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Zucchini gratin provençal

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For 6 people: 2 onions, 2 each red and green peppers, 2 aubergines, 1 kg small courgettes, 1 kg beef tomatoes, 1 clove garlic, 50 g freshly grated Parmesan, 30 g grated toast without crust, 5 tbsp olive oil, salt, freshly ground black pepper, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp dried sage. Butter flakes.

Peel the onions and cut into thin rings, cut open the peppers, remove the seeds and white septum and cut the flesh into thin strips. Slice the aubergines, courgettes and tomatoes, press through the garlic clove, mix the Parmesan cheese and bread. Heat half the oil and sauté the onions in it, add the garlic and peppers, salt, pepper and stew until soft, stirring repeatedly. Gradually add the aubergine slices, stir in, add half the herbs and cook in the same way. Transfer everything to an ovenproof dish and cover alternately with zucchini and tomato slices. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with the remaining oil and sprinkle with the herbs. Place in the oven heated to 180° and bake for 30 minutes. Remove, sprinkle with the cheese and bread mixture, top with butter flakes and bake for a further 15 minutes.

As a meatless main course with jacket potatoes; as a side dish with lamb or fish.

With Waldemar Thomas at Zucchini-Heeg in Mömbris

Adi and Monika Heeg once arrived at the farmstead in the Kahlgrund as dropouts. After they reignited farming on the farm, things quickly took off. Since 1982 the organic farm has been feeding the husband, wife and children. So well, anyway; that today the Heegs can't imagine ever working as bankers again. Also, 15 years behind the desk had finally been enough.

Two thousand laying hens have run today, and how many of them the fox or the marten takes, no one knows. There are eggs, anyway, and broilers now and then. As well as wheat, bread and rolls from our own grain; bought for the market or exchanged with colleagues, only from controlled organic production.

Then there are tomatoes. And zucchini, whose harvest is just beginning. The blossom of the zucchini not only looks beautiful, but also tastes delicious. They can be filled with trout mousse and served with chive sauce or, like 3-star chef Harald Wohlfahrt in Baiersbronn, chopped peppers are added, the filled blossoms are pulled through tempura batter and baked in oil until golden brown. Monika Heeg praises her zucchini of the Ambassador variety, they look dark green, shiny and have a nice taste. They can be stored in the vegetable compartment of the fridge for a short time, but should be prepared as fresh as possible, as they soon go limp. The consistency becomes unpleasantly rubbery and the taste suffers. Zucchini should certainly not be stored together with tomatoes or fruit. The fact that courgettes, which are called courgettes in France and England, are also called vegetable or cucumber squash in Germany makes it clear that courgettes belong to the pumpkin family. It is originally descended from the giant pumpkin. Zucchini is the diminutive form of the Italian word for pumpkin - zucca (like courge/courgette in French). There, as well as at Turkish traders, the variety is the greatest. Among the inhabitants of the Mediterranean, the young harvested zucchini, as small as possible, are the most popular. Monika Heeg firmly denies that the large ones are inferior in taste to the minis; she even prepares her favourite recipe with heavy courgettes up to 60 cm long.

She grates the flesh and bakes pancakes from it, which taste great and are made in no time at all, a blessing for the stress-ridden housewife. Zucchini gratin in the Provençal style involves more work, but makes a very handsome appearance. It is a summer meal par excellence. As a meatless main course or as a sun-drenched accompaniment to fish and lamb.


Adi and Monika Heeg

Am Wasen 1

63776 Mömbris-Rappach im Kahlgrund

Tel.: 06029-7454, Fax: 4306

Only weekly market Hanau: Wed u. Sat

from Waldemar Thomas

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