Friday, August 19, 2011

Vegetarian Moussaka

Vegetable Moussaka

Serves 6

1 lb. eggplant, sliced (peeled if desired)
4 oz whole green lentils
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp olive oil, extra for frying
1 onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
8 oz mushrooms, sliced (optional)
14 oz can chickpeas, rinsed, drained, & chopped in a food processor until about 1/4 of the size
14 oz can chopped tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes, cut an X into the bottom of the tomato and drop into boiling water for 30-1 minute depending on ripeness of tomato, remove from water, slip off skin, squeeze out seeds $ water, & chop)
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp herbes de Provence, dried, or fresh basil, thyme, marjoram, & oregano, chopped
1 1/4 cup plain yogurt
3 eggs
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese, preferably aged
salt and freshly ground pepper

Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and place in a colander. Let sit for 30 minutes to let the bitter juices drain.
Place the lentils, stock, and bay leaf in a saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are just tender but not mushy. Drain thoroughly and set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan, add the onion & garlic, cooking and stirring for 5 minutes. Stir in the lentils, mushrooms, chickpeas, tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs and 3 tbsp water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Rinse eggplant slices, drain, and pat dry, Heat remaining oil in frying pan and cook slices in batches for 3-4 minutes, turning once so both sides are browned. You may need to add more oil when you remove the first batch of eggplant.
Beat the yogurt, eggs, and salt and pepper together. Season the lentil mixture with salt and pepper, Arrange a layer of eggplant slices in the bottom of a large, shallow, oven proof dish or roasting pan, then spoon a layer of the lentil mixture on top. Pour 1/4 of the yogurt mixture over the lentil mixture and spread over entire layer. Repeat layers of eggplant, lentil, and yogurt mixtures until all are used up. Top with cheddar cheese and bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is golden.


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With a degree in Restaurant Managment and Nutrition and a background in and love of the culinary arts, Jess is able to whip up delicious yet nutritious meals. She gardens extensively and uses what she grows to feed her family not only during the summer and fall but throughout the winter and spring by preserving and freezing the fresh produce. She is committed to growing, buying, and eating as much local food as possible. She started this blog to spread information about eating locally and its benefits. She also wanted to have a forum to share the recipes she uses and the stories she writes. She would love the opportunity to be able to share this knowledge to increase the amount of people using local and organic products.
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