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Low-carb roasted vegetable moussaka

We've paired the Spier Creative Block 5 with this delicious low-carb vegetable 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 this Bordeaux-inspired red blend.

Top this moussaka with a delicious double cream yoghurt and fresh mint mixture for a creamy finish (and skip the bechamel that is traditionally made with flour).

(serves 6 as a light meal or side dish, prep/cooking time: 1h30min)

For the roasted veg:
•    2 medium-large aubergines, sliced into 1cm rounds
•    6 ripe tomatoes, sliced in half horizontally
•    about 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra
•    salt & pepper
•    2 teaspoons dried origanum

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

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

Preheat 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 are 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 & mint together in a mixing bowl, then season with salt & 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:

Medium- to full-bodied, Creative Block 5 dazzles with complexity, showing decadent dark chocolate, cranberry depth as well as tomato leaf and thatch notes. The palate is juicy and sweet-fruited, framed by concentrated tannins and complemented by subtle hints rooibos tea and wet earth. There is a lovely freshness and finesse running through the red-fruited 2014 that is particular to the vintage. Superb balance and effortless weight leads to a long, classy finish.  Stock up now, and enjoy over the next decade. 

(Recipe: Ilse van der Merwe, Photography: Tasha Seccombe)

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