Ricotta, Lentil and Aubergine Moussaka

Ricotta, Lentil and Eggplant (Aubergine) Moussaka

Serves 4

For the eggplant (Aubergine):

3 eggplants (Aubergine), sliced 5mm lengthwise

3 tbsp flaky sea salt

2 tbsp oilve oil

·         Put eggplant slices in colander and sprinkle with salt, set aside for half an hour then pat slices dry with kitchen paper. Arrange on baking trays and brush with oil.

·         Preheat oven to 180˚C. Bake eggplant for 10 min until golden, set aside.

For the lentils:

100g green lentils

75ml olive oil

1 onion, finely diced

2 red capsicums, roasted, deseeded, peeled, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

200ml red wine

2 heaped tbsp tomato paste

400g vine ripened tomatoes, chopped

2 tbsp chopped parsley

·         Put lentils in a saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and drain. Return lentils to the pan, cover with 300ml fresh water and bring to a simmer for 15 mins until tender. Drain and reserve.

·         Heat oil in a large frying pan, add onion and fry gently for approx 7 mins or until translucent. Add capsicum and garlic, cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 mins.  Add wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add tomatoes and tomato paste, cook for further 15 mins or until mixture has thickened.

·         Stir in lentils and parsley, season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.


 

For the red capsicum puree:

1 red capsicum, roasted, deseeded, peeled

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tsp hot smoked paprika

¼ tsp cumin seeds, toasted, ground

50ml sherry vinegar

50 ml extra virgin olive oil

·         Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth.

For the bechamel and moussaka:

25g butter

25g flour

Pinch of nutmeg

250ml milk

200g ricotta

1 egg, lightly beaten

Olive oil for cooking

Micro herbs or green salad to serve

·         Preheat oven to 180˚C.

·         Melt butter in a small pan, add flour and nutmeg and cook for 2 mins, stirring constantly. When the mixture resembles a paste, slowly which in the milk, a little at a time, whisking continuously over low heat for 5 mins or until smooth and thick. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly then whisk in ricotta and egg. Season with salt and pepper.

·         Lightly oil 4x 10cm diameter rings (or 4 cups or ramekins) and put on a baking paper lined baking tray. Line rings with eggplant, leaving enough overhang to fold over the tops later. Divide lentil mix and bechamel among rings in 4 layers, finishing with bechamel, then fold eggplant over the top. Cover with foil, bake for 10 mins. Turn out, sprinkle with herbs and serve with puree.