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Spiced Lentil and Tomato Moussaka

Serves 6
6 tablespoons olive oil                           CHEESE SAUCE
2 large onions, roughly chopped              50g (2 oz) butter
3 large garlic cloves, crushed                 50g (2 oz) plain flour
2 large red peppers, seeded and             600ml (1 pint) milk
   chopped into large pieces                    225g (8 oz) mature Cheddar, grated
225g (8 oz) dried Puy lentils                  2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes             freshly grated nutmeg to taste
300ml (½ pint) vegetable stock                        
1-2 tablespoons mango chutney
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large aubergines, thickly sliced,
   about 5mm (¼ in)

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas6, and lightly grease a large, shallow, ovenproof dish, about 25 x 33cm (10 x13 in).

1       Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan.  Add the onions, garlic and peppers and cook gently for about 4-5 minutes until beginning to soften.

2       Add the lentils, tomatoes, vegetable stock, mango chutney and seasoning.  Cover and simmer for about 40-60 minutes or until the lentils are cooked.  Check the seasoning.

3       Brush the sliced aubergines with the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Arrange in a single layer (you may have to do this in batches) on a baking sheet and place under a hot grill for about 2-3 minutes each side, until the slices are golden brown.

4       Next make the cheese sauce.  Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, take off the heat and stir in the flour.  Return to a low heat, stirring for 2-3 minutes, then again remove from the heat and gradually add the milk.  Bring up to the boil, stirring, and simmer for about 2 minutes.  Add 175g (6 oz) of the cheese, the mustard, nutmeg and some salt and pepper.

5       To assemble the moussaka, spoon half of the lentil mixture into the dish, cover with half of the cheese sauce and arrange half of the aubergine slices on top.  Repeat with the remaining lentil mixture, cheese sauce and aubergine.  Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top of the aubergine.

6       Cook in the oven for about 30-40 minutes or until golden on top and piping hot.  Serve with crusty bread and a fresh green salad.

cook now, eat later

Assemble the moussaka as in step 5, but don’t cook in the oven yet.  Cool, cover and keep in the fridge for up to 1 day.  Cook from room temperature in the oven at the same temperature as above for 40-50 minutes until golden on top and piping hot right through.

Cover and freeze the assembled, but not oven-cooked, moussaka for up to 3 months.  Thaw overnight in the fridge.  Cook as above.

Recipe From Mary Berry’s Book
’Cook now, Eat Later’

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