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Spud Sunday: Mostly Local

Potato, Courgette and Olive Gratin

This was inspired by a recipe for a Provençal gratin taken from the wonderful Green’s Cookbook [1] by Deborah Madison and Edward Espe Brown. Instead of tomatoes and thyme, I’ve used courgette and rosemary to accompany the spuds, along with plenty of Hartley’s olives and olive oil.

Potato And Courgette Gratin

You’ll need:
  • 500g potatoes, preferably a waxy variety
  • 400g courgette
  • 275g red onion
  • 80g green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 6-8 tblsp olive oil
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
You’ll also need:
  • An ovenproof dish – mine was 24cm x 30cm x 5cm, but you could certainly get away with one a bit smaller than that – plus some foil to cover the dish while cooking.
The Steps:
  • Preheat your oven to 200C
  • Scrub the potatoes and cut them into slices approx. 0.5 cm thick
  • Bring a pot of water to the boil, add a good pinch of salt and the potato slices. Allow them to come back up to the boil and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain and set aside.
  • Slice your onion into pieces around 0.5 cm thick and slice your courgette into rounds, again about 0.5 cm thick.
  • Place a pan over a medium-high heat. When hot, add a couple of tblsp of olive oil, swirl to coat the pan and add the sliced onions and the rosemary. Sauté, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes, until the onions have started to soften. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Return the pan to the heat and add another couple of tblsp of olive oil. Add the courgette slices and stir and fry for around 4 minutes or until they start to soften a little, then remove and set aside. You may find this easier to do in 2 batches.
  • Now assemble the gratin. Cover the bottom of your ovenproof dish with a film of olive oil. Add half of the onions, half of the sliced garlic and the chopped olives. Sprinkle with some coarse salt and black pepper.
  • Layer half of the potato slices, followed by half of the courgette slices. Add the rest of the sliced garlic and half of the lemon zest. Sprinkle with some more coarse salt and black pepper. Repeat, using the rest of the potatoes, courgette and lemon zest.
  • Top with the remaining onions, another sprinkle of salt and pour over a couple of tblsp of olive oil.
  • Cover loosely with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes or so, ensuring that the potatoes are cooked through.
  • Dig in.
The Variations:
  • You might want to experiment with adding more rosemary to this or use thyme instead.
  • I meant to add some soft goat’s cheese in between the potato and courgette layers, only I ate all of the goat’s cheese before I remembered what I wanted to use it for. Next time, though…
The Results:
  • Makes 4 good-sized portions of gratin.