courgette chickpea gratin

Beauty is only skin deep

courgette gratin bake

WINE: Satellite Pinot Noir, NZ
FOOD: Courgette and chickpea bake
WHY? Actually, it’s more like why not…

This was the first dish I had the strength and inclination to eat after my recent stomach bug. It’s amazingly satisfying veggie food – which is quite a phenomenon in itself. It’s one of the only vegetarian meals that I make where my boyfriend doesn’t complain that there is a big hunk of protein missing from his plate.

Maybe it’s the chickpeas or possibly the cheese sauce which fills that hole, but this low calorie meal really hits the spot. Yes, I know it doesn’t look very pretty, but when it tastes this good then really who cares?

The wine I chose to pair with it was *SHOCK HORROR* not the best match in the world. Yes, even me, the food and wine pairing goddess is fallible. My excuse is that my palate was off after being so poorly.

pinot noir marlborough

I paired it with the Satellite Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand. Big mistake!  While I didn’t think it would be a stand out match, but I thought it would be ok… It wasn’t. It was just plain nasty.

The wine (alone) was great and the food (alone) was great, but together it was a no-go area. So have a go with the recipe, but I actually think a white would be much better suited such as a Soave, or a Verdicchio. Or the fail-safe Cote de Provence rose would go down a treat.

Courgette and chickpea bake
Recipe adapted from one of the best veggie cooks I know: Babi Chande
Serves 6

You will need:
3 large courgettes
1 large onion, finely diced
Olive oil
Chopped tomatoes
1tsp paprika
1tsp vegeta (you can substitute salt)
1tsp sugar
1 tbsp tomato puree
½ tsp mixed herbs
1 can chickpeas
Lots of black pepper
Homemade cheese sauce (I like to add a couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce to mine)

  1. Steam the courgettes until tender (not mushy). Roughly 20 minutes. Once done allow to cool.
  2. Meanwhile soften the onion in some oil. Then add the tomatoes, paprika, vegeta, sugar, tomato puree and herbs and mix together. Finally add in the chickpeas and simmer until the chickpeas are heated through.
  3. Half the courgettes and deseed them (don’t skip this step otherwise it will be too watery). Lay these out along the bottom of a pyrex dish.
  4. Make the cheese sauce, and then layer the tomato chickpea mixture on top of the courgettes. Finally finish with the cheese sauce. Cook for 40 minutes at 200 degrees C. Serve with garlic bread to mop up the sauce.

5 thoughts on “Beauty is only skin deep

  1. Yum! Love courgettes. Love chick peas. Love cheese (who doesn’t!). Will have to take this one out for a spin. I might add several cloves of garlic as well, to keep away the vampires.

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