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Lentil Moussaka II

Servings :
Preparation Time :
Difficulty : Easy 

This is from Scaravelli and Cohen's 'A Mediterranean Harvest.' They say it is 'better than the traditional one.' That's a tough claim to substantiate, but it is very good.

It re-heats pretty well and is especially good, in my opinion, with the bechamel mixed into the lentils (that's not the right word - it should retain its identity be be among the lentils). When I dont feel like messing around with eggplant I sometimes make the lentils by themselves, they are that good.

I fry the eggplant, but S&C recommend brushing it with oil and baking it. It had a much richer taste when done MY way.

Ingredients

1.5 lb eggplant

Lentils
4 tsp olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 finely chopped medium carrot
2 finely chopped cloves of garlic
2 tsp finely chopped parsley
1 cup lentils (brown or green, not red)
salt
pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 cups vegetable broth

Bechamel
2 tsp butter
2 tsp flour
1.25 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano *

Method

Lentils
1. Saute the onion, carrot, garlic and parsley in the oil until softened but not colored (about 5 minutes).

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer covered until the lentils are tender (about 30-40 minutes). Add water or broth during this time, if needed. When the lentils are done, all the liquid should be absorbed/boiled off.

3. Puree half the lentils and combine with the whole lentils.

Eggplant
1. Peel the eggplant and slice it .25 inches thick.

2. If you want to, salt it, let it drain 30 minutes, rinse it and dry it.

3. Fry the eggplant in olive oil until it is golden/reddish anbd drain it on paper towels
OR
3. Brush the eggplant with olive oil and broil or bake it until golden/reddish.

Bechamel
Make the bechamel, stirring in half the cheese when it is done. Keep warm. (Press a piece of plastic wrap on the surface to prevent it from getting a skin if it's going to sit.)

Moussaka
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F

2. If you didnt fry the eggplant, oil an 8x8-inch baking dish.

3. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with half of the eggplant.

4. Cover the eggplant with the lentils.

5. Cover the lentils with the rest of the eggplant.

6. Cover the eggplant with the bechamel.

7. Cover the bechamel with the remaining parmesan *.

8. Bake until light brown on top, 30-40 minutes.

9. Let rest 5-10 minutes.

Hints

* Traditional Parmesan is not exactly a vegetarian cheese, there are though a limited number of alternatives.





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