My neighbors were very, very happy yesterday. They wait all year for tian time. This is such a wonderful way to use up your garden bounty.
I figure if I am going to make one I can just as easily make four. I never freeze mine but my friends tell me these freeze very well.
I use whatever I have on hand so the recipe always varies a bit.
I use these tian pans but you can use any kind of casserole.
Slice all of your tomatoes and lay them out on paper towels to dry. Sprinkle them with sea salt.
Dice up a bunch of different peppers.
And slice up a couple large onions. Dice about 8 cloves of garlic. Of course, you probably aren't making 4 tians, so adjust your recipe accordingly.
Add several tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy pot.
Saute the onions and peppers just until they begin to soften. Don't overcook them.
Pick all kinds of fresh herbs and pulse them in a food processor. I used basil, thyme, oregano, sage and rosemary.
Once the peppers and onions have cooled off a bit, stir the herbs into them. Don't saute the herbs. Adding them to the cooled pepper/onions mixture gives the tian a very fresh herb flavor. Season with salt and pepper.
Grate some very good cheeses. I used a Dutch Bergomer, Beemster Graskaas, and Nowegian Jarlsburg.
Place a layer of sliced eggplant and zucchini to cover the bottom of the pan.
Top with some cheese. The cheese will melt into the vegetables and create a good base for the tian.
Add a layer of the tomatoes.
Top with a layer of the peppers, herbs and onions. Add more eggplant and zucchini.
More cheese and tomatoes. Layer until you reach the top of the pan or run out of vegetables. These settle when they bake so you can really mound them up.
Finish with cheese. I actually always top these with mozzarella. I'm not sure why, I just do. Then sprinkle it with some grated Parmesan.
I like to top it with kalamata olives.
Bake them at 350 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours. The edges should be bubbling and the juice should look thick. The tops should be golden brown.
Let them sit for an hour or so to cool a bit.
They slice better after they sit and they taste best when they are just slightly warm.