This recipe was a big hit at our Summer Solstice Supper Club in June 2021. It’s a vegetarian adaption of a recipe in the gloriously summery and brilliant cookbook, Taverna by Georgina Haydon.
So many supper club guests requested the recipe over the solstice weekend, we thought we should put it online for everyone to recreate at home. This recipe does take a wee bit of time so we recommend making extra and putting a moussaka or two in the freezer (before the final bake) for future, super-simple delicious dinners.
Serves 6-8 as a main (fills a 25cm x 30cm baking tray / oven proof dish)
700g waxy potatoes, washed (and peeled if the skin is thick)
Salt and black pepper
250g green lentils
2 bay leaves
4 garlic cloves
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons tomato puree
200ml red wine
400g tinned tomatoes
85g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
75g parmesan or pecorino (we used Kells Bay)
Nutmeg, freshly grated
250g ricotta (we think Toons Bridge ricotta is the best!)
Preheat your oven to 180°C. Cut the potatoes and aubergine into ½ cm thick rounds and lay out everything on baking trays (it doesn’t matter if there is a bit of overlapping). Brush both sides with olive oil and season well. Roast for about 35 minutes in the oven until golden.
Put the lentils in a pan of water with the bay leaf and bring to the boil. Simmer for about half an hour until the lentils are cooked through, but still have a little bite.
Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic. Pour a couple of tablespoons of oil into a large pan over a medium-low heat. Once the oil is warm add the onions and garlic (with a pinch of salt) and cook gently for 15 minutes until starting to soften. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the cinnamon and oregano and tomato puree and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add the wine and let everything simmer away for a couple of minutes until the wine is reduced by about half. Then add the tinned tomatoes and bay leaf. Season well and allow to simmer away on a low heat for about half an hour. About 10 minutes before the end of cooking add the cooked lentils.
Warm the milk in the microwave or a pan. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat, once melted add the flour and baking powder and stir well to form a paste (or a roux). Then slowly add the milk, whisking as you add it. Allow the mixture to slowly thicken over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until it coats the back of a spoon. Grate in half the cheese, lots of nutmeg and season to taste.
Layer up the moussaka in a baking tray. Lay out 1/3 of the veg in the bottom of the tray, add a layer of half of the lentil mixture, dot over half the ricotta and then another 1/3 of the veg on top. Add the rest of the lentils and ricotta and then the final layer of roasted veg. Whisk the eggs into the white sauce and pour it over the moussaka. Finally grate over the rest of the cheese.
Bake in a pre-heated oven (180°C) for 45 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving – this can be served just warm or at room temperature.
Photos by Sharon Cosgrove Photography from our Summer Solstice Supper Club, June 2021