Courgette cut in 5mm slices enough to cover at least 3 layers of a deep baking dish
1 or 2 red onion, cut into chucks
3tsp dried Herbs de Provence
8 garlic cloves, chopped finely
Couple of handfuls of Sunflower seeds lightly toasted (optional)
Large carton of tomato passata
4tbsp olive oil
few sprigs thyme, leaves picked
Fresh Basil and Parsley leaves
3 or 4 slices of day old bread
Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C.
Slice the courgettes 3-5mm thick and place on an oiled baking tray drizzle a small amount of olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper, bake in oven till courgettes slightly colour at edges, you may have to do this in batches depending on how many people you are feeding!
Meanwhile cut the red onions into rustic chucks and place in a sauce pan with a little olive oil, heat on the hob with the lid on over a gentle heat to soften but not colour the onion.
When onions are soft add half the garlic, the Herbs de Provence and the passata and heat for 10mins, till the flavours combine nicely, season with salt and pepper.
Lightly oil a deep baking dish bottom and sides
Place a layer of courgette the tomato sauce then pick small pinches of mozzarella cheese to lightly cover the tomato sauce, then add another layer of courgette and repeat tomato and cheese layers, I usually do 3 layers, but make sure you leave enough room at the top for the herby crust.
To make the herby crust I add the 2 slices of bread to a food processor and add the rest of the garlic and process till I have lovely garlic flavoured bread crumbs, then I place them in a mixing bowl and add two more slices to the empty processor together with the fresh herbs and process again till I have a herby flavoured bread crumbs, then I transfer these to the mixing bowl as before, then I process the remaining bread and add that to the mixing bowl together with the sunflower seeds if using and mix together well.
Add this to the courgette dish to form a 1.5-2cm thick herb breadcrumb topping, drizzle a very small amount of olive oil on the herb crust and bake in the oven till golden about 20-25 minutes at 190ºC