Moussaka is one of the many dishes I like. Apparently it's made in many Mediterranean countries, each with a slight variation. I've always related to it as Greek. However, despite the variations, the main ingredients remain the same- a vegetable, usually aubergine, minced lamb (or beef) and a custard-like topping which can be a Bechamel sauce, sour cream or plain yogurt flavoured with cheese, and egg beaten into the mixture to give the characteristic texture. It's also a dish which makes aubergines tastier.
Before ovenI made one the other night for dinner which had no minced meat in it, it was a"Vegetable Moussaka". It tasted great, the combination of herbs, vegetables, lentils and white sauce was just delish!
Now it's cooked!Here is the recipe:
3 medium aubergines/eggplants, cut into 5mm slices
2 Tbsp olive oil, extra
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 carrot, diced
400g canned diced tomatoes
400g canned lentils, drained
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried tarragon
2 Tbsp breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp plain flour
2 cups milk
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
2 egg yolks
1. Cook aubergine slices in a large frypan until lightly browned. Meanwhile, heat extra olive oil in a saucepan, add onion, garlic, celery and carrot.
2. Cook stirring for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, lentils, tomato paste and dried herbs. Cook for a further 10 minutes.
3. For white sauce, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Gradually add milk, stirring continuously, until sauce is thick and smooth. Add cheese and stir until melted through.
4. Remove from heat and add egg yolks. Line a greased 23cmx15cm baking dish with 1/3 of the aubergines, top with half the vegetables, then half the remaining aubergines, followed by vegetables, then remaining aubergines. Top with white sauce and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake in oven at 180C for 40 minutes. Serves 8.For those who might be curious about the book "Ottoline and the Yellow Cat", here are some of the illustrated pages which I was raving about. It has a sense of humour as well. Click on pictures to view larger if you want to have a read. Or simply go to www.panmacmillan.com/chrisriddell for more.
Make sure you have a great weekend, my dear friends and here are some blushing pinkiest flowers to lift your spirit.