lentil moussaka

Sorry – forgot the picture!  Using up: aubergine, some grated cheese

This turned into a bit of an epic, and was lovely.  I looked up some recipes, both on the interweb and in my copious collection of cookery books, but nothing seemed quite right, so I made it up as I went along.

I put some olive oil in our small Le Creuset casserole, while I chopped a large onion and some garlic.  Then I realised it would be *too* small so decanted the oil into the next size up. Sautéed the onion and garlic  until the edges started to brown.  Then I added half a sachet of “Egyptian spices”, which has been on the shelf for ages.  It consisted of cumin, coriander, ground hazelnuts (!) and some other stuff – easy enough to replicate.  Stirred that around a bit, then in went a mugful of puy lentils, a tin of chopped tomatoes, and a mugful of water (with which I swilled out the tomato tin first), and a sloosh of red wine.   Put the lid on, moved to the back on a low light.  A little later, when I thought of it, we added some thyme and rosemary from the herb garden.

Regarded the oil sticking to the small casserole, and decided that I couldn’t waste it.  So I chopped three potatoes into dice, boiled them for five minutes then fried them in the small casserole, with more olive oil.  That’s reactive!  Set them aside.

Sliced an aubergine into, um, slices, and Pete fried them in olive oil (we must have used a lot last night).  Set them to drain on kitchen paper.  Made a bechamel-style sauce, and added half the grated cheese; it was red leicester and gruyere, I think, and had been grated on Sunday night for the pasta bake, but we decided to use a mozzarella instead.

The lentils were done by now – I think they had about 45 minutes in all.  I put the potatoes into the lentil mix, then took a pyrex dish, and layered lentils / aubergine / cheese sauce twice, and scattered the remaining cheese over the top.  It had about 20 minutes at gas 6/200°, and then we ate it and it was divine.

Half the lentil mix went in the freezer for another day, so this would serve 4 quite hungry people.