In need of something savoury

by Peachy Palate on November 23, 2012

I’ve been on a remake mission the past week…

Starting with the zucchini brownies, followed by the carrot cake and it seemed only fair to give something savoury a turn. My first experience with Moussaka was actually a vegan one as well as it being the first or possibly second time I whipped up a vegan béchamel sauce. Of course I was amazed with the success of my efforts and had thought it could possibly get any better.

As always, you move on, you make epic cheesy pumpkin and mushrooms lasagne’s and then you start to think how previous recipes could perhaps have been improved.

I had a tendency in the past to over do it, whether it was too many layers, trying to pack in WAY too many veggies and at the same time underdoing it on the sauce front – namely the topping when it came to savoury baked dishes, be it lasagne or in this case a Moussaka.

Cauliflower has become a firm favourite of late. I can’t get enough of it! Simply roasted it’s just awesome, dipped in my favourite Dijon mustard or sprinkled with curry powder. It’s been a while since I took the blender to it so I figured I’d give incorporating it in a white vegan béchamel sauce a go in the hope that it would make for the the ultimate thick and creamy topping for my Moussaka.

I toyed with the idea of dicing up the eggplant and stirring it through the lentils but at the last minute decided grilled eggplant slices seemed more appealing. Making such a dish for one can be a little bit tricky. I’m yet to find the perfect sized baking dish…they’re either two wide and not deep enough or just an odd shape or size in general.

For the Moussaka for one I simply used half of 2lb loaf tin! It was a generous portion but not overly so; just make sure you’re hungry before sitting down to dig in Smile To divide the loaf tin in two I used a piece of cardboard, wrapped in tinfoil and placed down the centre. If it’s not the perfect size simply squeeze a little extra tin foil down the side between the cardboard divider and loaf tin – it works a treat, a trick I learned from my mum!

Puy lentils in a rich tomato spiced sauce, layers of grilled eggplant and a cheesy creamy cauliflower topping! The end result was perfection personified (at least in my eyes and to my taste buds!) The topping was incredible. The cauliflower couldn’t be tasted, nor could any texture be distinguished. It was simply thick and luscious and packed full of goodness. Great way to get veggies in to kids – or the adults that haven’t quite taken to them in there later years.

I love when remakes work out for the better! Do you ever remake your favourite recipes and give them a bit of a twist?

Vegan Lentil Moussaka with Cauliflower “Cheese” Topping

Print this easy peasy recipe Print this easy peasy recipe

Servings – 1

Preparation Time – 5 minutes

Cooking Time – 40 minutes

Ingredients

Base Layers

  • 200g (7oz/ 1/2 can) cooked Puy lentils
  • 1/2 small eggplant sliced in to 8 rounds
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1/4 medium white onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cinnamon (depending how much you like cinnamon!)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) passata (sieved tomatoes)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • Fresh basil to garnish

For the Béchamel

  • 180ml (3/4 cup almond milk)
  • 1 heaped tsp cornstarch
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower finely chopped

Directions

Eggplant

  • Preheat grill to a medium heat.
  • Slice eggplant in to 1/4 inch thick slices (you will need 8 thin slices). Lay under the preheated grill and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side.

For the Béchamel

  • Place cauliflower in a steamer and cook for 4-5 minutes – alternatively cook in the microwave with a little water on high for 2-3 minutes. It needs to be nice and tender.
  • Blend together cauliflower with almond milk, nutritional yeast, nutmeg, cornstarch and Dijon mustard.
  • Place in a pot and bring to the boil over a medium head. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5-6 minutes until it begins to thicken up.
  • Set to once side.

For the Lentils

  • Add garlic and onion to a non stick skillet with a drop of water. Cook for 3-5 minutes until onion becomes translucent. Add in cooked Puy Lentils, tomato puree, passata and spices, bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 10 minutes until the sauce reduces and thickens up.
  • Season with salt and black pepper.

For the Moussaka

  • Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
  • Place a small amount of lentil sauce in the bottom of your chosen dish. Lay four pieces of eggplant across the bottom of the dish, overlapping at each edge.
  • Follow with 1/2 of lentil followed by four more slices of eggplant. Repeat once more. Pour cauliflower cheesy white sauce over the top.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Allow to cool for 5 – 10 minutes before serving. It’s also delicious served chilled if you don’t make it through the full portion!
  • Sprinkle with some fresh basil to serve.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Miss Polkadot November 23, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Oh my, I’m SO going to try this! I mean, those canned lentils must be hiding somewhere in this city, right? I’ll keep searching for them.

Reply

Peachy Palate November 23, 2012 at 9:51 pm

You could cook up some to make it, lentils don’t take as long as beans to cook and would definitely be worth it! :)

Reply

Miss Polkadot November 23, 2012 at 10:48 pm

I know they’re pretty fast-cooking but how much (dry weight) would I have to start with to get the amount needed :) ?

Reply

Peachy Palate November 24, 2012 at 9:25 am

I’d reckon 1/3 – 1/2 a cup; better to cook too much than not enough!

Reply

Anna @AnnaTheApple November 25, 2012 at 8:57 pm

At firsts thought this sounded really complicated but it’s actually not too tricky (I think!). I might give this a try sometime, sounds lovely :)

Reply

Peachy Palate November 26, 2012 at 10:05 am

Not at all honestly, I’m not in to tricky recipes! :)

Reply

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