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One of my go-to cookbook / recipe authors is Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. The simple but delicious recipe I'm sharing today is one I make quite a bit in the summer when the tomatoes are at their peak of ripeness.
I have also made this casserole in the winter using canned diced tomatoes with excellent results. The casserole is just not as beautifully layered as is the summer dish.
In fact, I made the tian for my New Year's Eve dinner this year, and I think it's going to become a permanent part of the menu. Everyone loved the taste, and I loved serving a colorful and healthful dish that required no last-minute fussing.
The photograph of the half-baked dish (above) and the video (below) come from the Food Network. Enjoy!
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
- Good olive oil
- 2 large yellow onions, cut in half and sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound medium round potatoes, unpeeled
- 3/4 pound zucchini
- 1-1/4 pounds medium tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus extra sprigs
- 2 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
In a medium saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the onions over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Spread the onion mixture on the bottom of the baking dish.
Slice the potatoes, zucchini, and tomatoes in 1/4-inch thick slices. Layer them alternately in the dish on top of the onions, fitting them tightly, making only 1 layer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme leaves, and thyme sprigs and drizzle with 1 more tablespoon of olive oil. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
Uncover the dish, remove the thyme sprigs, sprinkle the cheese on top, and bake for another 30 minutes until browned. Serve warm.
Here is a video of Ina making the tian so you can see just how easy it is.
EDIT: I almost forgot to mention that there is a new monthly foodie challenge: Click on the link to learn about Whip Up Something New.