French Recipe: Provençal Vegetable Tian

Wait a minute… this is an ASIAN food blod right? Why is it posting a FRENCH recipe!? Well, I can post a western recipe once in a while, right? The next recipe will be a Chinese recipe 🙂
Also, sorry for not posting for so long… I actually forgot to write a post (for some reason, I am not getting the weekly notification anymore!).

A tian is a traditional summer vegetable casserole from Provence, a region in southern France. I actually never heard about its existence until I read The Just Bento Cookbook by Makiko Itoh, which I strongly recommend if you are insterested in Japanese lunch box meals (bento). Not only does it have traditional Japanese recipes, but also western bento-friendly recipes.
Anyways, the dish is very delicious during the summer and can be served hot or cold. It has the flavors of fresh summer vegetables and is very refreshing. The only problem is that it takes SO LONG to make… especially if you are slow at cutting the large amount of vegetables, like I am. It took the longest time to just finely dice all four onions… then I realized the recipe called for THINLY SLICING, not FINELY DICING…. oh well, that would cause a little less crying. The end result was still really delicious. I’m just warning you that it takes absolutely forever to make.

Serves 6
Amount is for a 10 x 12 inch casserole dish or a 12 inch diameter casserole dish. I used a 9 x 13 casserole dish.

Adapted from The Just Bento Cookbook by Makiko Itoh

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil total (1/4 cup for sautéing and 1/4 for assembly)
4 medium onions, thinly sliced (or finely diced)
3 Chinese eggplants (1 1/2 lb), thinly sliced
3 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
4 large tomatoes, finely chopped (4 cups. If you use small or Roma tomatoes, measure about 4 cups.)
black pepper
2 tsp fresh finely minced thyme, or 1 tsp ground thyme

1. Heat a large skillet. Add 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) olive oil and onions. Add salt (I used 1/2 tsp), then mix well. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft.
2. Sprinkle eggplant with salt (I used about 1/2 tsp). Combine well and evenly. Leave for about 15 minutes, turning and mixing every few minutes. Rinse a little and squeeze out the water very well.
3. Sprinkle zucchini with salt (I used about 1/4 tsp), combine well and leave for 15 minutes. Rinse a little, squeeze out the water, and pat dry with paper towels.
*Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit now!*
4. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the casserole dish and brush evenly to coat the inside. Add 1/2 of the onion and spread evenly. Sprinkle a little black pepper and 1/8 of the thyme. Add 1/2 of the eggplant and spread evenly. Sprinkle a little black pepper and 1/8 of the thyme. Add 1/2 of the zucchini. Sprinkle a little black pepper and 1/8 of the thyme. Add 1/2 of the tomatoes. Sprinkle a little black pepper and 1/8 of the thyme. Sprinkle some salt. Drizzle evenly 1/2 of the tomatoes’ juices and 1 tbsp olive oil.
5. Repeat with the other 1/2 of the vegetables and seasonings. At the end, drizzle 2 to 3 tbsp olive oil instead of 1 tbsp.
6. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour. Then cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for another 1 hour and 30 minutes.
7. Remove casserole from oven, uncover. Serve hot, warm, room temperature, or cold.

Serve with: Bread, Salad, Fruit, Cheeses if you want
Makes a delicious lunch!

Enjoy! 🙂



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