courgette and prosciutto gratin

Lindsey Bareham

Here’s a lovely way of turning courgettes into a soft, gently flavoured gratin to enjoy on its own or with almost anything from salad to chicken kebabs. The courgettes are grated and salted to draw out their excess liquid then quickly fried with onion and garlic. Slivers of prosciutto or another ham make the gratin more interesting under its crisp Gruyere carapace.

serves 4, prep 25 min, cook 35 min

600g courgette
2 onions
50g butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
7 sheets prosciutto
2 tbsp flour
300ml milk
50g fresh breadcrumbs
50g Gruyere

Grate the courgette on the large hole of a box grater. Spread out in a colander and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of salt, mix and leave to drain for 20 min. Rinse, squeeze dry in a sieve, mopping with a kitchen towel. Meanwhile, halve, peel and finely chop the onions. Melt the butter in the olive oil in a spacious lidded frying/sauté pan over a medium-low heat. Stir in the onions with a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 min until beginning to soften and colour.

Peel and finely chop the garlic and stir into the onion. Increase the heat and add the courgette, stirring around for a few minutes to take on some colour. Roll up the prosciutto and slice thinly. Add to the pan, stirring to disperse. Sift flour over the top, stirring until disappeared then add the milk, stirring as it begins to thicken. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 min. Tip into a gratin dish, level the surface and leave to cool and stiffen while the oven comes up to 200C/gas mark 6. Season with nutmeg. Mix crumbs and Gruyere, scatter over the top. Bake for 20 min or until the crust is golden.