Deconstructed Lentil Moussaka
with bechamel sauce / roasted potatoes and eggplant
Smarts: Bechamel is a white sauce that forms a creamy layer over the lentils in this recipe. The key to a smooth bechamel is whisking constantly as it cooks. Heating the milk slightly before adding it to the sauce also helps to prevent lumps from forming.
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Cinnamon - 1/4 tsp
- Allspice (opt) - 1/4 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/4 tsp
- Onions, medium - 1, chopped
- Garlic - 3 cloves, chopped
- Lentils, cooked - 2 cups (canned or vacuum-packed)
- Eggplant, Chinese - 1 lb, cubed (sub Japanese or regular)
- Potatoes, russet - 1 lb, peeled and cubed
- Foil - for cooking
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Wine, red - 1/4 cup (sub stock)
- Tomato paste - 2 Tbsp
- Cheese, parmesan - 1/4 cup, grated
- Egg yolks - 2, whisked
- Milk - 1 3/4 cups
- Butter - 4 Tbsp
- Flour - 5 Tbsp
- Bay leaf - 1
- Nutmeg, ground (opt) - 1/8 tsp
- Make spice mix - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating before continuing with prep.) Combine salt, cinnamon, allspice, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Onions / Garlic / Cheese - Prep as directed. Store in separate containers. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Season lentils - If using canned lentils, drain and rinse. Stir spice mix into lentils. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Eggplant / Potatoes - Prep as directed.
- Egg yolks - Separate yolks from whites (save whites for another use). Whisk egg yolks.
- Heat oven to 425F / 218C.
- Brush a sheet pan with some cooking oil. Spread eggplant and potatoes out in a single layer. Cover pan tightly with foil.
- Roast in the oven for 10 minutes to get the vegetables started cooking. (Watch this video for tips on roasting at high heat.)
- Once vegetables are in the oven, make bechamel sauce.
- Heat milk in the microwave just until warm to the touch (be careful not to overheat it).
- Melt butter in an oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until smooth and creamy, ~2 minutes.
- While still whisking, slowly pour milk over butter / flour mixture. Keep whisking until everything is evenly combined. Add bay leaf and nutmeg and simmer bechamel until thick and creamy, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Transfer bechamel to a small bowl and wipe out skillet (you’ll use it for cooking the lentils).
- Remove roasting vegetables from the oven.
- Reduce oven to 400F / 204C.
- Remove foil from vegetables and toss vegetables with first portion of oil. Season with some salt and pepper. Return to oven and continue roasting, stirring halfway through cooking, until golden brown and tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Return to skillet. Heat skillet with second part of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until soft, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add lentils and saute until fragrant and warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and saute for 2 minutes more.
- Stir in wine and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for 2 minutes.
- Whisk egg yolks into bechamel sauce. Discard bay leaves. Pour sauce over lentils. Sprinkle cheese on top. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until golden brown and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Serve lentils over roasted vegetables. If you still have green onions from earlier in the week, you can chop some and put them on top for a pop of color. Enjoy!
So good! Subbed bison. We both were ok with eggplant in this dish, which is a household win.0 Helpful
This was delicious but took a long time to prepare.0 Helpful
I was so pleased with how the GF variation came out; we ADORE Greek food and I've missed having it since having to go GF! It was super easy and the instructions were so well-timed I never felt rushed or like I missed a step. Definitely adding this to the roster!0 Helpful
While this did take a bit longer to prepare than the average weeknight meal, it was so, so delicious! The leftovers were great too, so I’ll definitely make this again.0 Helpful
Flavor was great!0 Helpful
Good but too much work to do again!0 Helpful