Pinto Bean, Aubergine and Tahini Moussaka

Serves: 4

Chef Top Tip

"In this rich, vegetarian version of the Greek classic I infuse the classic white sauce with tahini, one of my favourite ingredients at the moment. It gives a wonderful nutty flavour to the dish while providing a great source of protein, essential vitamins & minerals."

Ingredients

  • 150g dried pinto beans, soaked overnight, then cooked
  • 150ml sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp freshly picked thyme
  • 200g canned plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 large aubergines, thickly sliced
  • Salt, pepper

For the tahini sauce:

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 300ml full fat milk
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • 200g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Method

  1. Place the garlic cloves in a pan with the milk, cook over a low heat for about 20 minutes or until garlic is very soft; transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth, set aside.
  2. Heat 30ml of oil in a pan add the onion and garlic, cook over a medium heat until golden. Add the cooked pinto beans, cumin, thyme, tomatoes and tomato puree; cook over low heat for 25 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
  3. Preheat oven to 200c
  4. Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan, fry the aubergine slices for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden and drain any excess oil on kitchen paper. You will have to do this in batches for best results.
  5. Arrange a layer of fried aubergine in the base of a large ovenproof dish, cover them with half the pinto bean mix, top with another layer of aubergine, more beans, then finally a top layer of aubergines.
  6. To finish the sauce, make a roux from the flour & butter and stir in the garlic infused milk mix; cook out for 10 minutes until sauce has thickened.
  7. Add the feta cheese, tahini and stir until smooth. Finally beat in the egg and season to taste.
  8. Spoon the tahini sauce over the aubergines to cover, then place in the preheated oven to bake for 30 minutes until bubbling and golden.
  9. Serve with a crisp side salad.

All products marked in bold are available to purchase through Vegetarian Express.