Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tians

It is that time of year again. Tian time. This is such a great way to use up extra vegetables from your garden. My friend's wait patiently all year long for this time of year to roll around. They were very happy yesterday. And considering the temperatures here, they owe me big time for having my ovens on all day so they could eat.


Thinly slice lots of onions and peppers.


Saute them in olive oil and add salt, pepper and dried thyme.


I chopped and stirred in some of my oven roasted tomatoes which I add to almost everything. You can skip this step.


When the vegetables begin to soften, remove them to a bowl and let cool.


Thinly slice some eggplant.


Shred a bunch of cheese. I used Jarlsburg, Gruyere and Gouda. Use up what you have on hand.


I picked some of all of my fresh herbs. I used basil, rosemary, parsley and chives.


Slice some fresh tomatoes and let them dry a bit on paper towels. Sprinkle them with sea salt.


Oops..missed a few pics! Place a layer of eggplant on the bottom of your casserole. Sprinkle some cheese on top of it. This helps form a sturdy base while baking. Layer some thinly sliced zucchini on top of the cheese.


I made this one in a deep pie pan.


And this one in a large casserole.


Sprinkle more cheese over the zucchini.


Add another layer of eggplant and sprinkle on the fresh herbs.


Add the tomatoes and more zucchini. Keep layering until the casserole dish is mounded with vegetables. They cook down a lot.


Finish with more grated cheese. I sprinkled Parmesan over the last cheese layer. These cheese layers are not very thick. As long as the cheese is shredded and you sprinkle it over a vegetable layer lightly, you will be fine. You don't want this to be overly cheesy or gooey.


I dot the tops with halved cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives.


They bake at 350 degrees for an hour or more.


They are done when you can see the juices around the edge bubble and thicken.


Plan these in advance because they really should sit for an hour or two to reabsorb the liquid. They will be messy when you cut them if they are still hot.


When they are at the right temperature they cut perfectly. I think they taste best at room temp or just a bit warmer.


I made loaves of foccacia and served it alongside. Add a light salad if you wish. This is wonderful left over too!