This time of year, my vegetable drawers and bins are overflowing. I’m fortunate to be right across the road from a local farmers’ market that I make numerous trips to through the week.
I can’t resist the perfect eggplants that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The fresh field tomatoes with their irregular shapes and incredible flavour are equally tempting. Then there are the pristine white onions, fresh herbs, corn, peppers, zucchini - the list seems endless.
I’m always looking for new ways to combine these great vegetables into easy dishes.
Today’s recipe is one that comes from the south of France. A tian is both a great veggie dish and the name of a cooking vessel. The recipe involves layering an assortment of vegetables, then topping with cheese.
There are many different vegetables you can use, but I favour onions, zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes.
This dish is so easy to prepare and you can assemble it several hours ahead of when you want to bake it. Be sure to let it rest before serving so some of the juices can re-absorb. This is a great side-dish to just about anything that comes off the grill.
- 6 tbsp. (75 ml) olive oil
- 1 large Spanish or sweet onion, peeled and sliced
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 medium eggplant, stem removed and sliced into 1/2 inch (2.5 cm) rounds
- 1-1/2 tbsp. (22 ml) chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 c. (125 ml) chopped basil leaves)
- 2 medium zucchinis, stems removed and sliced into 3/4 inch ( 2 cm) slices, lengthwise
- 3 - 4 large tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2 inch (2.5 cm) slices
- 2 cups (500 ml) grated Gruyere or Emmental cheese