Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summer Vegetable Tian

Bambi paid me a visit the other day in the yard.  One of the things I love most about working from home is that I have 24/7 access to all the nature that surrounds us.  We live on a marsh that serves as home to a plethora of wildlife at any given point during the year.  My office is on the second floor of our home, and my desk is within eye shot of our picture windows that overlook all the beauty.  I literally get to watch the seasons go by as I work away.  I feel so lucky.  Lily loves to stare out the windows with me and watch in awe all that passes through on any given day.

In between nature watching and working, I cook.  It keeps me sane, and I'm thankful to have a husband that eats most of what I make.....especially this dish I'm sharing today.

Summer vegetable tian.  What is a tian, you ask?  It's a dish that originated in Provence, France, that features thinly sliced vegetables and herbs that are layered and then baked.  I absolutely love the way this dish looks - the color, the pattern.  It gets me everytime.  But, alas, the masterpiece must get eaten.  And it's quite delicious, not to mention extremely healthy for you as well. 

I used yellow summer squash, zucchini, and eggplant (of course from our CSA) in my tian this time.  I layered them all on a bed of caramelized onion with tarragon.  The taste is amazing - the tarragon just adds this depth of flavor that I can hardly describe in words.  Top everything with some cherry tomatoes and breadcrumbs and bake for about 45 minutes until golden on top.  This is the perfect side dish for any type of grilled fish or chicken.  I used the leftovers in quesadillas the next day.  To die for.

This is a must try this summer.  Happy Eating!

Summer Vegetable Tian
Recipe by A Toast to Taste
Photos by A Toast to Taste

Ingredients Needed:
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium onion, sliced
1 Tbsp fresh tarragon, roughly chopped
1 large yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
1 large zucchini, thinly sliced
1 medium eggplant, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp butter, melted
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

I suggest getting everything prepped before assembly.  So, I sliced all my veggies, with the exception of the tomatoes ahead of time.   That way I had everything ready to go and assembly was a cinch.  I used my mandoline to do the slicing this time - highly recommend!

In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until soft and brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Stir in tarragon.  While the onions are cooking down, I tossed all the other thinly sliced veggies in a big bowl and drizzled with a bit of olive oil and seasoned with a dash of salt and pepper.  Set aside until ready for layering.  When the onions are done, pour the mixture into the bottom of a baking dish of your choice.  I used my 6-inch round. 

Now comes the fun part. Layer the squash, zucchini, and eggplant on top of the onions, making a pattern of your choice. I followed the shape of my baking dish. Top the vegetables with the cherry tomatoes.

In a small bowl, combine melted butter and breadcrumbs. Stir until well incorporated. Pour over vegetables.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown. I did bake mine with the top on for about 20 minutes and then removed for the last half of baking.

Serve and Enjoy!

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