This dish is a specialty from Provence in the south of France, and gets its name from the earthenware pot it is traditionally cooked in, but you can actually cook it in any ovenproof dish. Also even though it’s mainly a spring or summer dish you can cook it all year round by simply swapping a few ingredients around. It’s easy to make and very healthy!
So the usual ingredients for a tian are the vegetables you can find in Provence in the spring/summer: tomatoes, courgettes, peppers and aubergines. You can play around with most of them depending on availability during other seasons, but you do need to keep the tomatoes. For example you could use: carrots, turnips, parsnips, squash, asparagus, cabbage, etc. The list goes on!
As for the quantities you can mix and match as well. The quantities provided here are just an example. The most important thing is to try to mix juicy veg with quite drier ones. Don’t only use dry ones like root vegetables (carrots, turnips etc) or the end result will be too dry.
Rice is a good accompaniment for this dish (or mixed in amongst the vegetables). Alternatively you can do what I did in this version and put potatoes in the actual tian.
- Courgettes - 3
- Carrots - 4
- Tomatoes - 10
- Potatoes - 4
- Lemons - 2
- Garlic - 6 cloves
- Parmesan - 100g
- Olive oil - 100ml
- Parboil sliced potatoes and carrots
- Layer potatoes, carrots, courgettes and then tomatoes with seasoning (olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and parmesan) between each layer
- Cook in the oven at 200ºC for 1 hour
Put the oven on at full whack. Switch your kettle on. Get all your ingredients and food processor ready.
As the carrots and the potatoes take longer to cook than the other ones I prefer to parboil them first. So wash them thoroughly (you don't need to peel them), slice them thickly with your food processor (or by hand but this takes longer) and put them in a saucepan with the boiled water from the kettle. Parboil them for 10 minutes.
While your potatoes and carrots are cooking nicely you can deal with all your other veg. Thickly slice your courgettes in your food processor (or by hand). Then thickly slice your tomatoes as well. They will produce a lot of juice. Don't throw it out as you need it to keep the rest of the dish moist.
Your potatoes and carrots should be ready now so you can drain them. Now the fun begins. You will build layers on top of layers, separating them with a splash of olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic, salt, pepper and grated parmesan. Put the hardest veg first and the softest ones on top in your roasting tray or pyrex dish. Or even in your earthenware pot if you have one 😉
So you need to start with your potatoes and carrots. Then add the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and parmesan. Next add your courgettes and the layer of seasoning and finally the tomatoes.
At the top you don't want to put any garlic or it will burn and get bitter. But you can put double the amount of grated parmesan. Your tian is now nicely layered and ready to cook in the oven at 200ºC for about an hour.
- You can use garlic salt instead of crushed garlic to save time. In that case don't put any salt on top.
- As I use the food processor extensively for this recipe I also use it right at the start to squeeze my lemons as my processor offers this function. It's always a pain to dirty all of the food processor just to squeeze two or three lemons but if you need it for other purposes as well it's better to use it completely 😉
Don't forget, if you like this recipe please share it! We'd love it if you came back and shared your comments, thoughts, and rating on this dish once you've cooked it. Bon appétit!