Gabriel Wilson loves to cook, eat tasty foods, and drink a glass of wine—without having to do the washing up.
Step 1: Make the Pastry
- 200 grams plain flour
- Pinch salt
- 1 fresh egg, beaten
- 100 grams butter, cut into cubes
- Blitz the flour, butter and salt in a food processor to breadcrumb consistency.
- Add in the beaten egg and blitz to mix (don't overdo the blitzing or the pastry will be though).
- Turn out onto a floured board and knead into a smooth ball.
- Cover with clingfilm and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. At this stage, the pastry kept refrigerated for up to 3 days.
- Blind bake the pastry: Preheat the oven to 200ºC / gas mark 6. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and line a 10-inch buttered flan dish. I use a solid bottom flan dish.
- Trim the edges of the pastry and prick the base with a fork.
- Line the pastry with baking parchment and fill with baking beans or baking weights.
- Place on a baking tray and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the parchment and the beans. Return to the oven for 5 to 7 minutes to cook the base.
- Remove the pastry from the oven and reduce the temperature to 160ºC / gas mark 3.
Step 2: Make the Filling, Assemble and Bake
- 1 medium or 2 small courgettes, sliced into thin rings
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 100 ml olive oil
- 3 oz cheddar, grated
- 2 oz Parmesan, grated
- 200 ml milk
- 4 fresh eggs, beaten
- Pinch grated nutmeg
- Salt and pepper, to taste
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- Brush the courgettes with olive oil and griddle on both sides to get golden crisscross shapes.
- Heat the remaining oil in a pan and fry the onions till translucent.
- Scatter the fried onion over the base of the pastry case.
- Arrange the courgettes in a circle into the middle of the pastry.
- Mix the eggs, milk, cheddar, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Pour the mix over the courgettes.
- Sprinkle with the Parmesan.
- Bake for 35 to 45 minutes till golden and set.
Cook's Tip: The courgettes and onions can be prepared while the pastry chills.
- Courgettes, or zucchinis as they are known in Italy and America, are low in calories and contain folate, potassium, vitamin A and C.
- They are generally harvested during the summer months up to the end of September. Courgettes are very easy to grow and can grow very very big. Smaller courgettes tend to have more flavor although that is not always the case.
- The yellow flowers of the courgette vine are often used in fine dining. Tempura flowers are served as a garnish or as edible flowers in a salad dish. Larger flowers may be stuffed with a mixture of mincemeat or diced vegetables.
- The courgette is an underrated vegetable and is mostly used in ratatouille (a type of vegetable stew served as a side or main dish).
Two Easy and Tasty Courgette Recipes
- Slice the courgette into ribbons (a mandoline slicer works great).
- Simmer in salted water for a few minutes, remove the ribbons and drain.
- Heat a little butter in a pan, toss in the courgette ribbons coating them in the butter.
- Squeeze over a little fresh lemon juice, season and serve.
- Flour, egg, and breadcrumb thin rings of courgette.
- Deep fry in hot oil till crisp and golden.
- Remove the crisp courgettes with a slotted spoon.
- Place in a bowl lined with kitchen paper, sprinkle with sea salt and serve.
© 2011 Gabriel Wilson