This is a quick and healthy moussaka that can be made even if you have just come back from a walk in the country, as was the case this week. Eating blackberries on the way helped, of course!
It is not the recipe for a traditional moussaka and I replaced the lamb with bacon and did not use any cooking fat.
2 large aubergines
1 big onion, peeled and sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 small carrots, peeled
6 slices of back rashers smoked bacon
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
5 slices emmental cheese
A handful flat leaf parsley
1. Top and tail the aubergines and steam them in a pressure cooker, making sure they remain firm.
2. Meanwhile, whizz the bacon, onion, garlic, carrots and parsley and cook in a non-stick frying pan without any fat.
3. Slice the aubergines and place them in an oven-proof dish. Cover with a layer of the bacon mixture and sprinkle the parmesan on top.
4. Add another layer of aubergine slices and put the emmental slices on top. Put the dish in the oven at 180C for 20 minutes and serve with a green salad and a cool Pinot Grigio.
Tip: I tend to make a larger quantity of the bacon mixture which freezes well and use it for pasta sauces or as filling for provençal vegetables.
Today, I do not want to make a ratatouille to serve with the lamb, so I’ll improvise with the aubergines and use the mushrooms and shallots I have. I tend to view my cooking as an adventure and it usually has a good outcome. Like everybody, I have had some disasters (my first Quiche Lorraine springs to mind) but I am confident about this dish.
Incidentally, it could be served as a main vegetarian course as well.
Above all, it is easy to make and very healthy.
2 big aubergines, rinsed, top and tailed and cut in half, lengthwise
3 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
5 Portobello mushrooms, peeled and finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
A handful of fresh coriander leaves, rinsed and finely chopped
2 spoonfuls sunflower oil
1. Steam the aubergines for 5 minutes. Then take them out of the pressure cooker – or cooking pot – and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, sweat the shallots in a frying pan containing half a spoonful of oil. When the shallots are golden, add the rest of the oil, the mushrooms and the garlic and coriander. Keep stirring for 5 minutes.
3. Cut the aubergines in slices approximately 1 cm thick and line an oven-proof dish. Put the shallots and mushroom mixture on top and put in the oven at 200C for 10 minutes.
Here is another childhood memory dish which is a classic of the healthy Mediterranean diet.
Great uncle T. who was a philosopher and had sailed the Seven Seas, used to call it ” little black patent shoes” because the very shiny aubergine skin can be such a dark purple that it looks black.
We knew what treat was in store when he mentioned the little black patent shoes that great aunt M. had prepared.
This is a family favourite and ensures that children eat a variety of vegetables in a fun way.
For a vegetarian version, replace the bacon with the flesh of the aubergines and tomatoes.
1 aubergine per person
6 slices smoked back rashers of bacon
1 big onion peeled and sliced
3 cloves garlicpeeled
1 big carrot, peeled
1sprig flat leaf parsley
Pepper to season
1. Pre-heat the oven at 200C.
2. Rinse the aubergines and steam them briefly.
3. Meanwhile, whizz all the ingredients in a food processor.
4. Check that the aubergines are still firm and cut them in half lengthwise.
5. Scoop out the flesh delicately with a tablespoon.
6. Place the aubergines in a lightly greased oven-proof dish.
7. Lightly cook the stuffing in a non- stick frying pan without oil (the bacon will provide sufficient fat).
8. Fill the aubergines shells and sprinkle the parmesan on top.
9. Cover with foil and put in the oven for 20 minutes At 200C.
This can be a main dish or an accompaniment to a roasted meat.