I’ve been making this courgette tian with lemon breadcrumbs for years now. Not only is it a bit of a showstopper but those beautiful courgettes are sat on a base of tasty shallots flavoured with chilli, garlic and thyme. So yummy!
Courgettes, or zucchini as they are sometimes know as, are hands down my favourite vegetable. If I could eat them with every meal I could. I pretty much have done, be it courgette omelettes for breakfast, courgette noodles for lunch, courgette pizza for dinner and even courgette cake for afternoon tea!
Therefore it seemed natural to pick them as June’s seasonal ingredient. However, the weather has been a little poor lately (apart from those 5 days last week were we got a tiny glimpse of summer) and so the stock of courgettes hasn’t really been up to much in my local stores.
So when I popped into my favourite ever grocery store in Glasgow, Roots, Fruits and Flowers I was over the moon to see not just some beautiful green courgettes but some amazing yellow ones too. And that’s know we got here today with this beautiful courgette tian.
Don’t you just love when a trip to the grocery store inspires you?
Now I’ve made this tian many a time but this is the first time I’ve made it with only courgettes. Usually I alternate slices of green courgettes with tomatoes, sometimes adding some potato in there two. You really need a couple of colours going on here so when I saw these yellow squash I thought this would be the perfect day to try a courgette only version.
If you have a mandolin this is the perfect time to crack it out. You can pick them up pretty cheaply like this one from Lakeland. Not only does it reduce your prep time a lot but it also means you get the slices all the same size. My mandolin as a little guide on it so I set it to 7mm. If you don’t have one, a plain old knife will do. Just grab a ruler and make marks each 7mm…
Just get slicing but do try to get them roughly the same thickness so they cook evenly. It’s also a good idea to look out for similiar sized courgettes and ones that don’t taper too much. This is when those fussy supermarkets come in handy with there high vegetable standards! More jokes!
You can serve this as a light lunch with some crusty bread or as a side to some grilled chicken or fish. It’s one of my favourite things to make for guests coming over as I can prep it in advance then just pop it in the oven. I do love all the “wow” sound effects when I place it on the table. I think you will agree it is a thing of beauty.
The trouble is all your guests will be fighting you for those amazingly, melty, spicy shallots.
- 3 banana shallots (or 1 large red onion), finely diced
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped (seeds removed if you like)
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- Fresh thyme leaves
- 4 large courgettes (yellow and green)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Black pepper
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- Dried chilli flakes
- Preheat a fan oven to 170 Celius and brush a 9 inch by 12 inch shallow baking dish with a little olive oil.
- In a small pan, add the butter and olive oil. Heat on a low heat and add shallots, fresh and dried chilli, garlic, salt and thyme leaves. Cook for about 5-7 minutes until the shallots are soft and translucent. Spoon this mixture into your baking dish and spreadh evenly.
- Using a mandolin, slice the courgettes into even slices. Stack up alternating colours and arrange in the baking dish in rows. Try to squeeze in as many as you can as they will shrink down a little. Brush with the extra olive oil and sprinkle over a little salt. Place in the oven for about 30 minutes.
- Make up the flavoured breadcrumbs by combing the breadcrumbs with lemon zest, black pepper and fresh thyme leaves.
- Remove from the oven and add the breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan. Place back in the over for about 15 minutes. Serve immediately with some chopped parsley and some chilli flakes.
- This dish looks best with two different coloured vegetables. If you cannot get yellow courgette, try using tomatoes or potatoes instead.