Thursday, June 17, 2010

Easy Peasy Vegetable Gratin

A while back, I bought Jamie Oliver's "Jamie Does..." book.  It's crammed full of gorgeous recipes from all around Europe and I've cooked quite a few of them.  One which I particularly liked was Courgette Gratin, and as the local Aldi was selling twin packs of courgettes for 89c this week, decided to give it another go.
This time, however, I made a few changes, basically to use up some veggies which had to be eaten as they were lingering in the fridge and would soon be past their best.  I would also use these veggies to make Vegetable Kebabs for the BBQ, so this is a different way to enjoy them all.  This serves 4 as a side dish, so just double up if you're feeding a hungry horde!

Vegetable Gratin

1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 large Onion, finely sliced
2 large Courgettes, thinly sliced
1 Aubergine, thinly sliced
150g Mushrooms, sliced
100g Basmati Rice
250g hot Chicken or Vegetable Stock
2 heaped tbsp Creme Fraiche
80g Emmental or Cheddar cheese, finely grated
Salt & Pepper

Finely slice the onion, and add to a large frying pan with the olive oil.  Cook for about 15 minutes on a low heat, stirring occasionally until soft & sticky.

Using a large griddle or frying pan, cook the aubergine & courgettes in batches until coloured and soft - these can be done while the onion is cooking (yes I know... two pans, but it's better than crowding everything in the one pan and having it slop all over the hob!)

Add the mushrooms to the onions and cook for a further 5-7 minutes until lovely and soft.

Rinse the basmati rice in a sieve under cold running water until the water runs clear.

Transfer all your cooked veggies to a large pot, add the rinsed rice, the stock (I use one Knorr Stockpot with 250ml water), turn up the heat and cook for 5 minutes on a high simmer.  The mixture should be nice and oozy, so if it starts to dry out, add a little more stock

Remove the pot from the heat, add the creme fraiche and 2/3 of the cheese and stir well.  Season with salt & pepper and taste.  Adjust the seasoning if necessary.  (I used half-fat creme fraiche and Low-Low  Grated Mozzarella & Cheddar to keep it on the semi-healthy side!)

Pour the mixture into a gratin/lasagne dish and top with the remainder of the cheese.

Bake at 190c / 375 F / Gas 5 for about 40 minutes until the top is bubbly, the stock has absorbed and the rice is cooked.

Tonight we're having this with some griddled chicken and salad.

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