I didn’t really feel like I should be calling this a moussaka, with it being vegan, but the flavours definitely have a nod to the Greek classic!
I guess with there being a meat free base, and a dairy and egg free topping, it should maybe be called moussaka, veganbungalow style… The first time I made moussaka, many moons ago, it was with a white sauce based topping, but as I researched more recipes over the years I changed to the type more like a savoury custard. So that’s what I’ve recreated here. Soy yoghurt and silken tofu blended with tapioca and flavourings sets up nicely and add a lovely richness.
Also, although aubergine (eggplant) are more well known in a moussaka, Alex would grumble furiously if I used them, so here I’ve gone for courgettes (zucchini). I actually prefer them!
The only oil in the recipe is drizzled on top to brown the courgettes, making it super healthy. To be honest though, that was mainly laziness, I didn’t want to wash up a frying pan…
Lentil and vegetable bake, moussaka style
makes 4 generous servings
for the lentil layer
1 carrot, grated (I used the food processor, as it’s also used for the creamy sauce)
2 sticks celery, grated
250 g mushrooms, chopped
100 g red lentils, rinsed
100 g green lentils, rinsed
1/4 tsp cinnamon or cassia (I’m not fond of a lot of cinnamon, feel free to add a little more if you like it)
2 tbsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried ramsons or 2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 tsp yeast extract (make sure it’s a gluten free one)
500 ml water
salt and pepper
for the vegetable layers
2 medium sized potatoes, quartered
3 medium sized courgettes, cut into 5 mm rounds
1 tbsp oil
for the savoury custard
250 ml unsweetened soy yoghurt
175 g silken tofu (half a standard tetra pack)
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp brown rice miso
2 tbsp tapioca flour
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c.
Put all of the ingredients for the lentil layer, apart from the salt and pepper, in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for around 25 minutes, uncovered, until the red lentils have disappeared into the sauce and the green lentils are tender.
Season to taste.
While the lentils are cooking, steam the potatoes and courgettes. The potatoes need to be tender, and the courgette slices starting to go bendy. Cook them separately, I used the microwave.
Whizz together the ingredients for the savoury custard in a food processor until smooth.
Slice the potatoes into 5 mm slices and place them in a layer in the bottom of an ovenproof casserole dish. I use a 20 cm round one (I also used this to cook the lentils, and then transferred them to a bowl for the layering).
Add the lentils next, and then a good thick layer of courgettes, use about 2/3 of them.
Next the savoury custard, and then arrange the last 1/3 of the courgettes prettily on top.
Drizzle with the oil. Bake for 20 minutes, and then flash under the grill for a few minutes to brown the top if you like.