Jessica Kruger: An Amazing Autumnal Courgette Tian

The Staff Canteen
My name is Jessica Kruger and in September 2014 I opened ETHOS - a fast casual dining concept just off Oxford Street, London. Since I became vegan in 2012, I found myself increasingly frustrated with the lack of exciting, interesting options when eating out, and so wanted to launch a meat-free restaurant that gave diners real choice. courgette At ETHOS we strive to create vibrant and deliciously different food, taking inspiration from across the world, and operating a pay-by-weight system giving customers real flexibility on what, and how much, they eat. Of course, to make sure our dishes look and taste as good as they can it’s important that we work around the seasons and this is something the chefs at the restaurant and I are always considering. For the next six months I’ll be sharing some of our favourite recipes in this blog, using a star seasonal ingredient, from the delightfully crisp and crunchy baby gem in the summer to heartier leeks, swedes & turnips in the colder months.

September's star ingredient:

At Ethos we’ve been really busy, putting together a special London Fashion Week picnic hamper, catering backstage for fashion brand Amanda Wakeley and of course ensuring the restaurant continues to be the place people go to for delicious meat-free food. Ethos restaurant pictureWith all this going on, by the time I get home I need a nutritious meal but equally something delicious and comforting. As summer slips into autumn and the leaves start to fall one of my favourite dishes to create and enjoy is this Courgette Tian. It is creamy, warming and satisfying, yet only has about 250 calories in a portion. Best of all, it really shows off the star ingredient, courgette, which is amazing at this time of year.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1kg courgette
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 crushed cloves of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cups prepared courgette juice (see instructions)
  • 2/3 cup of grated vegetarian parmesan or other hard cheese
  • 1/2 cup of white rice
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Black pepper
  • Milk


  1. Grate the courgette and sprinkle with the salt, using your hands to mix well
  2. Place courgette in a colander over a bowl allowing the juices to run out. After 20 minutes squeeze a little to ensure all juice has been collected
  3. Rinse courgette in cold water and squeeze out again, this time not collecting the liquid, then lay out on paper towels and pat dry
  4. Top up the juice collected from the courgette with milk until you have 2 ½ cups of liquid then heat gently on the stove until warm
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat, then add the garlic and onion. Sauté until the onions just start to browncourgette1
  6. Turn the heat up a little, add the courgette and cook for five minutes, stirring regularly
  7. Add the flour and cook for a further 2 minutes then remove from the heat. Stir in the parmesan cheese, but save 2 tablespoons for later
  8. Season with salt and pepper and then add the liquid and rice. Bring the mixture to a simmer
  9. Preheat your oven to 220C
  10. If the pan you’re using is ovenproof then leave in that, if not pour mixture into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle over the remaining parmesan and olive oil then cover and bake for 15 minutes
  11. Remove lid or foil and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the top is golden
  12. Let the dish rest for around ten minutes then serve
There’s nothing better than sitting around a table sharing a big, warming dish like this with friends or family. It can even be made suitable for vegans by removing the parmesan and using soy milk instead of milk. Many people think that comfort food is unhealthy food, but I think this recipe proves them wrong! I hope you enjoy reading the recipes and please feel free to tweet us any finished dishes, questions or comments to @EthosFoods Jessica KrugerThe idea for ETHOS came about in 2012, when Australian born Jessica became a vegan and, despite her love of trying new foods and eating out, found herself increasingly frustrated with the lack of options available when dining out, especially in comparison to the rest of the world. Seeing a gap in the market, and at just 26 years old, Jessica was inspired to create a new all-day dining experience focused around a meat-free global menu that gives customers real choice in what they eat, how much they eat and how they pick and mix it. ETHOS opened in September 2014 and is a fast-casual dining concept, which focuses on deliciously different meat-free food from around the world, served in a sophisticated and contemporary setting. For more information visit
In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 3rd September 2015

Jessica Kruger: An Amazing Autumnal Courgette Tian