15 January 2011

Weekend Cooking: Ina Garten's Vegetable Tian

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.


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!

Vegetable Tian

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
Preheat the oven to 375F. Brush a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking dish with olive oil.

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.


bermudaonion 1/15/11, 8:14 AM  

That looks divine! I don't think I could stop at 2 ounces of cheese on top, though. Thanks for the recipe.

Sandy Nawrot 1/15/11, 8:17 AM  

I do love the Barefoot Contessa, but vegetables! Yuck! The closest thing I can do veggie wise is a salad. Can I just cook the cheese?

Julie P. 1/15/11, 8:44 AM  

That sounds wonderful. Unfortunately, I'm the only one who would eat it.

Nan 1/15/11, 8:44 AM  

This is quite similar to a very simple dish I make which I call Mandoline Potatoes. I don't use tomatoes, and I sauté the vegetables first, except for the potatoes.

(This isn't my Weekend Cooking entry! It will come later)

Rikki 1/15/11, 8:46 AM  

This sounds like an easy and tasty dish. I will definitely try this one, I love zucchini.

caite 1/15/11, 8:46 AM  

I love Ina...and I love veggies, so this sounds yummy. Although I am with Kathy about the cheese...I might have to add a bit more I think.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 1/15/11, 9:15 AM  

You've taught me a new word, "tian."

For anyone else who's in the dark, tian is:

a dish of finely chopped vegetables cooked in olive oil and then baked au gratin.
• a large oval earthenware cooking pot traditionally used in Provence.
ORIGIN Provençal, based on Greek tēganon ‘frying pan.’

So ends today's etymology lesson.

Sheila (Bookjourney) 1/15/11, 9:49 AM  

Yummy looking recipe! I want to make this! Writing ingredients down now!

Kaye 1/15/11, 10:05 AM  

I've also used canned Italian stewed tomatoes in something like this and it's very good. Your's looks so pretty too.

Anonymous,  1/15/11, 10:09 AM  

So much healthier than the recipe I posted about!

Amy 1/15/11, 10:48 AM  

This sounds amazing! I'll have to try it!

Chinoiseries 1/15/11, 11:41 AM  

I've never heard of 'tian' before, but it's good to learn something new :) This is actually one of my go-to dishes whenever I'm too tired or uninspired to cook on workday evenings. I sometimes substitute with eggplant. Getting hungry now xD

Suko 1/15/11, 11:45 AM  

Yum! I am always on the lookout for vegetarian dishes, and this one looks and sounds wonderful.

I have done this meme for the first time. :)

JoAnn 1/15/11, 12:16 PM  

Oh, does this look delicious! I know I'll be trying this one...

Heather 1/15/11, 1:07 PM  

Sounds like a good dish. Will have to make notes and try with which veggies I can find.

This week I posted about baked beans and why they turned out like marbles.

Nan 1/15/11, 2:03 PM  

I made a delicious chocolate bread pudding on this cold, bright January day.

Robin M 1/15/11, 2:27 PM  

Sounds delicious! I would probably leave out the tomatoes and double up on the cheese.

Margot 1/15/11, 2:40 PM  

I could get very enthusiastic about this dish. It combines all my favorite vegetables. I'm going to give it a try.

Peppermint Ph.D. 1/15/11, 5:05 PM  

My youngest (6) watched the video with me and asked when we would be able to start our garden this year :) We're are soooo not used to this cold weather in the South. Delicious!

Anonymous,  1/15/11, 5:47 PM  

I love every one of those ingredients. Well, I've never tasted Gruyere cheese so I don't know, but I love most cheeses. From the picture it looks really good.

Kim 1/16/11, 1:52 AM  

Yum! That looks really yummy.

Rebecca Rasmussen 1/16/11, 11:37 AM  

Oh beautiful veggies and gruyere! I am in -- just copied and pasted the recipes into my database! Awesome thank you so much! xo

Marie 1/16/11, 11:55 AM  

I love Ina! This recipes looks great. Thanks for posting it.

Peaceful Reader 1/16/11, 6:00 PM  

I don't have an Ina cookbook but the veggies are always appealing to me!

Andi 1/16/11, 6:32 PM  

I loooove Ina's show, and this recipe looks like something I'd love. Delicious!

Zibilee 1/16/11, 9:09 PM  

I have never tried a recipe from The Barefoot Contessa, though I have wanted to. I really love the fact that you posted this here, as it's an easy way to see if her food is my speed or not. I am going to be trying this one out and I thank you for sharing it with us. It sounds like it's rather yummy, and I am always looking for a new way to serve those veggies!

joanna 1/17/11, 3:36 AM  

I've never heard of Tian either, but it looks like a great healthy(ish) meal. Great, now I'm ending up with loads of recipes from everybody's posts, marked as to-try!

Veens 1/19/11, 1:41 AM  

Wow, I know I want o try thing one!! Let me figure out how to cook it on stove :)

Jen - devourer of books 1/27/11, 11:23 AM  

Oh my gosh, yum! I may need to make this...

how to grow inside 7/29/12, 3:45 PM  

This is actually one of my go-to dishes whenever I'm too tired or uninspired to cook on workday evenings. I sometimes substitute with eggplant. Getting hungry now xD

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