Taken from ‘Winter Inspiration‘: 6 seasonal dishes that I hope will inspire you to celebrate some of this season’s delights.
Cooked in households and tavernas all over Greece, this is pure comfort heart-warming family food. My simple version with extra vegetables has a few easy cheats: baking the aubergines instead of frying makes it healthier and faster, and this feta sauce topping works brilliantly (just check that the feta is made with sheep and/or goats milk if you are dairy free).
You’ll Need (Serves 6)
You will need a baking dish roughly 25cm x 30cm
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 5 garlic, finely chopped
- 1 grated carrot, grated
- 3 sticks of celery, finely diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 500 lamb mince
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- pinch of salt
- a few grinds of pepper
- 2 tins tomatoes (or 800g fresh chopped)
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 aubergine
- olive oil for brushing
- 200g feta
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
- 280 nut-milk, I used almond
- a grating of nutmeg
- In a heavy bottomed pan, sauté the onions, garlic, carrot and celery for 6-8 minutes, removed from the pan and set aside. Add the mince to the pan, stirring to break up any lumps. When it has all browned return the vegetables to the pan. Add seasoning and tomato puree, cook for 2 mins, then add the tomatoes, oregano and cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat cook at a slow simmer for 30 – 40 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce is thickened.
- Heat the oven to 180 fan. Slice the aubergines lengthways, pound coin thick. Lay on a baking tray and brush lightly with olive oil on both sides. Bake for 20 minutes.
- In a blender or food processor, blend the feta, egg, arrowroot, nut milk and nutmeg together. Pour this into a small saucepan and heat, stirring constantly (don’t take your eye off this or it will go lumpy) until it begins to thicken, removing from the heat just before it begins to boil. Set aside in a bowl ready to assemble.
- To assemble the moussaka, put a third of the mince sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Layer the aubergines, then 1/3 of sauce, and so on, you should get 3 layers of aubergine and sauce. Top with the feta sauce and bake for 45 minutes.
- Leave to stand for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
Image credit: Emma Godwin