If you can’t make the heat, get out of the kitchen?

19 Jul

Disaster has struck in our house – the oven has broken.  This is really more of a disaster for me as I’m keen on trying out more recipes involving the oven.  As the weather in London recently has been really lovely, we are finding ourselves wanting to get out and bask in the niceness that sunshine brings out in London and it’s people.   So outside of work we’ve been living a life of BBQs, dinner at restaurants with outside areas and a LOT of lazing around on Hampstead Heath.. and not quite as much cooking as I planned to be doing at the start of each week!

But I had the idea for this dish because in our last shopping trip I had found a really good deal on a large packet of courgettes and had wide eyed-ly insisted to the OH that I had to have them, they would of course be used up in a myriad of recipes I had planned for this week and would definitely be all gone by this time next week.  So we got to this weekend and I guiltily realised many of said bargain courgettes were indeed still sitting there unloved and unused because of us being out so much.  Clearly an emergency “use loads of courgettes in one dish” recipe was called for – so I opted for this pasta-esque courgette bake.  It is a really nice dish to make alongside a ‘proper’ pasta one perhaps if you’re cooking for a few people, as feels like you are all sharing in the same meal – carb/less or not – and in the warmer weather its nice hot or cold with a salad.  Plus I’m sure its all good training for when we finally get to harvest our own lovely courgettes which are still doing well out on the balcony.

Only problem was that I made the realisation of the oven not working well into the start of this recipe – not ideal for a recipe with ‘bake’ in its title!  Our grill however, is working – and using a combination this, cooking the ingredients on the perspex dish as I went along and steaming the courgettes before they went in meant that I think I got away with it – but would be interested to hear if those of you lucky enough to have ovens find  that way best!

Tomato and Mozzarella Courgette Bake

Olive Oil

1 Medium onion

3 Slices Bacon, chopped

5 Small Courgettes – chopped into batons

1 packet fresh Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese, sliced

Approx 2 handfuls Grated Mozzarella Cheese

1 Tin Chopped Tomatoes

Tomato Puree (approx 3 tablespoons)

Chicken/Vegetable Stock Cube

Water

Herbs to taste (I used dried Herbs de Provence plus fresh Basil)

Method:

Heat small amount of oil in perspex dish on hob and add chopped onions, turn heat down and cook slowly until onions are translucent

Add chopped bacon and cook through, so that the onions absorb some of the flavour

Add the water and a crumbled stock cube, stirring together until a slightly thick consistency

Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and stir in, along with whichever hers you decide to use

Add in the tomato puree and cook until mixture thickens up – remember courgettes carry a lot of water, so the thicker the better as this will thin out while cooking!

Take the steamed/boiled courgettes and drain, then stir through into the sauce

dot the fresh mozzarella throughout and cover with the grated mozzarella

Grill for approx 10 mins – or until top bubbling and golden

Serve with a side salad or enjoy on its own!

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