlic
2 tbsp tomato purée
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp dried mint
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Pinch of chilli flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup roughly chopped sun-dried tomatoes
5 blitzed / finely chopped chestnut mushrooms
250g ready-cooked puy lentils
250g tinned green lentils
1/2 cup minced walnuts
250ml vegan red wine
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 Bay leaf
3 Tbsp margarine / vegan butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
500ml plant milk
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
Dash of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
Slice the aubergines into half-inch rounds, sprinkle each one with salt and leave in a colander for 30 minutes, this will help draw out any of the bitter liquid from them.
Rinse the aubergine slices under water and pat dry, brush with olive oil on each side, and place into a griddle pan over medium heat. After a few minutes flip the aubergines over and grill the other side. Feel free to add a little more oil if the slices appear dry. Once all the slices are grilled set aside.
In a blender blitz the walnuts until they are coarsely ground, set aside, and pulse the chestnut mushrooms a few times. These mixed together with the walnuts and lentils will act as your 'mince' found in the traditional dish. If you don't like walnuts, it's fine to omit these.
In a heavy bottom pan, sauté the onion for 5 minutes or until translucent, add the minced garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the spices and the tomato purée and stir everything together. Add the blitzed mushrooms, lentils, and walnuts and mix together. Add the red wine and cook off the alcohol for around 2 mins. Add the bay leaf, chopped sundried tomatoes, and the tinned tomatoes. Simmer for 20 minutes or so to cook out the liquid. Having a drier filling means it will hold its shape better when serving.
To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add the flour gradually, whisk until there are no lumps, and you are left with a smooth paste. Gradually add a little milk and whisk into the mixture, once the mixture thickens, add a little more milk. Repeat the process until all of the milk has been added. Then, add the nutritional yeast, the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble the moussaka, add one layer of the grilled aubergine to a deep ovenproof dish and top with half the moussaka 'mince' mixture. Layer the remaining aubergine and the remaining moussaka mixture and to the top, pour over your béchamel. Sprinkle with a little dried parsley and bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes at 200c or until the top is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 15 minutes before serving. Serve with a simple Greek salad of tomatoes, red onion, red pepper, cucumber, and olives.
Thank you for taking the time to read this recipe, if you do make it please tag me on Instagram 📸 at @hannahsbitchinkitchen or @HBKonline on Facebook!
Looking for my Epic Lasagne recipe? It's right here - Epic Lasagne 🌱