I’m struggling to keep up with my courgette plants, for some reason this year they have decided to grace me with an abundance of fruit. It’s not that I’m ungrateful, I love courgettes, but there are already three of them in my fridge, another four on the plants and two more plants that are just starting to produce. I’m trying to find as many different ways to use them; we really enjoyed this cake from David Lebovitz’ site and this galette from Deb at Smitten Kitchen as well as this pasta and this tart from Clotilde at Chocolate and Zucchini. Just as I was starting to run out of ideas I happened upon a fabulous new cookbook from Riverford farm – a vegetable box supplier just a few miles down the road. Not only do they grow a huge amount of interesting things, they also have a hugely popular field kitchen staffed by chefs from around the world, many of whom have previously worked at the legendary Chez Panisse in San Fransisco.
This gratin is a gorgeous summer side or a light main maybe served with a poached egg. You can play around with the texture by slicing the vegetables in different thicknesses; I cut my courgettes quite thickly so they retained a little crunch but you could cut them thin for a softer finish. You could also use different flavour pesto, wild garlic or roasted pepper would be amazing. Or try making the breadcrumbs from a flavoured bread – I used some stale garlic and herb ciabatta – yum! Next time I’m going to use goat’s cheese (yes, I’m an addict!) and walnut pesto.
Courgette and tomato gratin
- 2 medium courgettes
- 4 tbsp fresh pesto
- 3 large, ripe tomatoes
- freshly ground black pepper
- 100g grated cheddar
- 150g bread crumbs
- a little olive oil
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Thinly slice the courgette and toss in the pesto. Slice the tomatoes.
Arrange the courgette and tomatoes in a medium baking dish in alternating layers. Grind over a little pepper.
Top with cheese and breadcrumbs and drizzle with oil.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the breadcrumbs are crispy and golden.