Monday, July 13, 2009

Tomato and Courgette Gratin

Vegetable gratin: do you see a theme developing here?

I know, more French food! Actually I didn't realise until just now that most of what I have been cooking has had a distinctly Gallic theme, ever since Lucy went to France. I must be subconsciously living vicariously through her through the medium of cookery. We definitely have some kind of psychic thing going on... how strange...

anyway, I went through a phase of making this recipe loads, and had kind of forgotten about it. Why, I don't know as its amazing and very easy. This particular combination is inspired by one of Delia Smith's recipes, but modified somewhat by me. Vege

table gratins take much less time to cook than potato gratins, and you can leave out the cream if you want to be good and replace it with a little olive oil. You can also use any combinations of vegetables you have lying around, I have used mushrooms, parsnips, peppers, broccoli, carrots, all with great success. Courgette and aubergines only work if you fry them first, as I have done below. Otherwise they go a bit slimy.

Serves 4

2 courgettes

6 tomatoes

1 clove garlic

dried basil or oregano

100 ml cream or 2 tbsps olive oil

Parmesan or white cheddar cheese to grate over

salt & pepper

Cut the garlic clove in half and rub all over the inside of a shallow oven proof dish. Grease the dish with olive oil. Slice the courgette and fry the slices in hot olive oil until browned both sides. Slice the tomatoes. Layer the cooked courgettes and raw tomatoes in overlapping rows, like roof tiles. You can also add some butter in amongst the veg slices for extra decadence but I try not to. Crush the garlic and flick it evenly over the vegetables. Pour the cream or olive oil over everything and top with a couple of hand fulls of grated cheese and salt and pepper. Bake in a medium over (about 250c) for half an hour or until golden brown and bubbly.

This is great served with a green salad and french bread, or as we did, as a side dish to a meat main course such as a casserole, stew, steak or chicken dish.

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