If there is a more beautiful presentation for vegetables than this tian, I’m not sure what it could be. Layered with yellow squash, zucchini, potato, Roma tomatoes and red onion; topped with fresh herbs, Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses, then baked, this Provençal Vegetable Tian recipe is both gorgeous and delicious! And it’s perfect for Meatless Monday!
A tian is both the name of the vessel it is cooked in and the dish itself, originating in the Provence region of France. Basically, the dish is a gratin…so look how fancy-pants you can be calling it a tian; it may look and sound fancy, but this is simple to prepare and oh, so good to eat. Also, since a tian is used to both cook and serve the recipe, it’s a one-dish wonder.
Any shallow earthenware or glass casserole you have will work just fine for this recipe. Also, you can get as fancy as you wish in how you stack or fan the vegetables. It will all taste the same, so don’t worry about being artful in your arrangement if you don’t want to do so.
As an aside, as you know, I have this insane love of anything dish/cookware related (yes, it’s an illness). For years and years, my dream kitchen was to have a collection (that I actually use) of French copper pots and also to have a collection of Bernardaud Cafe Paris cooking vessels and serving dishes. Over the course of years, Mr. Saucy gave me various French copper posts (my collection is now complete) but I still didn’t own any Cafe Paris pieces.
Then, a couple of years ago, I found a place that had a boatload of discounted Cafe Paris. It was like I’d died and gone to heaven. I bought several pieces, but even discounted it was expensive so I didn’t get a lot. That year for my birthday The Blount County girls added to my stash; what a lovely surprise! Anyway, long story short…the dish this is cooked in is one of the Cafe Paris pieces they gave me. I never use it without having them in my heart. Those kind of sentiments make my cooking so meaningful to me…and I had to share.
While this recipe could certainly be considered a side dish, it is hearty enough to stand alone as a meatless meal. Traditional tians contained meat, such as lamb and fish; even eggs were added, so you could transform this recipe to suit the meat-lovers in your household too.
Just try it. Because I can guarantee you, it will be a hit!
- 1 medium-sized zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1 medium-sized yellow squash, thinly sliced
- 1 medium-sized potato, thinly sliced
- 3 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 large red onion, halved length-wise, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of mixed fresh thyme, rosemary and oregano, chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- ½ cup Mozzarella cheese, grated
- Preheat your oven to 400° F.
- Spray the inside of a shallow glass baking dish with cooking spray.
- Layer the vegetables into the dish in a fan, or stacked vertically (depending on the size of your casserole).
- Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables.
- Sprinkle on the fresh herbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Cover the casserole with foil, place in the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil, sprinkle on the mixture of cheeses and continue to bake for another 15 minutes, or until the cheeses are golden brown and bubbling.
- Serve hot.