This is a delicious gratin that I first made 3 years ago now that I had pinched from one of my Waitrose Recipe cards that I have collected through the years. It became a fast favourite at very first bite. Some things are just worth repeating I think, and this is one of them.
Something that I learned very early on in my gardening life is that when you plant courgettes you had better be prepared to use and cook a lot of them, because they grow like mad and are very prolific.
Thankfully we love courgettes and I have found them to be a very versatile vegetable. We have them raw in salads and with dips as a crudite. They are also great, grated and baked into loaves, muffins and cakes.
They're fantastic stir fried with a bit of onion and garlic, and some herbs, making for a tasty side dish.
The tender young blossoms, stuffed with herby cheese, dipped in egg and breadcrumbs, and then fried . . . bliss . . . pure bliss.
We love them most in tasty casseroles though and when the tomatoes are ripening right along side of them, there is nothing more delicious than this wonderful little gratin. Served along with some crusty fresh French bread, there is nothing finer on earth to eat of a warm summer evening . . .
*Courgette and Tomato Gratin*
This tasty gratin is a delicious marriage of ripe tomatoes and small courgettes. Toss with a bit of pesto and layer under a cheese and crumb topping. This is yummy scrummy!
500g courgettes, topped, tailed and thinly sliced (about 1 1/4 pound)
2 TBS fresh green basil pesto
400g fresh ripe red tomatoes, sliced (about one pound)
4 TBS fresh bread crumbs
25g strong cheddar cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup. I'll be honest here, I do
use more because we love cheese.)
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
large pinch of cayenne pepper
1 TBS olive oil
Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F. Place the courgette slices in a large bowl and toss together with the pesto until lightly coated. Layer in large 2 litre gratin dish with the tomatoes. Season to taste with some salt and pepper if desired. Toss the bread crumbs into the same bowl you mixed the courgettes in (that way every residual bit of pesto gets used) and toss them together with the cheese, garlic and cayenne. Sprinkle over top of the vegetables in the gratin dish. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil if desired. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden and the vegetables are tender. Serve with crusty bread.