Another Summer is coming to a close and, if you live in the Midwest like me, your garden is probably exploding with veggies. But by this time, you’ve eaten a dozen BLT’s, you’ve canned so many tomatoes your cupboards are full, you’ve zoodled and frittered and fried bushels of zucchinis and you’re just plain out of ideas. Well, here’s one of my favorite Summer sides to use up pretty much everything in your garden - a Tian!
A Tian is one of those fun dishes that’s named after the dish you cook it in, like a casserole. Comprised of assorted vegetables, it’s layered and cooked in a shallow circular earthenware dish that is glazed on the inside and unglazed on the outside. This Provencal classic is the perfect Summer dish to use up loads of vegetables because if you can thinly slice them, you can put them in a Tian. This recipe is a guideline based on the vegetables I picked from my garden and a Tian can be made in anything from a baking dish to a Le Creuset braiser or Lodge cast iron skillet. I layered mine in individual cast iron dishes to make them “fancy.”
Summer Vegetable Tian
Assorted vegetables sliced into thin rounds (I used Summer squash, red onions and heirloom tomatoes. Eggplant is very traditional as well, but you could use almost anything from the garden or Farmer’s Market)
Herb salt (I make my own and we carry a delicious Herbs de Provence Salt made by our Owner/Chef Shelley Young)
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup Parmesan cheese mixed with ½ cup Panko bread crumbs (optional) and 1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
A few cloves of garlic
Assorted herbs (I used lots of oregano, thyme and parsley)
Slice all veggies into ¼ inch thick rounds. (Pro Tip: I like to save any extra bits and rough chop them. These will go at the bottom of my dish to soak up extra flavor!)
Lay slices out and season liberally with salt (I use my homemade herb salt or use our Chopping Block Herbs de Provence Salt) and pepper. Make Herb Oil by roughly chopping garlic, oregano, thyme and parsley and covering with 1 cup olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and red wine vinegar. Whisk with a fork to combine.
While Herb Oil sits, arrange your vegetables, packing them tightly and alternating each to create a pretty pattern. Concentric circles, straight lines and swirls all make appealing designs. Once your vegetables are arranged, drizzle heaping spoonfulls of Herb Oil all over vegetables and top with some additional pepper.
Cover with foil and bake at 400 for 15 minutes. I threw mine on the grill for some delicious smoky flavor.
Uncover and top with Panko and cheese mixture. Bake for an additional 15 minutes uncovered until topping is browned and crispy.
Provencal cuisine is one of my favorites, especially in the Summer with its emphasis on fragrant herbs, sweet tomatoes and bright acidic wines. If you don’t have time to try this Tian at home, join us for Passport to Provence on September 12th for a taste of late Summer in the South of France.