Summer is already finished and I did not have time to send that post on the blog as I was busy with my two little babies… but anyway, the “Tian de Légumes” is a recipe you can enjoy all year long since we can get summer vegetables all over the year in any supermarket!!!
The Tian is the perfect side dish for any kind of meat or fish especially when you have planned a three courses dinner.
Indeed, it will give a good balance to your menu and keep your guests a little hungry for dessert.
So, what is the Tian?
Basically, it’s a recipe from the South of France. The Tian is the name of the terra cotta dish in which you cook the vegetables but in the end, it became the name of the recipe in itself.
The Tian is a slow roasted vegetables dish cooked with olive oil, garlic and herbs. The quality of the ingredients is important if you want it to be very tasty.
Ingredients for the Tian
- a large terra cotta dish or a gratin dish
- 1 aubergine
- 1-2 courgettes
- 1-2 medium red onions
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1 green pepper
- 6 tomatoes on the grape
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
- aromatic herbs such as rosemary, thyme but also fennel seeds
- a good olive oil
- salt and pepper
If you are in a hurry preheat your oven at 180° but if you have time preheat your oven at 150-160°. The slow roasted option is the best one as you have guessed because the vegetables will slowly roast and get the flavor of the olive oil, herbs and garlic. They won’t dry and reduce too much but stay very soft. They will almost be “confits”.
In a jar, mix 1/2 cup of olive oil with the crushed garlic cloves, salt, pepper and aromatic herbs you have chosen. Keep it on the side while you prepare the vegetables.
For the vegetables, first you have to wash them and get rid of the heads, seeds…. but keep the skin. Then you can slice them the way you want, what is important is that you try to cut pieces of the same size (especially if you do it “in a hurry “). That way, your dish will look great but more important, the veg will all be cooked the same way otherwise you may have some very soft tomatoes next to undercooked aubergines!
The way I do it:
I cut the aubergine lenghtway then I slice it into half circle about 1/2 cm wide
I cut the courgette into slices about 1/2 cm wide
I cut the peppers into stripes about about 1/2 cm wide
I cut the tomatoes into slices or quarters about 1/2 cm wide
I cut the red onions into quarters about 1/2 cm wide
Then I put all the vegetables in a big tray and I start to layer them in the dish.
First I pour 1/3 of the olive oil in the dish to avoid the vegetables stick to the bottom of it. It will be easier to serve and to wash after!
Then I layer the vegetables one by one in the dish. At the beginning, you will think it is difficult to hold them together in a nice way but as you keep on layering, there will be less and less space and the vegetables will hold together by themselves.
Even if you think the dish is full, keep on filling the remaining space with slices of courgettes, peppers, tomatoes that remains. It really needs to be tight, any space has to be filled. Keep in mind that they will loose their water while cooking and that they will get softer. That’s why you really need to almost overfill the dish.
Once you have finish to layer all your vegetables, brush them with the rest of your olive oil or just spread it all over the dish and let it cook in the oven at least one hour if you have turn it on 180° and about 3 hours for the slow option at 150-160°.
If the vegetables start to burn a little on the edges, cover them with foil paper for a while but not too long otherwise all the water of the vegetables will turn into steam and the taste will be closer to the Ratatouille than the Tian.
Once cooked, just check all the vegetables are well cooked especially the aubergines that often take longer. Serve the Tian straight away or keep it in the oven while it is cooling down.
You can reheat it the day after but also serve it at room temperature with a nice green salad and a lemon & olive oil dressing.