We’ve had a bit of a meaty week or two and after a while I get to the point where I need a vegetarian break for a day or so. I do however have no qualms in my carnivorous leanings so will happily add meat products like stock cubes to many of my vegetarian dishes when I’m not feeding anyone who is properly veggie. This one is likely to be shared with my niece who is a vegetarian nurse, currently in isolation from this awful thing, so this time mine has vegetable bouillon but I think it tastes better with lamb stock cubes!
I remember making moussaka years ago and salting the aubergines in order to draw out the liquid in them for half an hour before cooking them. I’ve not done that or seen anyone else do it for many years though – are aubergines now grown in a way that makes them less bitter or was it always unnecessary? These aubergines had been destined for baba ghanoush but somehow with so much to do whilst in lockdown I didn’t get round to it! I did however come across a new word which definitely fits with me currently – procrastibaking!
I had a bag of Quorn mince in the freezer which has been there for a while so thought we’d better use it up but have made this with soya mince too and it was just as good. Whilst I used carrots and lentils in this version, I have previously added red peppers and mushrooms too which turned out pretty well. It’s good with small, new potatoes, cooked and sliced in it too but that’s too carb heavy for us.
This makes enough for eight good adult sized portions.
3 smallish aubergines or two large ones
50ml olive oil
1 onion, chopped finely
4 fat garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
1 large or two smaller carrots – chopped very finely (see picture below)
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
500g frozen Quorn mince
1/2 teaspoon rosemary, chopped finely
1 teaspoon of Baharat spice mix
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons mixed herbs
3 vegetable stock cubes
1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 cup white vermouth
2 tablespoons sun dried tomato puree
For the topping
200g block feta
400g sour cream
1 cup finely grated Parmesan
- Preheat the oven to 180C
- Slice the aubergines into 2cm thick rounds and lay out on a baking tray
- With a pastry brush, brush the aubergine with the olive oil and then bake in the oven for 20 minutes
- Whilst those are baking, put the remaining olive oil into a large pan over a medium heat and fry together the onion, carrot, celery and garlic for ten minutes
- Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer and leave to continue cooking
- Once the aubergines have been in the oven for twenty minutes check that they are golden and if so, remove them from the oven. If not keep them in for another five minutes.
- Once the aubergine is cooked, remove from the oven and lay in the bottom of a deep lasagne dish. Leave the oven on.
- Crumble the feta into a bowl, add in the sour cream and eggs and whisk thoroughly. The custard will become quite thin but don’t worry – that’s how it’s meant to be.
- Test the Quorn sauce mixture to check the carrot and lentils are cooked through and as long as they are, tip it over the aubergines and spread out evenly.
- Pour the sour cream custard over and then cover with the Parmesan and season with black pepper
- Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until golden on top
- Remove, slice and serve.