Easy Dairy Free Vegetable Tian

August 5, 2013

If you find yourself with far too many vegetables on hand after going to the farmer's market then a vegetable tian is the perfect dish to cook. A tian is a Provençal dish of chopped vegetables that are baked au gratin style in a vessel also bearing the name tian. Though traditional tians are topped with cheese (such as gruyere or parmesan), we wanted to make ours a lighter, more heart-healthy version so we topped it with herb bread crumbs instead. They added even more depth and texture to this already flavorful dish. This vegetable tian recipe is so easy you really don't need a step-by-step recipe but I've provided one for you below. Just add more or less of an ingredient to appeal to your palate.  

Easy Dairy Free Vegetable Tian
Vegan and dairy free
Serves 4-6

Extra virgin olive oil
1 small white onion, in 1/4-inch thin slices
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 small potatoes (any variety - peels on or off, it's your choice), in 1/4-inch thin slices
1 large or 2 medium zucchini, in 1/4-inch thin slices
2 large tomatoes or an assortment of smaller ones (we used red and yellow)
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Herb bread crumbs (about 1 cup or so. Store bought is okay)
Squash blossoms (the more, the merrier!), optional

Preheat oven to 350°. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sweat onions and garlic until soft. Spread evenly in the bottom of a pie or quiche pan. Add a layer of potatoes, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add a layer of zucchini, then a layer of tomatoes. Sprinkle thyme leaves over the top, season with salt and pepper again and cover with foil. Place in the oven for one hour.

Meanwhile, prepare and cook the squash blossoms (if using). Remove the stamin and gently rinse the blossoms. Slice in half lengthwise and pat dry with paper towels. Heat a small amount of olive oil in your skillet and, once hot, add the blossoms. Cook on both sides until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from skillet and set aside.

After one hour, remove tian from oven and discard foil. Add an even layer (about 1/4-inch thick) of herb bread crumbs and squash blossoms if using. Place under the broiler until the top is nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Watch carefully so it doesn't burn!

This dish is even better the next day!