3 Adam Liaw recipes for a veggie boost

2 May 2024

Lamb and Eggplant Moussaka

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves 8


  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 medium eggplants, sliced into 5mm slices
  • 2 brown onions, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1kg lamb mince
  • 125ml white wine
  • 2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • 2 cups shredded tasty cheese


  • 75g butter
  • 75g flour
  • 750ml milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp grated nutmeg 


Heat your oven to 180°C (fan forced). Heat a large frying pan over high heat and add a little of the oil. Fry the eggplant in batches, adding oil as needed until browned. It doesn’t need to be completely softened. Remove the eggplant from the pan and add a little extra oil. Add the onions and garlic and fry for a few minutes until softened. Then add the mince and fry until browned. Add wine and bring to a simmer, then add the tomatoes, oregano and cinnamon, then season well with salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes partially covered, stirring occasionally.

For the bechamel, heat the butter in a small saucepan and add the milk. Stir and cook for about 3 minutes, then add the milk a little at a time, stirring to avoid lumps as the mixture thickens. Simmer for a few minutes then stir through the salt and nutmeg.                      

Layer one third of the meat mixture into a large baking dish and top with one third of the eggplant. Repeat two more times then pour over the bechamel. Smooth the top and scatter with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown then stand for 10 minutes before serving.

“This simple and impressive meal is perfect when you’re entertaining. It turns heads and tastes delicious without the price tag.” 

Delicious Tomato Soup

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Serves 4


  • 50g butter
  • 1 large brown onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 800g tinned tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1⁄2 cup evaporated milk 


Place a large pot over medium heat and fry the butter, onion, garlic, capsicum, celery, carrot and salt for about eight minutes or until fragrant. Stir in the flour and cook for about a minute then add the tomatoes, stock and half the basil leaves and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes and remove from heat. Add the evaporated milk and blend in a high-speed blender until it reaches a smooth consistency.

“Soups are great to freeze and you can make them in bulk to then use as needed.” 
Tomato soup

Cheese and corn quesadillas

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves 6


  • 3 corn cobs or about 2 cups of frozen corn kernels
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 lime, juiced, plus lime wedges to serve
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1⁄2 cup finely shredded coriander
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella
  • 1⁄2 cup finely crumbled feta
  • 1 jalapeño chilli or large green chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 1⁄4 tsp chilli powder or to taste 
  • 12 flour tortillas 


Slice the kernels off the corn by holding each cob vertically on a chopping board and running a knife down the length of the cob. Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add one tablespoon of oil. Add the corn and fry without stirring for about three minutes until blackened on one side. Partially cover the pan with a lid to stop the corn from jumping out as it cooks.

Stir in garlic and fry for one to two minutes until corn is cooked. Tip the cooked garlicky corn into a large bowl and combine with the mayonnaise, lime juice, spring onion, coriander, cheese, chilli and chilli powder. Take three tablespoons of mixture and place it onto a tortilla. Spread it out and cover another tortilla.

Return pan to medium heat and add one teaspoon of the oil. Place one tortilla ‘sandwich’ into the pan and press down lightly. Fry for two minutes on each side until the tortilla is toasted and the cheese melted. Repeat for the remaining tortillas and filling. Cut into wedges and serve with lime on the side.

“If you want to speed up the cooking process, rather than cooking the quesadillas one at a time, use a larger hotplate – such as a barbecue –or even get a couple of pans going at once.”

This is an edited extract from 7 Days of Dinner by Adam Liaw (Hardie Grant Books, RRP $45), which is out now. 

Cheese and corn quesadillas

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