Tian Time

The first year I planted a big vegetable garden I had an abundance of eggplants, tomatoes and peppers. That is when I discovered tians. Tians are layered French vegetable dishes. There are all sorts of variations and one of the fun things about this dish is that it almost always comes out differently. They can be made with any variation of vegetables, cheese and herbs.

I harvest whichever herbs I have at the moment and slice them very thin.

I shred all of the cheese before slicing the vegetables. I almost always use gruyere or jarlsburg or swiss or a combination of them. Goat cheese would also be good especially if you are using pesto.

This year I decided to use a layer of thin potatoes as a crust. I've never done this before.

I put a thin layer of the potatoes down first.

Then sprinkled them with cracked pepper and sea salt.

Then sprinkled a layer of cheese over top.

I use a mandolin to cut my vegetables uniformly.

For this tian I used raw onions. When I have lots of peppers available, I saute' the onions with garlic and peppers and s&p.

Time to sprinkle some of the fresh herbs.

Then add a layer of zucchini.

Then a layer of eggplant.

And sprinkle more cheese.

More herbs... You get the picture!

More onions.

Cheese again.


Just keep layering until you run out of ingredients.

I topped this with some sliced red onion. This is a good way to clean out your cheese and vegetable bins.

When I have tomatoes I add layers of them in the tian. I only had some cherry tomatoes so I added them on top along with some kalamata olives. I always top them off by covering them with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

These bake at 350 degrees until golden and bubbling around the edges. You can see where the liquid begins to thicken around the edges. It takes about an hour depending on the size.

Here is a slice right out of the oven. These are better when you let them sit a bit before serving. They are also good at room temperature. This is when we should have smell-o-vision. I swear my neighbors can sniff a tian out 3 blocks away! The proof is, I get tian inquiries. I received emails from neighbors who casually asked if I will be making tians any time soon. They read something like: Hey, what are you up to? This weather is awful. How is Teddy? Are your tomatoes ready yet and will you be making tians this year?

I get the hint!

Tians to go.

I don't blame them. These are pretty hard to resist and slightly addictive.

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I have to admit I have never been fond of cooking, but your recipes are so mouthwatering I'm going to have a go .... must work out the ovenheat though ....
Pricilla said…
Goat cheese?
Now where would I get goat cheese?

We are indeed living in the yurt!!!!!!
Willow said…
This looks amazing! I'll have to keep this recipe in my archives (my father will not touch zucchini or eggplant) until I move out of my parents house.

Have you ever thought of publishing a cookbook?
Long time since I ate that (when my brother lived in Paris), but as You say it´s soo tasty and smells delicious! I wonder why I haven´t done that here at home, it´s so easy to make.

My first two tomatoes are growing now :-) :-)I do hope I´ll get some more and that they will get a chance to ripe. But fried green tomatoes is delicious too :-)
Have a great day now!
Bangchik said…
Layer after layer of garden harvest, will definitely make any gardener very very happy... Delicious indeed! ~bangchik
The cherry tomatoes and olives give the top such a cheery look!
I love it when you post vegetarian recipes!!! Tians sound (and look) delicious! I'll best a dessert version would be lovely, too. *~_^*
Melodie said…
I have never seen this dish before but I am pretty sure I would like it! Too bad we can't smell it!
Another new one for me. Awesome and a definite keeper! WOW!

Happy Day and xoxo to "Teddy Red Fluff".
The Wizardess said…
Oh yeah...I'm smelling these from here!!
Mystica said…
Would love being your neighbour!
Bridgett said…
I just ate dinner, yet my stomach is growling. These look spectacular!!!
The Traveler said…
mmmhmm...now being an avid carnivore I'm dying to try a meat version of this!
TMCPhoto said…
yum! I'm going to have to try this out!
greekwitch said…
Oh wow! My stomach is making very funny noises, my mouth is watering and my diet is a long lost memory.
Brightest blessings**
LisaDay said…
We planted eggplant for the first time this year. Thanks for another to-try recipe.

Debbie said…
Gosh Joyce I am always learning from you. I have NEVER heard of a Tian! I must now look this up on Google and find out more about it. I agree with a previous commenter, that you should write a cookbook. How about calling it The Witches Brew and other ???? ...you fill in the blanks? Speaking of witches brew. Halloween was a big deal around here when my kids were little. I always had a party, which is not new to you! I've seen some of your photos! Anyway...I would make a really good big punch and in the punch would be floating a hand or two. I made them by filling up a latex glove with water, tying an elastic around the end and freezing it. You must get the kind that are powder free on the inside! You've probably done this I am sure! The site of that hand floating, or popping up and down in the punch, is so cool! Inevitably, most all of the fingers would melt off, to reveal the middle finger alone, and that would always get a big snickering laugh from the kids!
i got into tians big time when that martha stewart quick cook cookbook came out....love them...

love eggplant and the squash and cheese...one of my favorite summer dishes...this looks wonderful..

and well, teddy and whiskey sour get along most of the time...teddy can get a little rough some times...but poor little whickey just rolls over...he is like a bowl of jell-o. the most mellow and sweetest kitty...just a big ol' lump of sugar...a real love bug...

teddy loved that chicken...

wish i lived in your neighborhood :-)

kary and teddy
Thanks for this post cause our little garden (maybe not so little) has lots of zucchini and now some eggplant. I made a zucchini quiche today and was wondering what over new dish to try later in the week. This will be the one. My husband has the same mandoline and I've already recruited him to slice the veggies. We wondered how large and how deep the dish was that you used because the layering seemed to go on forever.

BTW I enjoy reading your comments on Christer's blog - The Cottage at CraneLake - and feel I already "know you. You are most welcome to visit our blog anytime, Joyce.
Teresa said…
I think I'm addicted and I've only read the recipe so far.