This recipe is absolutely delicious! Not only is it hearty (thanks to the lentils), but it reheats very well and makes a great packed lunch for the workplace. The recipe combines french lentils, eggplant, zucchini, and other summer vegetables with a creamy bechamel sauce.
(*Indicates Potomac Vegetable Farm (PVF) produce. For more information about what we are doing with our PVF CSA share, click here.)
Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates cookbook.
- 1 cup dried french lentils
- 6 cups water
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced onions*
- 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed*
- 2 medium eggplants, cubed into 1/2-inch pieces*
- 2 medium zucchini, cubed into 1/2-inch pieces*
- 1 medium yellow squash, cubed into 1/2-inch pieces*
- 1/3 cup dry red wine
- 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dired marjoram
- 1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained (such as Muir Glen Fire Roasted)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 large bunch swiss chard, rinsed and chopped*
- 8 oz no-cook lasagna noodles
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup unbleached white flour
- 2 cups milk, heated to just below scalding
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 organic, cage-free eggs, lightly beaten
- 8 oz grated feta cheese
- 1/2-3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- In a large stock pot, bring the lentils, water, garlic and bay leaf to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until tender. When the lentils are tender, remove garcli and bay leaves, and drain any excess liquid. Set aside.
- While the lentils cook, heat the oil in a large saucepan and saute onions and garlic for about 5 minutes, until the onions are transluscent. Add the eggplant, wine, cinnamon, oregano, and marjoram; cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the zucchini and yellow squash, tomatoes, basil, salt and black pepper and continue to cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Add the swiss chard and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Stir the cooked lentils into the vegetable sauce and set aside.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small heavy saucepan. whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add the hot milk and continue to whisk for several minutes, until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat, add the nutmeg and salt, and then stir in the beaten eggs. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a 3-quart, 9X13-inch baking dish.
- To assemble the pastitsio, spread 1/4 of the vegetable sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Top with a layer of no-cook lasagna noodles and top with 1/4 of the feta. Repeat layers of vegetable sauce, noodles, feta. Evenly spoon all of the bechamel sauce on top and finish with the parmesan cheese. (Note: you may not use the last 1/4 of vegetable sauce – reserve for another use or to eat by itself with a slice of fresh bread.)
- Cover and bake for about 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15-25 minutes, until bubbly and golden on top.