Red lentil and aubergine mousakka

Vegetarian mousakka

Vegetarian mousakka

After a delicious meal at Ezo’s Turkish Restaurant last weekend, I decided to have a go at making mousakka myself. This new take on the classic recipe uses red lentils and aubergines. In total, it takes about an hour, but it’s well worth it!

Preparation time: 30 mins

Cooking time: 30 mins

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

For the filling:

  • 1 aubergine, sliced into thin circles
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 100g red lentils, cooked according to packet instructions
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  •  Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the topping:

  • 125g ricotta
  • 125g Greek yoghurt
  • 3 eggs
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 50g freshly grated parmesan

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Toss the aubergine slices in olive oil, then drain and season to taste.
  3. Fry the aubergine slices until golden-brown on both sides.
  4. Add the onion, pepper and garlic to the pan and fry until softened.
  5. Stir in the tomato purée and continue to fry for a further 5 minutes.
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes and cinnamon stick and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the lentils and fried aubergines to the mixture. Simmer until warmed through.
  8. Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
  9. For the topping, beat together the ricotta, Greek yoghurt, eggs and grated nutmeg in a bowl. Season, to taste.
  10. Pour the topping mixture into the ovenproof dish on top of the filling. Sprinkle over the grated parmesan.
  11. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the topping is golden-brown. Serve immediately.

Yummy!

Photo: Candice Eisner

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Red lentil, chickpea and chilli soup

Red lentil, chickpea and chilli soup

Red lentil, chickpea and chilli soup

It’s so comforting to snuggle up with a nice, warm bowl of soup and some fresh, crusty bread in the winter, as you listen to the rain pouring down outside. This is one of my favourite recipes.

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 25 mins

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 140g red split lentils
  • 850ml vegetable stock
  • 400g tinned tomatoes
  • 200g chickpeas
  • A small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped (save a few leaves to serve)
  • 4 tbsp Greek yogurt, to serve

 Method:

  1. Heat a large saucepan and dry-fry the cumin seeds and chilli flakes for about a minute.
  2. Add the oil and onion and cook for 5 mins.
  3. Stir in the lentils, stock and tomatoes, then bring to the boil.
  4. Simmer for 15 mins, until the lentils have softened.
  5. Blend in a food processor to create a rough purée.
  6. Pour back into the pan and add the chickpeas.
  7. Heat gently, season well and stir in the coriander.
  8. Finish with a spoon of yogurt and sprinkle the remaining coriander leaves on top to serve.

Now snuggle up and enjoy…

Photo: dejahthoris