July 24, 2011

According to wikipedia, a tian is a tall, conical earthenware cooking vessel used in the Alpes-Maritimes area of France, with most of them  being produced in the town of Mougins. It is traditionally made from red clay and used to cook a traditional braised vegetable stew also called tian. Today, the modern version of vegetable tian is not a stew, but a freeform composite of roasted vegetables baked in a shallow dish. What wiki failed to mention is that it’s damn yummy.

2 tbsps olive oil

2 large onions, sliced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup white wine

sprigs of thyme

1 small eggplant, sliced

2 red peppers, sliced

4 small zucchini, sliced

2 large tomatoes, sliced

a bunch of basil

1 tbsp cane sugar

sea salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet. Add onions and saute until they start to get soft. Add garlic and thyme and continue to saute until garlic becomes aromatic. Add white wine and cook down until you are left with a onion stew. Place onion mixture in the bottom of a casserole. Start to add your layered vegetables, starting with eggplant, then adding peppers, then adding zucchini. Before adding the final tomato layer, add a layer of basil. With each layer, brush vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. After adding the final tomato layer, sprinkle the tian with sugar. Bake in an oven at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Serve hot or warm.

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