Hearty Vegetable Gratin
I was in Beirut this past week for THE wedding of our beautiful closies Rasha & Salah, and we have been running from one bash to another so there has been no time left to cook! But just before leaving Dubai I made this delightful gratin which is so simple to make and is absolutely scrumptious :)
It's summer time and I have been craving veggies left, right and center.. Veggies in salads or sandwiches, pastas, risottos, and now in this beautiful gratin.. Even though it's a little naughty with the béchamel and cheese, it's still a hearty and healthy meal, and the perfect way to get your little ones to eat their veggies ;)
Easy. Prep & Cook time: ~1hr 15minutes
Serves 4 - 6
• 4 zucchinis
• 2 broccoli heads
• 2 bunches asparagus
• 2 packs mushroom (maybe add cauliflower instead)
• 1 red pepper
• 1 yellow pepper
• 1/2 tsp dried theme
and any other vegetables you feel like adding to the mix, like potatoes, carrots, cabbage, etc..
For the béchamel:
• 1 liter low fat milk
• 1 tbsp butter
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 4 tbsp flour
• 1 cup grated Gruyere
• 1/2 cup grated Cheddar
• 1/4 cup parmesan
• 1/2 tsp nutmeg
• salt and cracked pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C. Cut the vegetables in large chunks, then in a large pan, sauté them in a little olive oil with thyme for a few minutes, just to add some extra flavour. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
In a saucepan, melt the butter and olive oil, add the flour and cook it through, until it turns golden brown. Add the milk and simmer until it thickens, then season with salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg. When the béchamel has the consistency of a thick sauce, add the cheddar cheese and parmesan, then set aside.
Now in a baking dish, spread a generous amount of béchamel, then layer the vegetables. Add some more béchamel and add another layer of veggies. Repeat the process, and on the last layer of béchamel sprinkle the Gruyere cheese. (You can add a few small knobs of butter randomly on top of the cheese to give it even more of a crisp, but it's optional).
Place the gratin in the oven, and bake until the top turns golden brown, for approximately 45 minutes. When it's ready, let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy ;)