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Tian de Courgettes et de Tomates

Tian de Courgettes et de Tomates (French Provencal summer squash and tomato gratin)

(French Provencal summer squash and tomato gratin)

Image Creative Commons by tetue

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Originally, a tian meant a conical clay cooking vessel used in the southern Provence region of France. These days, tian more often describes a vegetable casserole.

This version makes good use of late summer's abundance of zucchini and tomatoes. It couldn't be simpler to make and is marvelously nourishing.

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • Olive oil -- 6 tablespoons
  • Onions, chopped or thinly sliced --- 3
  • Zucchini or other summer squash, thinly sliced -- 2 pounds
  • Tomatoes, thinly sliced -- 2 pounds
  • Thyme -- 2 teaspoons
  • Salt and pepper -- to season

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a saute pan over medium flame. Add the onions and a little salt and pepper and saute, stirring occasionally, until the onions are wilted and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes.
  2. Spread the onions over the bottom of a baking dish. Starting at one end of the dish, lay alternating rows of zucchini and tomatoes over the onions, overlapping the previous rows like the scales of a fish. Sprinkle the vegetables with the thyme, salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle the top of the vegetables with the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and bake uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tian Variations

  • For a full vegetarian meal, add rows of sliced fresh mozzarella to the tian and serve with rice pilaf or slices of crusty bread.
  • Mix together 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and sprinkle it over the vegetables before baking. Or top with some crumbled feta cheese.
  • Add rows of sliced of eggplant along with the tomatoes and zucchini.
  • Chopped parsley or basil add good flavor to this tian.

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