Lentil, Aubergine and Tomato Moussaka

Caroline Marson, Banbury
20 - 30 mins

This delicious vegetarian dish is a great one to have on standby in the freezer and is a good vegetarian option for the main Christmas meal. Serve with garlic bread and crispy green salad.

2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 red peppers, deseeded and chopped into large pieces
2 tablespoon tomato puree
2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 herbs
225g dried puy lentils
3 x 400g canned chopped tomatoes
300ml stock
Black pepper
3 large aubergines, thickly sliced
4 tablespoon olive oil
For the cheese sauce
560ml natural yoghurt
225g cottage cheese
2 eggs
175g hard cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) mark 6. Heat about 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onions, garlic, peppers and cook gently for about 10 minutes or until just golden brown.
Add the lentils, herbs, tomato puree, tomato ketchup and toss around the pan for a couple of minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and remove any scum from the lentils that comes to the surface. Simmer for about 50 - 1 hour minutes or until the lentils are cooked, remove the bay leaf.
Meanwhile, preheat the grill. Brush the aubergine slices with the remaining olive oil and season. Cook the aubergine in batches until tender, soft and golden brown about 10 minutes on each side.
Beat together the eggs and yoghurt with the cottage cheese and grated hard cheese.
To assemble the Moussaka, spoon half the lentil mixture into a large dish about 25 x 33cm. Cover with half the aubergine slices then spoon over half the cheese sauce mixture. Repeat with the remaining lentil mixture, aubergine slices and cheese sauce.
Cook in the oven for about 30-40 minutes or until golden on top and piping hot.
To freeze:Complete up to the end of step 5, cool, cover, label and freeze the assembled dish for up to 3 months. To use: Thaw overnight in the fridge, Reheat in the oven at 200C (400F) mark 6 and cook as above.