Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Courgette Gratin

It's the time of year when there's an abundance of courgettes in the garden. A while ago I created a soup, Courgette & Camembert click here for the recipe and since I consider courgette and dairy are such a good match, I've created this recipe. I used Emmental cheese, its mild nutty flavour enhances rather than competes with the delicate flavour of the courgettes. Leaching some of the liquid out of the courgettes by salting before using in the recipe, ensures the gratin does not become too water-logged.

For this recipe you will need;
1 Kilo of courgettes
300ml of double cream
200g of Emmental cheese, grated
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
1 tablespoon of chopped basil
1 tablespoon of chopped spring onions
1 fat clove of garlic finely minced
20g of salt
1/2 teaspoon of white pepper

Begin by slicing up the courgettes and dusting them in the salt. Leave to drain in a colander for an hour. Rinse the cougettes quickly under a running tap and lightly pat dry with a clean tea towel. Chop up the herbs and spring onions and stir the minced garlic into the cream. Layer the courgettes in an ovenproof dish alternating with the herbs, grated cheese and garlic infused cream. Finish with a light layer of the cheese. Bake in a moderately hot oven, 180C for 40 to 45 minutes.

I found that after an hour, 150ml of liquid leached out of the courgettes.
You can use other cheeses, but personally I would avoid strongly flavoured varieties.
You can also substitute fresh thyme for the parsley or basil.
This dish is good hot with crusty bread or as an accompanying vegetable to a fish dish. It's also good cold as part of a cold buffet.