Winter vegan moussaka

Rich, indulgent and extremely comforting, this vegan moussaka recipe replaces the meat with a flavourful lentil ragù. Topped with slices of fried aubergine and an almond-based béchamel, it's a great dish to prepare during the colder months of winter.

First published in 2020
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Ingredients

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Imperial

Spiced lentil ragù

Vegan béchamel

Method

1
Place the lentils in a small pan with the hot vegetable stock and place over a medium-high heat. Cook for 15 minutes
2
Meanwhile, add a splash of vegetable oil to a saucepan and sweat the onion, garlic and carrot with a pinch of salt until soft but not coloured (about 5 minutes)
3
Add the spices, tomato puree and harissa and stir for a minute or two, then add the tinned tomatoes
4
When the lentils are just cooked, add them to the pan of vegetables (including any remaining stock). Leave to simmer for 30 minutes or until the sauce has reduced down and is just clinging to the lentils
5
Meanwhile, slice the aubergine lengthways and fry in a dash of oil until golden on both sides (you will need to work in batches). Place the cooked slices on kitchen paper to drain, then season with salt and pepper
6
To make the béchamel, place the cashews in a pan and cover with the Rude Health Almond Drink. Add the bay leaves, cloves and nutmeg and gently simmer for 10 minutes – you want to soften the cashews and flavour the almond drink, not reduce the liquid
7
Strain the cashews, reserving the almond drink. Pick out the bay leaves and cloves and discard. Place the cashews in a blender and blend, slowly adding the almond drink back in to create a creamy sauce. You may not need all the liquid, so pour in slowly until you achieve the right consistency. Stir in the mustard and a dash of white wine vinegar, then taste and season with salt and pepper
8
Preheat an oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Mix the breadcrumbs with the lemon zest, chopped parsley and a pinch of salt
9
Now assemble the moussaka. Pour the spiced lentils into an ovenproof dish (discarding the cinnamon stick) and top with the sliced aubergine
10
Spoon over the béchamel and spread evenly. Top with the breadcrumbs and bake for 30 minutes, or until bubbling and crisp on top. Serve immediately
First published in 2020
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