Tian de courgettes

A tian is an earthenware dish, which like the cassoule has given its name to the recipe which is cooked in it. This is a good way of using courgettes which have got a bit big. It can also be used as an accompaniment, e.g. with roast lamb.

2 rashers bacon, diced
chopped flatleaf parsley
3 tbs olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
3 onions, thinly sliced
1 tbs chopped fresh thyme
6 medium courgettes, diced
salt and pepper
2 oz or so of cooked rice
4 tbs breadcrumbs
3 oz Gruyere or Parmesan
1 large ripe tomato (optional)

Put the diced courgettes in a colander, sprinkly fairly lavishly with salt, and leave on one side for half an hour or so to drain.

Pre-heat the oven to medium hot and oil a gratin dish.

In a large frying pan cook the bacon gently for a few minutes. Then add 2 tbs oil and the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes — till soft but not brown. Rinse and drain the courgettes thoroughly and add them to the pan. Cook over a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Then stir in the eggs, rice, cheese, and herbs, and season to taste. Put into the gratin dish and if you happen to have a tomato slice it and arrange the slices on top. Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs, drizzle over the remaining olive oil, and bake for about 15 minutes until crisp and golden on top.

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