Magnificent moussaka

Magnificent moussaka

Thrive on Five
2 adults, 2 children
Dan Jones

A Mediterranean classic made with layered aubergines. This is a really satisfying dish and perfect for a hungry family. Borlotti beans and mushrooms replace the traditional minced lamb, resulting in a meaty taste and texture.


Quantity Ingredient
2 large aubergines, sliced into 1cm rounds, (about 600g)
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
1 tablespoon harissa
2 medium red onions, finely chopped, (240g)
1 garlic clove, crushed
240g mushrooms, cut into small pieces
400g can of borlotti or pinto beans, with the liquid from the can
230g can of chopped tomatoes
1 large ripe tomato, finely chopped, (80g)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons red wine
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the white sauce

Quantity Ingredient
30g unsalted butter
30g plain flour
375ml semi-skimmed milk
100g mature cheddar cheese, grated
freshly grated nutmeg
1 medium egg, lightly beaten


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Line two baking trays with baking parchment and place the aubergine slices on top. Mix 2 tbsp of the oil with the harissa and brush half the mixture on to one side of the aubergine slices. Bake for five minutes before turning over and brushing the remaining harissa oil on the other side. Cook for a further five minutes, then set aside.
  3. Meanwhile heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil in a pan and cook the onions over a low heat for about eight minutes until soft. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for another five to eight minutes. Add the beans and their liquid together with the canned tomatoes, fresh tomato, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, wine, oregano, rosemary and bay leaf. Allow to cook over a medium heat for 20 minutes until reduced and thick. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. For the cheese sauce, put the butter, flour and milk in a saucepan and whisk continuously over a medium heat until the sauce boils and thickens. Reduce the heat and cook for one minute, stirring continuously. Stir in most of the Cheddar, reserving a handful for the top, then add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Leave to cool.
  5. Spread half the bean mixture in an ovenproof dish and cover with half the aubergine slices, season well and top with the rest of the bean mixture. Finish with a final layer of aubergines and season with more salt and pepper.
  6. Mix the egg with the cheese sauce, pour it over the aubergines, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown.
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