Courgette Tian with Artichokes, Peppers and Pesto

Mediterranean flavours combine to good effect in Alex Mackay's colourful vegetarian dish, ideal for a dinner party
By Alex Mackay
Courgette Tian with Artichokes, Peppers and Pesto
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 500 g onions, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • coarse sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large tomatoes, cut into 1 cm thick slices
  • 1 large yellow courgette, cut into 1 cm thick slices
  • 1 medium green courgette, cut into 1 cm thick slices
  • 2-3 pinches of thyme or savory
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced into strips
  • 6 small cooked artichokes
  • 12 sun-blushed tomatoes
  • 1 small bunch of basil, leaves picked from the stalks and shredded


  • 50gm leaves basil
  • 50 g parmesan, grated
  • 35 ml olive oil
  • black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 170¼C/Gas3. Place the sliced onion in a heavy-based frying pan with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp sugar and 100ml water. Cover the pan and cook gently for 10 minutes, until softened.

2. Remove the lid, increase the heat and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes until the onions have turned a dark caramel colour and almost all the liquid has evaporated.

3. Spread the caramelised onion evenly over the bottom of a gratin dish. Layer the tomato and courgette in overlapping slices over the onions, seasoning well with salt and freshly ground pepper and sprinkling with thyme.

4. Drizzle 50ml of olive oil over the tomato and courgette and cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes uncovered.

5. Meanwhile, place the red and yellow pepper and remaining olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan. Add 100ml water and cook for 15 minutes until peppers softened. Add the artichokes and sun-blush tomatoes to the pan and cook until warmed through. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and add the shredded basil.

6. Make the pesto by blending together the basil, parmesan and olive oil to a paste in a food processor or a pestle and mortar. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Top the courgette tian with the pepper mixture and spoon over the pesto. Serve.

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