Originating in Provence, a tian is a French word that describes a shallow earthenware casserole and because why use another word for it? The food it contains. Traditionally it features a variety of vegetables, herbs and cheeses that are layered and then baked. Showcasing summer’s squash and tomatoes, I threw in some potatoes too – because well I’m crafty like that.
But if you search a tian can be made with pretty much any vegetable you like, onions, eggplant, herbs, and I can go on and on.
The hardest part of the dish, the cutting – if you don’t own a mandolin you better have the skills and a very sharp knife to pull thin slices.
But you do have a mandolin right?
My tip to you – use the same size vegetables, in order to make it uniform, as you can see by my pictures my squash and potatoes were bigger than my zucchini and tomatoes.
How it happened? I have no clue, it did, and well I moved ahead – not that it made any difference in the final results of deliciousness.
SUMMER VEGETABLE BAKED TIAN
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- 1 large sweet yellow onion cut in half and sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1-2 russet potatoes, unpeeled
- 1 zucchini
- 1 yellow squash
- 3 large Roma tomatoes
- Sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- Dry Herbs de Provence or Italian seasoning or go for broke and use fresh herbs like oregano, thyme and rosemary.
- ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese*
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Brush a round baking (or square, up to you) dish with olive oil. In a medium sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the onions over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Spread the onion mixture on the bottom of the baking dish
Slice the potatoes, zucchini, squash and tomatoes in ¼ -inch thick slices. (or use that mandolin you have catching dust in your drawer) Layer them alternately in the dish on top of the onions, (you can make it pretty, like I did) fitting them tightly, making only 1 layer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme leaves, and thyme sprigs and drizzle with 1 more tablespoon of olive oil. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Uncover the dish, remove the thyme sprigs, sprinkle the cheese on top, and bake for another 30 minutes until browned. Serve warm.
*You can use any type of cheese you want, Gruyere would have been killer, but I ran out, also Asiago, since it’s a good melting cheese, or you can do a mix and match of your favorite.