One of my favorite restaurants to visit is a Greek restaurant. I love the Mediterranean spices, and the hint of the orient. It is one of the few types of restaurant where I can choose tasty freshly grilled meats as well as seafood, or a jummy slow cooked lamb stew. I am also partial to their yummy yoghurt sauce, tzatziki!
I have always loved Greece’s answer to the lasagna: the moussaka! Recently it occurred to me that I could easily turn this recipe into a vegetarian dish. My meat loving husband was nearly finished with his dinner when he realized there was no meat in his food. He had enjoyed the texture and flavor too much to notice what was missing.
On the practical side of things, this recipe has plenty of upsides too. I made the actual dish a day in advance. The next day I baked the moussaka, which made for a nice fuss free evening for me and my toddler. This dish will definitely be on a family favorite list for a while.
- 1 tin of depuy lentils ( 310 gram )
- 1 tin of diced tomatoes ( 400 gram )
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp mint
- 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 large union, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
- 1 glass of white wine
- Half cube of vegetable stock
- 1 aubergine in slices
- 3 medium large potatoes
- Topping (you substitute this with bechamel sauce, this is my lazy cheat version):
- 2 tbsp cream cheese
- 1 tub of cottage cheese ( 200 gram )
- 150 gram of grated cheese
You will need an ovenproof dish, I used one of 27 by 18 cm.
- Before you do anything else. Boil your potatoes until they are soft.
- Prepare the sauce;
- Fry your union in some olive oil until soft.
- Stir in the garlic, paprika, cumin and thyme. Add the wine and let it simmer for a few minutes.
- Stir in the rest of the sauce ingredients.
- Bring the sauce to a light simmer. Leave it to simmer for about an hour.
- While the sauce is simmering, prepare your other ingredients;
- Slice the aubergine length ways. Drizzle the slices with olive oil and generously season with salt and pepper. Fry the slices in a griddle pan on each side.
- Let your potatoes cool, then slice them.
- Wilt the spinach down in some oil in a really hot pan. Let the spinach cool and slice it roughly. The spinach needs to cool in a collinder now. Drain as much of moisture out as you possibly can.
- Mix your topping ingredients.
- When all your components are ready, you can layer your moussaka in an oven proof dish:
- One layer of sauce
- One layer of spinach
- One layer of potatoe slices, don’t forget to season these.
- One layer of sauce
- One layer of aubergine
- Spread out your topping
- Sprinkle with the grated cheese
- Season with some freshly ground pepper
- (You can keep the dish overnight before this step) Bake the moussaka in a 220 degree C oven for about 30 minutes until bubbly and golden.
- Let your moussaka stand for 5 minutes before serving.