I love dishes that make a vegetable the star of the show, and this gratin transforms the courgette to a diva with the most comfortable ease. Tossed with a little basil pesto, speckled with a light-flavoured cheese and topped with glorious, crispy breadcrumbs, this gratin is all I ever wanted. The cheese I had on hand today was wensleydale, but feta, gruyère, or even a mild cheddar would make excellent additions, too.
Courgette & Basil Pesto Gratin
2 medium courgettes
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
100g cheese, cut in small bits (I used Wensleydale)
small knob butter
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 heaping tablespoon basil pesto
Thinly slice courgettes and toss in a big bowl with salt, rest for 30 min to draw out excess water. Drain using a colander, pressing down a bit to extract as much water as possible.
Heat oven to 190C. Put the butter in a glass baking dish and melt in the oven until it starts to brown. Pour over breadcrumbs and toss.
Place courgette slices in a bowl with wensleydale & pesto. Toss. Put in glass dish (same one) and top with breadcrumbs. Bake 20 minutes, being careful not to overcook the courgettes to a mush.