Recipe: verdure gratinate

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That's gra-tin-ah-tay, by the way. Because Maurizio is cooking it. Meanwhile, I'm in my favourite place, sitting at our kitchen table, close to the action and to the smell of roasting vegetables. (As well as the featured veggies, there are also peppers hissing and charring away on the griddle, and some kind of capery concoction being made, so the air in here is really tasty.)

So here is how you make this summery dish. It's a typical Italian starter or side dish, which you have have hot, cold, or even tepido, another word that sounds much better in Italian. Maybe they all do.

1. Halve your vegetables. We used tomatoes, courgettes and potatoes, and you could also use aubergines. If you did, you should do to it what Maurizio did to the courgette, which was to scoop out some of the flesh to create little zucchini boats, the better to carry more of the topping.

2. Make the mixture. This is what goes into lender for some good rough chopping: bread (with crusts. We used a granary loaf, and you can do one slice per person), a handful of parsley, or any other herbs such as rosemary or oregano, a clove of garlic, salt and pepper.

3. Spoon the mixture onto the vegetables and put it in the oven for about half an hour on 160.

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