Today I’d love to tell you about a traditional French dish: le tian de légumes. It’s a kind of a vegetable gratin from the south of France.
The magic about this dish is that although it’s quite low in fat, it’s remarkably strong in taste.
– Red onions*
– 1 courgette
– 1 eggplant
– Dried herbs : Laurel (some dried leaves) / Thyme (at least 1 tbsp)
– Olive oil
– Grated parmesan cheese
– Salt and pepper
*Adjust the quantities depending on the courgette/eggplant size, so that you get the same amount of each.
My advice: make sure you buy fully-ripe vegetables. It’s key to this recipe; there’s no good tian with not-that-good vegetables.
How to make it?
- Cut each vegetable into regular round slices of around 0,5/1 cm. Their diameter may vary (eggplants are usually twice as thick as courgettes) but don’t worry, it will all even out in the oven.
- When you’re done cutting, arrange the slices vertically, alternating the vegetables. This is the fun part. You can ask your partner/kids/friends to help you. It’s quite funny to create a vegetable rainbow from scratch (literally)! Of course, in the beginning, the slices may fall a bit making the tian looking messy. But soon you’ll get to the point you’ll actually struggle to make the last slices fit it.
- Last step: Pour a generous amount of olive oil on top (don’t be shy, it’s just mandatory to cook all this vegetable wonder) and a little bit of water. Add some salt/pepper and herbs (laurel/thyme*) and finish with a handful of parmesan cheese.
* by the way: if you don’t have one of these, oregano works very well too.
Transfer to a hot oven and let it cook for 35 to 40 minutes at 180°C/Gas mark 4/350°F. The tian is ready when potatoes are soft. Use a knife and try to cut the thickest potato slice, if this one is fine, then your Tian is ready to serve!
Serve hot with your choice of grilled meat.