A little bit of preparation is needed to make this rich and creamy moussaka from Katy Holder’s Slow Cooker Vegetarian. However, once it’s in the slow cooker you can leave it for several hours to cook away.
Pick through the lentils to remove any small stones that might still be present. Put the lentils in a saucepan of cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes, then drain.
Meanwhile, preheat a grill (broiler) to high and line a large baking sheet with foil. Lightly brush the eggplant with oil, season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and grill for 5 minutes each side until golden. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium–high heat. Cook the onion, garlic, mushrooms, oregano, parsley and cinnamon for about 8 minutes until the onion is soft. Stir in the passata and lentils, then season and set aside.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute, then gradually whisk in the milk. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens. Season to taste, then remove from the heat and whisk in the egg.
Lightly grease the slow cooker. Cover the base with a third of the eggplant slices, then spread over half the lentil mixture. Repeat the layers, finishing with eggplant. Pour over the sauce and scatter with the cheese, then cook on low for 4 hours. If there is still a fair amount of liquid around the edges, remove the lid and leave to cook for a further 20–30 minutes.
Serve with parsley and rocket leaves.
Images and recipe from Slow Cooker Vegetarian by Katy Holder, Murdoch Books, RRP $29.99 Photography by Alan Benson.
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