I saw Ina Garten making something similar to this on the telly the other day. It looked really tasty. I thought to myself . . . "I can make something like that, only I can make it even tastier."
I know . . . I'm pretty bold, aren't I!!! Ina Garten is pretty good . . . to think I could pip her, what was I thinking???? Nevermind, I did it, and that's what counts!!
I had a few courgettes in the veggie bin and I thought I'd add some carrot to give some colour to the dish. I make a courgette and carrot casserole, which has a tasty stuffing base and topping and they go so very wonderfully together . . . courgettes and carrots, that is.
Ina had used all milk in her sauce, but I added some chicken stock to give the sauce more flavour. You can just use a stock cube or one of those lovely little jel cubes. Be careful not to add too much salt though, as stock cubes can sometimes be a bit on the salty side.
A bit of chopped fresh thyme leaves would go wonderfully in this, I am thinking, although it was incredibly tasty as it was!
We ate the leftovers, reheated in the microwave, last night and they were, if anything, even tastier than they had been on the first night. I think this is a winner!
*Cougette and Carrot Gratin*
Serves 4 as a side dish
Tasty courgettes and carrots, baked together in a rich and creamy sauce.
3 medium courgettes, washed, trimmed and cut into coins, about 1/4 inch thick
2 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into thin coins, about 1/8 inch thick
2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 heaped TBS butter
2 heaped TBS flour
250ml of chicken stock*
250ml of milk
salt and black pepper to taste
2 ounces bread crumbs
2 ounces grated Gruyere cheese
Heat the butter over medium high heat until foaming. Add the onions. Turn the heat down to low and cook, without colouring, for about 10 minutes until very soft. Tip in the carrots and courgettes. Cook and stir until the courgettes are beginning to wilt. Sprinkle the flour over all and stir. Mix the milk and stock together and then slowly pour this over top, stirring gently and cooking until it thickens. Season to taste with some salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/Gas mark 6. Butter a shallow gratin dish. Pour the courgette mixture into the gratin dish. Mix together the bread crumbs and the gruyere cheese. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over top of the vegetables. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until bubbling and lightly browned on top. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes before spooning out to serve.
Note - if you use a vegetable stock, it makes a nice Vegetarian entree for two.