What a lovely vegetable side. It’s very tasty, easy and bound to impress. 🙂
Recently one of my friend’s sent me a link to a vegetable tian recipe and I promised him I would give it a try. It looked delightful and a perfect side dish for some fish we wanted to make. So, last night we made it and we’re posting about it today. Cecil, this one is for you. 😉
What is a tian? Well, in Chinese, tian means sky but we’re not talking about a vegetable sky where rocking horse people eat marshmellow pies. 😀 No, a tian is a typically a gratinée of thinly sliced roasted vegetables cooked in a shallow dish. A tian also can be used to describe any type of casserole-style course, from a braised vegetable stew to a layered dessert. The name tian is derived from the large, round, earthenware cooking pot used in Provence, France. There are all sorts of tians. There are onion tians. Tians made with yellow beans, diced zucchini, and green beans, each of which is cooked and layered in the dish, along with a layer of sautéed onions of any color. There are prawn tians, eggplant tians, crab and avocado tians. There are endless possibilities for a tian. Originally, however, tian referred to a gratinée of Provencal-style mix of vegetables. This dish is along the lines of the Provencal-style mix of vegetables and it is quite tasty, indeed. It’s very easy to make inasmuch as it’s a bunch of sliced, roasted vegetables topped with cheese. It does, however, take about 45 minutes to bake so it may not be ideal for a weeknight meal but from start to finish, you can have this pretty, delectable side dish finished in an hour. Your family will love it and your dinner guests will be impressed. Give it a try. We think you will be glad you did.
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
- 1 tsp. garlic, minced
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 medium yellow squash, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 medium red potato, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 medium tomato, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- to taste salt & pepper
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup grated fontina cheese
- hot sauce, to taste (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Add oil to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
Now, add the onions and sauté until translucent, roughly 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and sauté another 2 – 3 minutes until very aromatic and soft.
While the veggies are sautéing, butter the inside of an 8″ diameter round baking dish. *
When the veggies are done, pour them into the bottom of the baking dish
and spread evenly across the bottom.
Now, place the thinly sliced vegetables in the baking dish vertically, in an alternating pattern.
Sprinkle generously with thyme
At this juncture you can either cover or wrap the dish in foil and bake. I have a cute little cover for this baking dish that would not make contact with the cheese while baking, so I opted to put the grated cheese on top of the vegetables at this tie in the process. **
Now, add the hot sauce. This is my homemade green hot sauce from the end of last year’s crop of cayenne peppers that didn’t have the opportunity to turn red. Nonetheless, it’s a wonderful hot sauce and adds great depth of flavor to your dish.
Cover the dish or wrap with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes remove the dish from the oven. Remove the cover or foil and top with cheese
Return to the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.
Remove from oven
Serve & enjoy!!
NOTES: * You can also use an 8″ x 8″ baking dish for this but you will need a little more zucchini and yellow squash.
** By adding the cheese and covering the dish it allowed the cheese to completely melt down and get all oozy in between the vegetables. Because the cover was deep enough the cheese did not melt and stick to the top. If you are going to use foil or your cover for your baking dish is too shallow, simply roast the vegetables without the cheese at this point. Add the cheese after roasting the veggies for 30 minutes.