Over the last two summers, when zucchini and tomatoes are abundant, I've added tians to our list of favorite side dishes. This summer I decided to do another search to see what variations there are. What I learned: Don't make several changes to a favorite recipe all at once--go slow. And, it's okay to be satisfied with a favorite.
A few tips for constructing a tian:
Our favorite at the Barefoot Contessa link below, uses potatoes, tomatoes & summer squash. When slicing those vegetables, it's important to keep 2 things in mind--number of servings and slicing equal numbers of each, since you alternate slices as you go. The fewer the number of servings you want the more you spread out the vegetables as you create the spiral and the opposite when you wish to serve more people.
Here's a link to our favorite: via The Barefoot Contessa.
Zucchini Tian With Curried Bread Crumbs
1 tablespoon curry powder
7 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 ¼ cups whole-wheat or regular panko bread crumbs
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 large white onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
¼ cup dry white wine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon orange zest
½ teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
4 medium zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds), thinly sliced (about 7 cups)
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add curry powder and let toast until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, then stir in panko bread crumbs and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl and wipe out skillet.
In the same skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over high heat, then add onions, rosemary and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until onions are a deep golden brown. Add tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Pour white wine into pan and bring to a simmer, scraping up any brown bits. Remove from heat and stir in garlic, orange zest and black pepper.
Grease inside of a medium-size gratin dish with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and spread a third of the onion and tomato mixture on the bottom. Begin layering zucchini in an overlapping pattern, beginning around the outside and working your way in. Sprinkle with a third of the bread crumbs. Repeat layering two more times, ending with bread crumbs. Drizzle 3 tablespoons olive oil over bread crumbs and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until vegetables are extremely tender and top has browned.
1 large zucchini
5-6 Roma tomatoes
6 small Yukon gold potatoes
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of fresh thyme
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Finely slice the vegetables with a mandolin, about 1/16-inch thick.
Layer and alternate the vegetables in an oval or circular gratin dish.
Top with minced garlic and season with salt, pepper and thyme. Drizzle with olive oil.
Cover with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes until potatoes are soft.
Remove foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
1 medium eggplant, peeled
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 ⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 medium zucchini, sliced diagonally
6 ripe medium tomatoes, sliced
3-4 sprigs fresh herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, basil or oregano
1 ⁄2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano (optional)
Cut eggplant in 1" cubes, sprinkle with salt, and place in a
colander. Drain for 30 minutes, then pat dry. 1
Cook onions and garlic in 3 tbsp. of the olive oil in a medium
skillet over medium heat until slightly browned, about 10
minutes. Transfer to a medium baking dish. In the same
skillet, cook eggplant in 2–3 tbsp. of the olive oil until tender
and slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and
pepper, and stir into onion mixture.
Preheat oven to 400°. Arrange zucchini and tomatoes in
layers over eggplant. Top with herbs, drizzle with remaining
oil, season with salt and pepper, and bake 30–40 minutes.
Sprinkle with cheese, if using, and serve.