This Vegetable Tian with tomatoes, zucchini and potatoes is a beautiful Provencal-inspired dish! Vary the veggies with eggplant, yellow squash and peppers, too!
The inspiration behind this recipe:
It's usually so oppressively hot here I can't wait for summer to end and experience that first chill in the air. However, we've had a chill in the air quite a few times this summer and now it's slipping away all too quickly.
Our garden is still producing zucchini and tomatoes--and at times it's been a burden figuring out ways to use all the zucchini. Now that's it's getting into late August, I'm appreciating any and all produce our garden decides to give us.
This casual, yet elegant Provencal Summer Vegetable Tian (pronounced "tyan") adapted from Ina Garten's Barefoot in Paris is the perfect way to use up those late-summer gifts from the garden. I love Ina's recipes; they're clean, easy, are well-tested and simply fabulous!
What is a tian?
Tians are similar to ratatouille. A tian describes the shallow (generally earthenware) baking dish along with the food that is cooked inside it. The vegetables cook in their own juices; no other liquid is usually required except perhaps a slight drizzle of olive oil. If using peak-of-summer tomatoes, adding any more liquid won't be necessary.
Any shallow baking dish such as a 9 x 13-inch baking dish or gratin will work for this Summer Vegetable Tian. Arrange the vegetables in individual baking dishes and this dish will be the hit of your next dinner party.
Which vegetables are used in a tian?
The vegetables in tians are interchangeable but are generally Mediterranean-style:
- Yellow squash
Because this vegetable tian includes potatoes, it makes a substantial side dish for simply roasted meat, poultry or grilled fish. It also makes a hearty entrée for the vegetarian friend who comes to dinner.
Can tians be made ahead?
To make this Summer Vegetable Tian ahead, assemble, bake until the potatoes are tender, cool, and store up to two days. When needed, heat in the oven loosely covered with aluminum foil until hot. Then, proceed with adding the remaining cheese and lightly browning the top. I don't recommend storing fully assembled without baking--the potatoes will discolor. Tucking the potatoes in at the last minute is also an option.
This recipe calls for Gruyère cheese which is on the pricey side, but almost any white cheese that can be shredded -- such as mozzarella or Swiss -- will work. The tian will be wonderfully juicy and bubbling when you remove it from the oven. Let it rest a bit before serving.
For more summer vegetable casseroles, try my:
- Yellow Squash and Tomato Gratin with Two Cheeses
- Zucchini, Yellow Squash and Quinoa Casserole
- Healthier Turkish Eggplant Casserole
- Southwestern Squash, Corn and Poblano Casserole
- Layered Zucchini Corn Casserole
- Southwestern Summer Squash Casserole
- Black Bean and Yellow Squash Enchilada Casserole
- Italian Summer Vegetable Casserole
Vegetable Tian Recipe
- 3 tablespoons olive oil - plus more to coat baking dish
- 2 large onions - halved and thinly sliced
- 8 cloves garlic - thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme - divided
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese - divided
- 2 medium zucchini
- 5 large large plum tomatoes
- 1 pound baby potatoes - such as red or Yukon gold
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush a large, shallow baking dish with olive oil.
- In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until beginning to soften.
- Add the garlic and cook 1 to 2 more minutes. Add half the thyme and salt and black pepper to taste.
- Drain off any excess oil. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and allow to cool while preparing the vegetables.
- Sprinkle half the cheese over onions.
- Slice the zucchini, tomatoes and potatoes into ¼-inch slices.
- While the vegetables are on your cutting board, season with salt and black pepper.
- Layer vegetables alternately in the dish on top of the onions and cheese, fitting tightly to make one layer. If any vegetables are left, tuck them in wherever you can to use them up.
- Once they're arranged, sprinkle with more salt, black pepper and remaining thyme.
- Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake 35-40 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Uncover the dish, sprinkle the cheese on top, and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
- Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.