Pam from For the Love of Cooking reminded me about vegetable tians.
She made Ina Garten's version, and I wondered why I hadn't made one in years.
A tian is a clay cooking vessel, sort of like a Dutch oven, used in French Alps cooking. And a vegetable tian is a dish with layered vegetables with some sort of cheese on top. Very much like a gratin.
Tian also means "heaven" in Chinese.
Well, this dish is heavenly.
Very pretty and great for a dinner party. Healthy and low fat. No cream, or Gruyere in my recipe, just some Parmigiano Reggiano.
I also don't use potatoes as Ina does.
It is great at the end of the summer season when you have tons of leftover zucchini, yellow squash & tomatoes and don't know what to do with them!
Stacey Snacks' Vegetable Tian
2 small zucchini, sliced 1/4" thick, on the diagonal
2 small yellow squash, sliced 1/4" thick, on the diagonal
4 Roma (plum) tomatoes, sliced thin
2 yellow onions, sliced thin
1/2-1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
a few sprigs of fresh or 1 tbsp dried thyme
kosher salt & pepper
I forgot how much I love making this dish because I get to use my big, beautiful oval gratin dish that is usually reserved for Thanksgiving stuffing or potato fennel gratin. It is made by Alpico from France and is worth every penny. I love it.
I know I am a weirdo.
After you slice your vegetables, place your squash and zucchini in a large bowl.
Drizzle some olive oil over them and sprinkle with kosher salt & a tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves.
Cook your onions on medium heat in a heavy skillet w/ a little olive oil till softened. About 8 minutes. Do not brown them.
Lay the onions on the bottom of an oiled gratin oval dish and sprinkle with some chopped fresh thyme (dried thyme is ok too).
Starting with your sliced tomatoes, arrange them in a row on top of the onions, overlapping a bit.
Sprinkle a little parmesan cheese at the base of the tomatoes, as if to create an adhesive for the next layer of vegetables.
Now layer a row of zucchini, then yellow squash, finishing each layer with some parmesan cheese at the base before the next layer.
Repeat with the tomatoes, cheese, zucchini, cheese, squash. Tomatoes, cheese, zucchini, cheese, squash.
When finished layering your vegetables, sprinkle the dish with about 3 tbsp of parmesan cheese and some fresh thyme & black pepper. It is now ready to be baked.
You can make this ahead of time and keep wrapped in plastic wrap until ready to bake.
Bake at 375 for 45 minutes, or until vegetables start to brown and cheese is crispy looking.
You can serve this warm or at room temperature. So yummy!
The dish will be a feast for the lucky ones who partake.
I wonder how this would cook in a clay pot.
When I get my appetite back, this sounds like a good dish to start with.