Aubergine and lentil vegetarian casserole with creamy mushroom layer

Aubergine and lentil vegetarian casserole with creamy mushroom layer

Vegetarian Casserole

AUBERGINE AND LENTIL VEGETARIAN CASSEROLE WITH CREAMY MUSHROOM LAYER

I’ve now made this a few times and it is truly delicious. Its sort of a moussaka-ish experience. Mark said eating this makes you think you’re eating a rich and decadent casserole, but in reality its low glycemic, high fibre, only complex carbs and just downright satisfying.

My motivation for this was simply because I had aubergines in the fridge, a pot of my freshly made tomato sauce in the freezer and lovely St. Lucian locally grown, organic mushrooms and aubergines. In a pinch, because I really want you to try this, you could use store bought fresh tomato sauce, but only if its provenance is good and healthy.

Vegetarian Casserole

AUBERGINE AND LENTIL VEGETARIAN CASSEROLE WITH CREAMY MUSHROOM LAYER

serves 6

1 quantity fresh tomato sauce (approx 700ml/25 oz)

454/500g (1 lb) baby portobello mushrooms

300g(1.5 c)  brown lentils cooked in lots of water

1kg (2lb) aubergine (eggplant)

120g (1 c) sharp cheddar

100g (4 oz) butter

60g (2 oz) plain flour (5 tbsp)

700ml (25 oz, 3 c) milk

olive oil for roasting aubergine

Begin by cutting the aubergines into thickish rings and roast until cooked through, in a single layer, in a small amount of olive oil, in a hot oven.

Chop the mushrooms into rough chunks.

Vegetarian Casserole

You now need to make a basic béchamel sauce.

Quick reminder…..melt the butter and add the flour stirring constantly over low heat. This is called a “roux.” In a considered way add the milk while stirring. What’s happening is the starch granules in the flour are bursting thereby thickening the sauce. The trouble is that if you don’t stir you will end up with lumps which aren’t very pleasing. Once your sauce starts to gently bubble, and you let it for a minute or two, it won’t get any thicker, so you can add the mushrooms and let them cook in this sauce over a very gentle heat. This will take about 10 minutes. Don’t worry if it seems a bit dry to start as the mushrooms spring quite a bit of water. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cheddar cheese.

Vegetarian Casserole

Vegetarian Casserole

The layering goes as follows:

  • spoonful or two of tomato sauce
  • all lentils
  • spoonful or two of tomato sauce
  • all aubergine rings
  • some tomato sauce
  • all mushroom sauce

Vegetarian Casserole

Bake uncovered in 180ºC (350ºF) oven for 45 minutes or until the casserole is bubbling and is golden brown on top.

Vegetarian Casserole

Vegetarian Casserole

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Catherine Courchesne
    August 27, 2017 at 11:47 am

    I was quite disappointed with this recipe. The béchamel was perfect… until the mushrooms were added, which turned it almost into a soup. The whole dish was quite soggy and not very tasty. At least, it is nourishing… I will serve what is left with pasta or rice to add some consistance.

    • Reply
      Germaine Waters
      August 30, 2017 at 5:32 am

      I’m really sorry this didn’t work out for you…I wish I could have been around…it’s impossible to exactly predict the way various ingredients in different countries will react. I’d encourage you to try again and use your own judgement to try to achieve a better result, as my family love this dish.

  • Reply
    SusanJ
    August 28, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    How do you think this will freeze once cooked. I want to portion single servings so easy to defrost on a busy week night

    • Reply
      Germaine Waters
      August 30, 2017 at 5:27 am

      I think this should be fine. As always, freshly cooked is best, but I would love you to perform the experiment for us of you’re willing… 🙂

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