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.
28 thoughts on “Vegetable Tian”
Lovely looking dish! Thanks for sharing
Thanks for dropping by and the very nice compliment. 🙂 Hope to see you around.
It looks so colourful and boy do I love things with colour? It’s also so simple to make and I am sure it tastes delicious too because of the cheeses! thanks for sharing this. I want to try it one of these fine evenings. I am supposed to be eating more veggies…and less meat. Have a very pleasant weekend!
Thanks, Liz. We had this with a wonderful baked spicy crusted cod with Baby Lady’s take on a remoulade. Dinner was crazy good and the tian went beautifully with the meal. 🙂 We hope you do give it a try.
Thanks. It is tasty, too! 🙂
I have always thought ‘tian’ to be such an elegant word in cooking! Methinks this is a very elegant dish I could happily have as a lunch or supper ‘main’ with some bread and a glass of cool dry white! And ’tis just a matter of putting it together ’cause most of us would have most of the ingredients at home most of the time 🙂 !
We had the tian with a lovely baked spicy crusted cod and a nice glass of chardonnay. It was a lovely meal and was really fun to make. 🙂
Awesome arrangement. Reminded me of the movie Ratatouille. 🙂
Thanks. 🙂 It does, doesn’t it. I hadn’t thought about it until your comment. 🙂
I was expecting something Chinese when I saw the title, but got confused when I saw the cheese on top! Great looking dish, Richard. I’ll have to do my own version of this for sure 🙂
Thanks, Stefan. You will definitely enjoy this.
Thanks, Cecil! This is lovely and I’m sure delicious! I’m so glad you didn’t use jarred garlic…
Thanks, Mimi. Cecil probably will never fix this dish. He’s a sandwich guy but he loves good food. I agree with you on the jarred garlic.
I just came across a low-carb tian on a website the other day and am plannning to try it. Hers wasn’t quite as pretty as yours, and ddn’t have potatoes (naturally for low-carbing) but it sure looked good, as does yours, Richard. I’ve just GOT to try this soon. So pretty they are.
Hi, Peggy. You definitely need to try this. It is really flavorful and a beautiful presentation. For low carb you can substitute the potato with eggplant, or rutabaga. 🙂
Yes, I had thought of eggplant, but not the rutabaga. GOOD idea!
Oooh, I adore your baking dish and lid! And guess what? I am going to make this tonight, thank you (and Cecil) for such a great recipe!
Thanks, Kathryn. 🙂 Let us know how you like it. The baking dish we purchased at one of the local Asian markets. You can’t tell with the photo but the lid has a little hole in it to allow steam to come out. It’s really a nifty little piece of cookware and was perfect for this tian.
I just got back from the store with some nice organic vegetables for this. I will let you know the results, although I’m sure it will be fantastic!
Almost forgot to let you know. The dish came out fantastic! I didn’t add any hot sauce (picky daughter) and used fresh chopped basil and tarragon from my garden instead of thyme. The store didn’t have fontina so used Monterrey Jack instead. That’s cooking for you! But it was the perfect side dish for some leftover rotisserie chicken we had in the fridge. Thank you so much for the idea!
Thanks, Kathryn. We are so glad you enjoyed the dish. I would imagine the basil and tarragon would add beautiful flavors to the dish. Cooking is so much fun. 🙂
WOW. I have never come across a tian before and i grow all my own food out here on my little farm so i have everything for this dish, i just need to take my basket and go shopping in the gardens. i am going to make this for dinner. But first i must check out your hot sauce. Mine is all gone! Thank you.. celi
Gorgeous, and gorgeously simple! I wish I had everything to hand like Cecilia as that would make it all the better. Lovely
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