Prep 0 mins
Cook 1 hr 15 mins
This takes a bit of effort to make but is worth it for a really nice veggie meal. We served it on Christmas Eve for all our friends.
- 150 g young spinach leaves
- 200 g lentils
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 8 medium mushrooms, quartered
- 1 (400 g) can chopped tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 750 g potatoes, peeled
- 2 large eggplants
- 50 g butter
- 50 g flour
- 500 ml milk
- 200 g ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 50 g grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons oil
- Boil spinach for one minute, drain and reserve the liquid.
- Put 450 ml of the water into a pan and add the lentils.
- Cover and cook over a medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tbs of oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion and garlic for about 10 minutes until soft and golden.
- Stir the mushrooms into the onions, increase the heat and season generously.
- Cook until juicy and darkened in colour.
- Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook briskly for 5 minutes until thickened but still quite liquid.
- Add the lentils and any cooking liquid, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon cumin.
- Simmer gently for a few minutes.
- Squeeze all the liquid out of the spinach and stir it into the pan.
- Add a little water if the stew seems too dry.
- Boil the potatoes in salted water, drain, cool slightly and slice lengthways.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 F or 200 degrees C.
- Trim the eggplant and slice lengthways about 1/2 cm thick.
- Smear a baking sheet with remaining oil, lay out the slices.
- Bake for 15 minutes, turn and cook the other side for a further 5 minutes until soft.
- Reduce the temperature to 360 F or 180 degrees C.
- Take a 2-litre capacity dish at least 5 cm deep and make a layer with half the potatoes, then half the eggplant, followed by the mushroom mixture, the rest of the eggplant and the rest of the potatoes.
- To make the topping, melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and gradually add the milk and bring it to the boil.
- Simmer for a few minutes, add the parmesan and the ricotta mixed with the egg.
- Remove from the heat, taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Pour the sauce over the moussaka and dust with nutmeg.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is set and golden.
I absolutely loved this. I wasn't sure about what type of lentils to use (red, green, puy?), but eventually ended up buying a pack of ready-to-eat puy lentils which required no prep or cooking and they worked brilliantly. I left out the mushrooms 'cos I hate those, but added some sliced courgettes which I oven cooked at same time as the eggplant. Will be making this again and again. And am hoping it'll freeze OK since it would be a nice 'comfort food' meal to have readily available.
My Greek husband was just telling he he missed Moussaka - we're vegetarian now. It was totally worth the effort. He said it was spot on. I will definitely be making this delicious dish again. Thank you!
Moussaka is a dish I have loved since I was a little kid - this vegetarian version is delicious!!