As the vegetables ripen and fill the tables of our local farmers markets, we need ways to cook this abundance before they are gone and an entire new crop, requiring different recipes, fills the tables.
There is a wealth of tomatoes, zucchinis, and eggplants that are begging to become part of our meals. To continue my series on French Provençal side dishes, here is a recipe for a tian. A tian is defined as a layered vegetable dish. In Provence, it is traditionally made with zucchini, eggplants, and tomatoes and is the essence of simplicity. It is created by alternating slices of vegetables, layering them around an ovenproof dish until it is completely filled.
Serve it hot, warm, or at room temperature.
Serves: 4 – 6
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: cook 1 hr 15 minutes
Preheat oven to 325°
1 medium eggplant
4 medium/large tomatoes
3 medium zucchinis
2 medium onions, optional
4 cloves garlic
2 + tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon herb de Provence
Salt and pepper
Butter ovenproof dish, round 12” or oval
Wash vegetables, do not peel. Slice into even slices about ¼ inch thick. (It is important that the slices are all about the same width so they cook evenly.)
Since the eggplant is bigger than the other vegetables, cut the slices in half so they are the same size as the tomatoes and zucchinis.
In an ovenproof pan, layout, the vegetables: eggplant, tomato, zucchini, and onion and repeat until the dish is filled.
Use a zester or garlic press to spread the garlic over the top of the vegetables.
Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables.
Over the dish add herbes de Provence* and salt and pepper.
Cover loosely with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
Remove the foil and sprinkle the vegetables with water to keep them moist and continue to cook for 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let the dish rest for 15 minutes to re-absorb the juices. Serve hot or at room temperature.
If you don’t have any already mixed in your pantry. You can make it with this recipe.
When I’m in France I always buy a large jar at the grocery store and bring it home unopened. It’s so fresh when you open the jar you are assaulted with the smell of this amazing combination of herbs.
Herb de Provence
4 tsp dried thyme
3 tsp dried savory
3 tsp dried marjoram
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried fennel seeds
1 crushed bay leaf
1 tsp tarragon
1 tsp basil
1 tsp mint
1 tsp parsley
Combine all the spices together and mix well.
Place in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake mix well. If possible store in a dark cool cabinet.
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Le Kitchen Cookbook
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