Meatless Monday – Low carb roasted veggie moussaka

The aubergines and tomatoes are full of meaty umami flavours when roasted – you’ll smell it while it is in the oven – and these flavours are perfectly complemented by a glass of Creative Block 5.

18 APRIL - MEATLESS MONDAY - Low carb roasted veggie moussaka

Serves 6 as a light meal

You’ll need: For the roasted veg – 2 medium-large aubergines, sliced into 1cm rounds; 6 ripe tomatoes, sliced in half horizontally; about ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra; salt & pepper; 2 teaspoons dried Origanum.

For the tomato sauce – 2 cans whole peeled tomatoes; 30ml olive oil; 3-4 cloves garlic, finely grated/ chopped; 2 teaspoons sugar; salt & pepper.

For assembling – 15ml olive oil; 200g baby spinach; 2 rounds of feta cheese, crumbled; 500ml double cream yoghurt; 1 egg; a handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped; salt & pepper; 1/3 cup grated pecorino cheese (or parmesan).

How to: 

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Line a large baking tray with foil and brush all over with olive oil. Arrange the sliced aubergines and halved tomatoes on the tray, drizzle with more oil all over and season well with salt, pepper and Origanum. Roast for 30-40 minutes until soft and lightly browned on the edges. Set aside.

While the veg is roasting, make the sauce. Process the canned tomatoes to a pulp using a stick blender or food processor. 

Heat the oil in a medium-size pot, then add the garlic and fry for 1 minute, taking care not to brown it too much. Add the tomato pulp and sugar, season with salt & pepper and bring to a simmer. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Set aside.

While the sauce is simmering, heat 15 ml olive oil in a large pan and fry the spinach until just wilted, tossing it with tongs. Set aside.

To assemble: in a medium-large 5cm deep oven dish, arrange a layer of roasted tomatoes on the bottom, then top with 1/3 of tomato sauce. Arrange the fried spinach and feta on top and top with another 1/3 of tomato sauce. 

End with a layer of roasted aubergines and top with the remaining 1/3 of tomato sauce. Mix the yoghurt, egg and mint together in a mixing bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Spoon over the layered dish and easy into the corners. Top with pecorino all over, then bake at 220°C for about 30 minutes or until slightly golden on top.

Serve hot, paired with Spier Creative Block 5.

Recipe by Ilse van der Merwe. Photography by Tasha Seccombe. Recipe sourced via www.spier.co.za