Tuesday, May 10, 2011

chickpea moussaka

I made this a very long time ago.  

When I started this schoolyear, I was amazed at how hard it was emotionally, physically and mentally.  Yet, I had to feed myself, and the best way to do this was to make a casserole of awesome healthiness during the weekends or on one evening.  It had to be good enough for me to eat happily throughout the week..

I still remember the gentle aroma of this wandering up to my nose after being nuked in Ms. Whitaker's room.  That is, the casserole was nuked, not me, even when it felt that way.

Ms. Whitaker is a veteran teacher who has been incalculably helpful to me in navigating the school and the profession, and she has a microwave and coffee maker.  The 9th grade team huddles around our food and drink, licking our wounds, recharging our batteries, and generally enjoying each other.  I'm sure that those associations only improve this dish in my mind, but even if it had been eaten in the worst of company, it would be a delight.

I got it from Cara's Cravings, and if you want to see her lovely work up, please go here.  The only problem I ran into (and it was completely my fault) was that I forgot to check the lentils before tossing them in the casserole, and they weren't totally cooked.  Luckily, I didn't die, but I think the texture would be *greatly* improved if the beans were, you know, cooked.  Also, remember that of all the food bloggers I've seen, I am by far the laziest and cut the most corners, but it works for me, sometimes spectacularly.  However, I bet my sources have more consistent results.  All that said, this is one of the more complicated recipes I've undertaken, for better or worse, and it needs some time to get through.

2 eggplants, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 c lentils (I used plain old brown in a bag)
2 c chicken stock (I rarely have veggie stock on hand)
1 bay leaf
1 T oil
3 fresh tomatoes, diced
1 onion, sliced thinly
4 cloves of garlic, pressed
1 pack button mushrooms
2 c garbanzo beans (I used the full 2 c because my eggplant were small)
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 tiny can tomato paste
4 cinnamon sticks
2 c greek yogurt
3 eggs
1/2 c grated parmesan

How to:
1) Get the party started by heating the oven to 350.
2) Cook lentils in stock.
3) Cook onions 8ish minutes until golden in a sauce pan.  Add mushrooms and sweat them 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook another minute or so until garlicky goodness permeates the air.
4) Drain any excess liquid from lentils and add to pan with chickpeas, all tomato products and cinnamon sticks.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and let things mellow for 20 minutes.  Tweak to get to your preferred consistency.
5) Pan-fry the eggplant slices until lighlty browned on each side.
6) Remove cinnamon sticks from the stew-like mixture.  Start layering eggplant and the mixture in a casserole dish so that there are three layers of each.
7) Mix together yogurt, cheese and eggs.  Spread over casserole..
8) Bake at 350 for 45 minutes-ish.

No comments:

Post a Comment