Friday, July 24, 2015

Tian Time

My family loves this time of year.  As soon as eggplants appear and tomatoes ripen, and peppers are being picked, it is tian time.
 I bought these huge tomatoes at a farm stand.  I always slice them and salt them and let them drain on paper towels when I am preparing this dish.

 I sliced up a few of the candy onions I bought recently and sliced 2 large eggplants.

 Saute' the onions in several tablespoons of good olive oil.  Add some sliced peppers, S & P, and some thyme.  Don't overcook these because they will still cook in the oven.

 Add a copious amount of diced garlic.

Then add lots of diced fresh herbs from your garden.  I used rosemary, sage, parsley and basil.
 Place a layer of eggplant in your casserole dish and sprinkle it with some grated mozzarella cheese.

 Then add a layer of tomatoes.

 In the past, I always used Gruyere and Gouda cheese when I made these.  I forgot to pick some up at the store so I had to use what I had on hand.  I was worried that these wouldn't have enough flavor so I added about 1/3 cup of pesto to the onion mixture.  What a good move!

 Sprinkle more cheese, this time grated Provolone, on top of the tomatoes and then distribute the onion/pepper mixture over it. Pour any juice left in the pot over the top. I sprinkled a layer of crumbled goat cheese on these too.  Another good move.

 Add more eggplant and tomatoes.  I even used some of my sweet cherry tomatoes.

 Finish it off with more grated cheese topped with Parmesan.

 Add some olives to the top.  I used Kalamata.

 I also added some sliced green olives.  Bake these at 350 degrees for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. The juices should be bubbling and look like they have thickened a bit.

 The tops should have a golden crust.

 Let these sit for 30 minutes or so to make them easier to slice.  They are good warm or at room temperature.  I've even seen these being eaten straight from the refrigerator but I am not naming names.