2 aubergines, cut into long, thin slices
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for frying 1 yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
250g chestnut or white mushrooms, chopped into small chunks
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano, plus a little extra 2 tbsp tomato puree
200g dry brown lentils
75ml red wine
1 x 400g tin tomatoes
1 litre vegetable stock
1 tbsp barley miso paste, or other miso paste
300g waxy potatoes, peeled if dirty, and thinly sliced
For the bechamel
75g olive oil
600ml unsweetened plant milk (or half goats milk)
Nutmeg to taste
Perfect vegan moussaka
Lightly salt the aubergine slices, and put them in a colander while you make the sauce.
Put the oil in a wide pan on a medium-low heat, then gently fry the onion until soft. Stir in the mushrooms, fry until they start to give off their liquid, then turn up the heat and carry on frying, stirring regularly, until the pan is dry and the mushrooms are golden.
Turn down the heat a little, stir in the garlic, cinnamon and herbs, andfry for another couple of minutes.
Add the tomato puree, fry for another minute or so, then mix in the lentils.
Add the wine, cook until the liquid reduces by about half, then add the tomatoes and stock, turn down the heat and leave to simmer for about an hour, until the lentils are cooked and the sauce is thick; if it reduces too much, top up with just-boiled water as necessary. Stir in the miso, taste and adjust the seasoning, then fish out and discard the cinnamon and bay (if you can find them).
Meanwhile, cover the base of a frying pan with olive oil and set it on a medium-high heat. Once hot, pat dry the aubergine slices, fry them in batches until soft and golden, then transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper. Repeat, replenishing the oil as necessary, until all the slices are fried.
In the same pan, repeat the drying, frying and draining process with the potatoes, and heat the oven
to 200C (180C fan)/gas 6.
For the bechamel, heat the oil in a small saucepan, then stir in the flour and fry, stirring, for a couple of minutes, to make a roux. Gradually whisk in the milk, cook gently,
stirring, until thickened, then season with salt and grated nutmeg to taste.
Lightly grease the base of a medium oven dish, then cover it with the fried potato slices and season lightly with salt and more dried oregano. Spoon over the lentil and tomato sauce, then top with the fried aubergine slices and a little more oregano. Finally, spoon over the bechamel and bake for about 45 minutes, until golden. Remove and leave to cool to warm before serving.