Vegan

Vegan Moussaka

A vegan twist on a Classic Greek dish which celebrates the aubergine. Although it is traditionally made with potato, lamb, aubergine and a creamy bechamel, this recipe uses plant-based Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil and butternut squash- a deliciously sweet alternative that marries with the rich, tomato filling. This is a recipe that can be easily adapted to suit the season!
Serves: 4
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp Cirio tomato purée
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large aubergine, thinly sliced lengthways
  • 1 courgette, thinly sliced lengthways
  • 390g tin lentils, drained and rinses
  • 1-2 bay leaves

For the bechamel & topping:

  • 350g butternut squash, thinly sliced (using mandolin)
  • 25g plant-based butter or spread
  • 25g plain flour
  • 300ml cashew milk
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1 beef tomato, thinly sliced for decoration

Method:

  1. Lightly fry sliced aubergine and courgette in a wide, shallow pan using about 1 tsp Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Set these aside on a piece of kitchen towl once browned on each side.
  2. In a large pan, sauté the onion in 1 tbsp Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil until translucent. Add the crushed garlic, oregano and tomato purée and stir over a medium heat.
  3. Add lentils to onion mixture and fully incorporate before stirring through chopped tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and throw in a bay leaf while it simmers.
  4. Allow the lentil mixture to lightly simmer and reduce over a low heat with the lid off for about 20 mins. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C.
  5. In a smaller, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt your plant-based butter and stir in the flour gradually until it is a dough-like consistency. Gradually add the cashew and stir continuously over a low heat to create a silky bechamel. Season with salt, nutmeg and white pepper.
  1. Once the tomato and lentil mixture is rich, take it off the heat. Likewise, remove the bechamel from the heat to prevent burning.
  2. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and boil your butternut squashed for 5-7 minutes until softer.
  3. Begin assembly in an deep oven dish: start with a spoonful of lentil ragu and smear across the bottom. Next, place a layer of courgette and aubergine, followed by butternut squash slices. Repeat this process until you have run out of filling, courgette, aubergine and finish with a layer of squash on top.
  4. Smooth the bechamel over the top layer of squash, drizzle over some Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil and neatly arrange the thin slices of beef tomato.
  5. Sprinkle with black pepper and oregano and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until golden brown on top.

Cooks tips:

Enjoy this with a lovely, fresh rocket salad!