Ingredients: 6 medium aubergines 500g tomatoes (chopped) 800g potatoes (peeled) 750ml milk 50g hard cheese 2 cloves of garlic 2 sprigs rosemary and sage 2 medium onions olive oil dried oregano 4 bay leaves 5 black peppercorns 250ml red wine 100g dried brown lentils 2 x 400g tins of chickpeas 75 g butter 75 g plain flour 50 g feta cheese sea salt and freshly ground pepper
*Look for bold ingredients at the market.
Serve with: Greek Feta Salad Use tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, green pepper, black olives, feta cheese, red wine vinegar, olive oil, dried oregano and sea salt.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Finely slice the onions and garlic, then add to a large pan over a medium heat with a good lug of olive oil, the herbs and 1 teaspoon of oregano. Add the chopped tomatoes, cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.
Turn the heat up to high, then add the wine and allow to bubble and boil away. Stir in the chickpeas (juice and all), lentils and 2 bay leaves. Season and gently bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for around 1 hour, or until thickened and reduced, stirring occasionally and breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon.
Meanwhile, peel the aubergines with a speed-peeler, leaving a little of the skin to create a stripy effect, then slice into rounds, roughly 1cm thick. Sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and leave aside to soak. Meanwhile, slice the potatoes into rough 1cm rounds, then parboil in a pan of boiling salted water for around 5 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry, then place into a large roasting tray (roughly 30cm x 40cm). Season, drizzle with oil and scatter over 1 heaped tablespoon dried oregano, then toss to coat and spread out into an even layer. Place in the hot oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden and tender. Meanwhile, rinse the aubergines and pat dry with kitchen paper, then spread out into another large roasting tray. Drizzle with oil, then season with pepper and oregano and bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
Warm the milk with the remaining bay leaves and the peppercorns in a medium pan over a medium-low heat – you don’t want it to boil, so keep an eye it. Once hot, strain into a jug, then wipe the pan and return it to a medium heat. Add the butter and allow to melt, then stir in the flour to form a paste. Start adding the hot milk, a splash at a time, stirring in each before adding the next. Once all the milk has been added and you have a smooth and creamy sauce, crumble in one-third of the feta and grate in one-third of the hard cheese, then simmer over a low heat for a further 5 minutes, or until thick and smooth. Leave the béchamel aside to cool slightly.
To assemble your moussaka, spoon half the tomato and lentil sauce over the tray of roast potatoes and layer half the aubergines on top, then repeat with the remaining sauce and aubergines. Whisk the egg yolks into the béchamel sauce, then gently pour onto the aubergines in an even layer. Crumble and grate the remaining cheese on top, followed by a drizzle of oil, then place in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. Leave to cool for around 30 minutes while preparing the Greek salad.