Daily Archives: 12 September 2011

There goes summer!

People are saying summer’s well and truly over now, which I think is a shame.

Apparently, it’s been the coolest since 1993 – can’t remember that one specifically, but it’s a bit disappointing, especially after such a wonderful spring.

I’m hoping for a few more days of sun to sit outside for lunch-time salads or sarnies. Sometimes early autumn can be warm and lovely, and we do still have a holiday in Greece to look forward to – booked in the early part of the year and now creeping up increasingly fast to catch us unawares. (Holidays are like that – it’s part of their charm!)

As well as sun, sea, lazing, walking and no pressure to do anything we don’t want to do, I’m looking forward to the food on the island.

All those fresh aubergines and courgettes, and olives and feta cheese, luscious tomatoes and beautiful sweet onions, not to mention freshly cooked chips from home-grown potatoes and fish straight from the sea.

I remember from my meat-eating days that lamb roasted Greek style is second to none (there’s a good recipe in Just One Pot, by the way – the secret, apparently, is to cook it very slowly). And who would think to add nutmeg or cinnamon to a stew? But it makes them so flavoursome.

These days, vegetarian moussaka is high on my list – those aubergines again. The Vegetarian Moussaka-style Bake (also in Just One Pot) is definitely worth a go. But it’s the herbs, really. They make the taste of Greece – marjoram, thyme, coriander. And oregano sprinkled over everything – you can even buy oregano flavoured crisps. Actually, I think I’d better bring walking to the top of the ‘things to do on holiday’ list, or ‘going on a diet’ will be top of things to do when we get back.

All best
Dairy Diary Team

Vegetarian Moussaka-style BakeVegetarian Moussaka-style Bake
Delicious Mediterranean vegetables layered with creamy sauce.

Recipe taken from Just One Pot.

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Vegetarian Moussaka-style Bake

Delicious Mediterranean vegetables layered with creamy sauce.

Vegetarian Moussaka-style BakePreparation time 1 hour
Cooking time 30 minutes
Calories per portion 401 Kcal
Fat per portion 24g of which saturated 8.8g
Serves 4
Suitable for freezing
Suitable for vegetarians if using a Parmesan substitute

Butter 25g (1oz)
Plain flour 25g (1oz)
Milk 600ml (1 pint)
Vegetable stock cube 1
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Nutmeg for grating (optional)
Aubergines 2 medium–large, trimmed and cut lengthways into strips, 5mm (¼in) thick
Light olive oil 4–6 tbsp
Onions 2 large, peeled and thinly sliced
Garlic 2 cloves, peeled and finely chopped
Courgettes 450g (1lb), trimmed and cut lengthways into long strips, 5mm (¼in) thick
Artichoke hearts 240g can, drained and halved
Chopped tomatoes 400g can, slightly drained
Parmesan cheese 50g (2oz), grated

1 To make the sauce, melt the butter in a shallow flameproof casserole (approximately 25cm (10in) in diameter and 6cm (2½in) deep). Stir the flour into the butter and add the milk and vegetable stock cube. Slowly bring to the boil, stirring continuously, until the sauce thickens. Season with a little salt, pepper and nutmeg, then pour into a jug, cover the surface with cling film and set aside. Rinse and dry the casserole.

2 Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7. Sprinkle the aubergine slices lightly with salt, leave to stand for 10 minutes and then pat dry with kitchen paper. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in the casserole, add the onions and garlic and cook gently until softened but not browned. Then remove from the pan and set aside.

3 Heat a little more olive oil in the casserole, then adding a few at time, cook the aubergine slices for 2–3 minutes each side, until lightly browned. Remove from the dish and drain on kitchen paper. Cook the courgettes slices in the same way.

4 Arrange a single layer of aubergine slices in the bottom of the casserole, add a layer of courgettes, followed by some onions and artichokes and some of the chopped tomatoes, season with black pepper, then drizzle a little of the sauce over the vegetables. Continue layering the vegetables and sauce, ending with a layer of aubergine slices, if possible. Take care not to add too much sauce with each layer as at least half will be needed to pour over the top.

5 Spread the remaining sauce over the vegetables and then sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over the top. Place the casserole on a baking tray and cook in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked. If the top is browning too quickly, cover with a lid or foil.

Cook’s tip
A can of chunky tomato soup or a small jar of tomato pasta sauce could also be substituted for the can of tomatoes. For extra flavour, choose a can of tomatoes with added herbs.

Recipe taken from Just One Pot.

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