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Mushroom moussaka

publication date: Nov 30, 2007
author/source: Fiona Beckett
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This is moussaka only in the very loosest sense in that it doesn’t contain lamb or aubergine but merely has a custardy, moussaka-like topping (and even that isn’t made the conventional way!) But it’s very tasty indeed and makes a good main course to serve to veggie and non-veggie friends alike

Serves 4
Time: about 1 1/2 hours including cooling time
Cost: about £1-£1.25 a head

2 tbsp sunflower oil or other light cooking oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
500g chestnut mushrooms, wiped and quartered
200g chopped tinned tomatoes
2 tbsp sundried tomato paste or ordinary tomato paste
A pinch of cinnamon (about 1/8th tsp)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 a 400g can black-eye beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the topping
300ml creme fraiche
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
25g (about 4 rounded tbsp) freshly grated parmesan

Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan and fry the onion over a moderate heat until beginning to soften (about 3-4 minutes). Add the garlic, stir and cook for a minute then add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5-6 minutes until just cooked and most of the liquid the mushrooms have released is absorbed. Stir in the tomatoes and sundried or plain tomato paste, add the cinnamon and oregano then add the black-eye beans. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Tip the mixture into a lightly oiled ovenproof dish and leave to cool for about half an hour. Turn the oven on to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Measure out the creme fraiche into a large jug. Beat in the eggs about a third at a time then add the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the custard over the mushrooms and beans and bake for about 40-45 minutes until the topping is lightly set, golden and puffy. Serve with a green salad and a dark beer like Leffe Brune.


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