With kids at home and everyone preoccupied with exciting summer vacation plans, June’s 5 Star Makeover was extended to June/July 5 Star Makeover. Thank you to our benevolent leaders, Natasha and Lazaro, because there was a lot of stuff that went down in my humble abode in the past two months, unfortunately none of it involved a vacation. The theme was befitting of the season: a farmers’ market challenge to create a dish with ingredients purchased from a farmer’s market and, even though there’s a plethora of courgette (the French word for zucchini – sounds more gourmet, yes?) recipes out in the blogosphere right now, I was compelled to use that which is abundant in my garden (you can’t more locavore than that) along with peppers, nuts, and cheese from the farmer’s market.
A tian is a typical hearty Provençal vegetable dish which is baked in an earthenware casserole called a tian, it can be served hot or cold – making it an ideal picnic or backyard party dish. Rather than a standard baking dish, I decided to use two small baking/serving dishes for individual servings and my daughter and I enjoyed a lovely poolside lunch. I hope that this sensationally simple tian with the freshness of summer squash, roasted peppers, and essence of mint will please your palate. A lemon and pistachio gremolata adds a bright and delightful crunch.
Courgette and Mint Tian with Lemon and Pistachio Gremolata
2 medium sized zucchini, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, roasted
1 red bell pepper, roasted
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 sweet onion, sliced
sprinkle of red chili pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
2 tablespoons roasted pistachios, chopped
zest of 1 lemon
Garnish: shaved manchego and courgette blossom
Yield: 2 -4 servings
1. Cut pepper in half, remove seeds and core. Roast in toaster oven on 450 degrees until skin is brown and blistered. Remove and place in a paper bag or baggie to cool. Remove skin and cut lengthwise into 6 ¾ inch strips.
2. While peppers are roasting, heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and chili flakes, saute, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add garlic and mint and cook for another minute. Remove from heat.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Thinly coat individual 3-4″ baking ramekins with butter. Line sides of baking dish with peppers. Line bottom with overlapping zucchini slices, spread with a tablespoon of the onion mixture. Repeat with another layer of zucchini and onion mixture. End with a third layer of zucchini. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of grated manchego cheese. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
4. Combine chopped pistachios and lemon for gremolata. Serve warm or at room temperature sprinkled with gremolata. Garnish with shaved manchego and courgette blossom.
*I used a Meyer Lemon olive oil from Gianni’s Fine Foods, but extra virgin olive oil is fine.
With this tian I declare Zucchini season officially closed. I experienced an “ah ha” moment reading a gardening article lamenting about people who complain of a glut of zucchini when all they have to do is harvest the delicate blossoms and enjoy them in their own right. Duh! So, that’s exactly what we did on Saturday. Alongside this lovely tian, we savored crisp, lightly battered zucchini blossoms, and I smiled inside 🙂