The eggplant – a vegetable as versatile and tasty as, say, the potato but better for you and in my opinion, even more delicious. Especially when bubbling away in my oven as we speak after being morphed into a moussaka. YUM!
Now, I’ve never really cooked moussaka before, but after recently receiving the Gwinganna…From the Garden to Gourmet cookbook (which you MUST to get your hands on) it occurred to me that this needs to change. Immediately.
So it has, with me now readying myself for a dinner fit for Donna Hay. Or Jamie Oliver. Or even Carlo Petrini, the dude who founded the Slow Food Movement, because Happies, eggplants are currently in season, so now is the perfect time for this classic dish.
Due to me being impatient and having nothing to show you visually, here’s a picture google prepared earlier, just so you get the gist…
And the close-up…
And here’s what you need to do to serve 5 very happy people…
Soak 1 cup of green lentils for about 2-3 hours. While you’re doing that, prepare the vegetables by cutting 1 large eggplant and 1.5 large sweet potatoes into 1cm thick slices.
Now, sprinkle the eggplant with salt and leave it to sweat for 20-30 minutes. Grab 2 medium zucchinis while you wait and cut them thinly, too. Rinse and dry the eggplant and place all three vegetables into the oven to pre-bake and soften. While you’re there, chuck 500g of ripe tomatoes, 1 medium onion and 1-2 cloves of garlic into the tray for your tomato sauce.
Fast-forward 2-3 hours and it’s time to get everything assembled. So, rinse and boil your green lentils and rinse and boil 1 cup of quinoa. While that’s happening, pop on your tomato sauce by grabbing those pre-roasted tomatoes, onion and garlic and chucking them into a pot. Add sea salt, pepper, oregano and basil to taste, plus 1-2 bay leaves and a sprig of rosemary for added zing, before filling up sauce with 1/2 cup of water. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, blend in a food processor and you’re good to go.
Now, all you have to do is throw everything together. So grab a large baking tray and layer your ingredients, starting with the sweet potato and finishing with a layer of eggplant (i.e. sweet potato, quinoa, lentils, tomato, zucchini, eggplant and so on and so on…). To serve, add some wilted English Spinach to the bottom of the plate, before laying down your moussaka, pouring over some more tomato sauce and drizzling some pesto over the top. Mmmm, tasty!
Well Happies, I’m off to pull my moussaka out of the oven, but in the meantime tell me…
Have you seen the Gwinganna cookbook?
Have you made moussaka?
Do you want to?