Zucchini al Formaggio

An appetizing dish, Zucchini al Formaggio (zoo-kee-nec ahl for-mah-joh) may be served on its own as a light vegetarian meal or as a vegetable accompaniment to plain roast meat, especially beef or lamb.

1 oz. butter

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 shallots, thinly sliced and pushed out into rings

1 garlic clove, crushed (optional)

1 lb. courgettes , trimmed and sliced

4 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon prepared French mustard

3 tablespoons sour cream

1 bay leaf

4 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375 °F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C).

In a medium-sized, shallow flameproof casserole, melt the butter with the oil over moderate heat. When the foam sub- sides, add the shallots and the garlic, if Zucchini in Dolce is an unusual sweet you are using it. Fry, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until the shallots are soft and translucent but not brown.

Add the courgettes and fry, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, mustard, sour cream and bay leaf and cook for cake which, surprisingly, contains courgettes , minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the casserole from the heat and remove and discard the bay leaf.

Sprinkle over the Parmesan cheese and place the casserole in the centre of the oven. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the courgettes are tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Remove the casserole from the oven and serve immediately.

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