Vegetarian borlotti bean moussaka

The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook
The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook

Another one from a cookbook I haven’t used for years – The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook.  The beans will counteract any unhealthyness in the vegetarian parmesan-style cheese (which I get in a block from Sainsburys, much nicer than the tasteless stuff in a pot), won’t it?  This went down so well with The Meat Eater that he went back for seconds.  Or it might have just been that I didn’t give him enough in the first place.

It says to use dried borlotti beans and soak them overnight, rinse, drain and simmer for 1.5 hours but that sounded like too much faff for me so I used a tin, also I didn’t sprinkle the aubergine slices with salt and set aside for 30 minutes (I never do the salting of aubergine thing).  If you are going to do all this, you’d better take a day off work, as the sauce needs to simmer for40 minutes and it needs to bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes, so it’s not a meal that can be rustled up quickly.

Borlotti bean moussaka
Borlotti bean moussaka

Borlotti bean moussaka (serves 6)
Preparation time: 45 minutes + overnight soaking
Total cooking time 2¼ – 2½ hours

250 g (8oz) dried borlotti beans
2 large aubergines, sliced
one-third cup (80 ml/2¾ fl oz) olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped
125 g (4 oz) button mushrooms, sliced
2 x 440 g (14 oz) cans peeled tomatoes, chopped
1 cup (250 ml/8 fl oz) red wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 cup (250 g/8 oz) natural yoghurt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups (500 ml/16 fl oz) milk
¼ teaspoon ground paprika
½ cup (50 g/1 & two-thirds oz) freshly grated vegetarian parmesan cheese
½ cup (40 g/1 & one-third oz) fresh breadcrumbs

  1. Soak the borlotti beans in cold water overnight; rinse and drain well
  2. Place the borlotti beans into a large heavy-based pan, cover with water and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 1½ hours or until tender; drain
  3. Meanwhile, sprinkle the aubergine slices with salt and set aside for 30 minutes.  Rinse and pat dry.  Brush the aubergine slices with a little of the oil and cook under a preheated grill for 3 minutes on each side or until golden.  Drain on paper towels
  4. Preheat the oven to moderately hot 200C (400F/Gas 6).  Heat the remaining oil in a large heavy-based pan; add the garlic and onion and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes or until the onion is golden.  Add mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes or until browned.  Stir in the tomatoes, wine, tomato paste and oregano; bring to the boil; reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes or until sauce has thickened
  5. To assemble moussaka:  Spoon theborlotti beans into a large, ovenproof dish, top with tomato sauce and eggplant slices
  6. To make topping:  Place the yoghurt, eggs, milk and paprika into a jug and whisk to combine.  Pour over the aubergine and set aside for 10 minutes.  Combine the vegetarian parmesan and breadcrumbs in a bowl.  Sprinkle over the moussaka.  Bake for 45-60 minutes or until the moussaka is heated through and top is golden.
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