French Garden Vegetable Tian

Casseroles can be so… boring.

That’s not to say that they aren’t a delicious complement to any meal, but there’s something about most casserole recipes I come across that makes me yawn. Maybe it’s because they don’t photograph well? Maybe it’s because you know what to expect. Wait, is it possible for a casserole to be a cliche?

All musing aside, I think I found a new muse. Apparently, we Americans have been missing out on a casserole called tian. Tian is a common garden vegetable “casserole” from France, usually featuring a variety of sauteed or baked vegetables.

And in keeping with French style and cuisine, this colorful casserole is both pretty to look at and tasty to eat. For the Love of Cooking can give you the multiple-serving version, but my dish-for-one is shared below. Mange bien!

Ingredients

  • 2 T olive oil (divided)
  • 2 T sweet yellow or red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 t crushed garlic
  • 1/2 small sweet potato, unpeeled
  • 1/2 small zucchini
  • 1 Roma tomato
  • Sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Dried thyme, to taste
  • 2 t grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a baking dish. Set aside.

-In a frying pan, heat oil and then mix in onions and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions become golden and more translucent. Transfer onions and garlic to the baking dish and spread to form a bottom layer.

-Slice potatoes, zucchini, and tomatoes into 1/4 inch thick round slices. Layer them in the baking dish in an alternating pattern. Brush gently with oil and place in baking dish. Cover with foil and let bake in the oven for about 22-25 minutes.

-Sprinkle Parmesan, thyme, pepper, and any other herbs you like over the top. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until a golden brown, crispy layer is achieved. Serve warm.

And Happy 100th birthday to the master of French cooking, Julia Child. (This little French dish seems fitting, yes?) To read more about her love of vegetables and watch a video of her cooking, click here.

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