Traditional Greek baked dish with aubergine, lentils and white sauce.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Slice the aubergine into 2cm slices in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for 10 -15 minutes to draw out the moisture.
Heat a large frying pan to a medium heat, add a teaspoon of olive oil.
Add the onion to the pan and cook while stirring until translucent, add the brown lentils, garlic, oregano, mint, bay leaves , cinnamon and continue to cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to ensuring lentils are well mixed with other ingredients.
Add the tomato puree, wine, chopped tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the lentils are tender. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Set aside.
Rinse the aubergine under cold water and pat dry in a clean tea towel.
Heat the half of the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the aubergines for 2 minutes on each side, adding more oil if necessary. Remove the aubergine from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.
For the white sauce,
melt the butter in a large saucepan and stir in the flour.
Cook for a few seconds to absorb the fat.
Gradually stir in the milk.
Add half the Parmesan and the grated nutmeg. Simmer the sauce gently for approximately 4 minutes, stirring regularly.
Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Spoon one third of the lentil sauce into a large shallow ovenproof dish. Cover with a layer of aubergines. Repeat the layers twice, finishing with the aubergines.
Pour over the white sauce, making sure it covers in a thick and even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
«You can replace the Parmesan with cheddar cheese and use a pinch of cayenne pepper for spiciness.»