Seasonal recipe No 61: Courgette gratin

An excellent, tasty recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Jamie Does book.

Serves 6-8 as a side

(half quantities makes a generous main for 2)

Preparation: 35 minutes
Cooking in oven: 40 minutes

2 tbsp duck fat or olive oil
3 onions, peeled and very finely sliced
180g basmati rice
7 medium courgettes, finely sliced
500ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
4 heaped tbsp crème fraîche
150g emmental or cheddar cheese, finely grated
salt and black pepper
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5. Get a large frying pan on a low heat and add the fat or oil and a splash of water. Once melted and hot, add the sliced onions and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until soft and sticky. Meanwhile, rinse your rice under cold running water until the water runs clear.

When the onions look ready, add the sliced courgettes to the pan along with the rice. Mix them up, then pour in the hot stock. Turn the heat up and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the mixture to stay quite loose and oozy, so add a little more stock if needed. Take the pan off the heat and gently stir in the crème fraîche and 100g of your grated cheese. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper, then taste and adjust the seasoning if need be.

Lightly oil a roasting tray, gratin dish or casserole-type pan, approx 25cm x 25cm. Tip everything into the prepared tray, making sure the rice is evenly distributed. Roughly flatten it out and try to get most of the courgettes on top to help keep the moisture as it cooks. Sprinkle over the rest of the grated cheese.

Bake in the hot oven for 40 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbling and the rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Serve next to grilled meat or fish and a lovely fresh salad.

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