As a Greek I really love greek traditional cuisine. One of my favourite recipes is greek moussaka.
In order to prepare a traditional Greek Moussaka you will need some minced beef cooked in a tomato based sauce, layered with eggplants, potatoes and creamy béchamel sauce baked together until golden.
With this recipe you won’t get a traditional Greek Moussaka but an alternative moussaka based on a recipe that I have found in the book “Whole food, slow cooked”. The recipe was a pleasant surprise even if basic ingredients weren’t included. Olivia Andrews substitutes beef with mushrooms and potatoes with lentils, eggplants are still on (thank God).
160 gr brown lentils
- 1,2 kg eggplants cut into 5 mm slices
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
400 g portobello mushrooms, cut into 1 cm dice
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
700 g tomato passata
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped oregano
2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
100 g feta cheese, crumbled
- 50g butter
- 50 g all purpose flour
- 500 ml milk
- 1 egg
First preheat oven to 180ºC and start with boiling the lentils. Boil the lentils for 10 minutes, then drain.
Line a large baking sheet with foil, chop the eggplants and lightly brush them with oil, season well and place them in the over for 5 minutes each side until golden. Probably you will need to do this twice since you won’t be able to spread all the slices at once.
Prepare the rest of the vegetables and heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the onion, garlic, mushrooms, oregano and parsley for about 8 minutes until the onion is soft. Stir in tomato passata and lentils, then season and set aside.
Now you will have to prepare béchamel sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Make sure you beat out any lumps and season the sauce well. When the sauce is ready (béchamel sauce will be ready if it thickens) remove from the heat and whisk in the egg.
Cover the base of the baking dish with a third of the eggplant slices, then spread over half the lentil mixture. Repeat the layers, finishing with eggplants. Pour over the sauce and scatter with the feta cheese, then cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes to 180ºC. Carefully remove the foil, then return to the over for another 30 minutes.
Serve with some extra feta, enjoy!
Could Zorba missing from an almost greek traditional recipe? No.