It’s such a chilly, gloomy day here at home and on days like this, I want warm comfort food. I certainly ate my fair share over the weekend, but now I’m in search of a healthier kind of comfort food. Such as a Vegetable Tian. This past weekend, I was up in Asheville for a girl’s weekend with some gals I went to high school with. I went to a different school than the others, but I have literally known them all since sophomore year. Friendships that have lasted that long are so rare and I’m beyond thankful for each of those girls. We have a blast together.
It was freezing up in Asheville, but I of course did my best to stay warm with a constant cocktail in my hand and some incredibly rich food. I tried another egg dish Saturday at brunch, and have officially realized that as long as eggs are cooked soft, I’m in. If they have the texture of rubber, you’ve lost me completely. I also grabbed croissants from this amazing bakery up there called City Bakery and I’m now inspired to learn how to bake in the classic French method. I have something to add to my “want to do list” in the kitchen. Needless to say, my body is screaming for an abundance of healthy, yet delicious food after the weekend calorie consumption of a Vegetable Tian recipe.
I have never made a Vegetable Tian before, but it’s one of those old, hearty, Provencal recipes that can be either vegetarian all on it’s own, or a side dish. Not only was it really easy to make, look at how fancy it looks with the layers. Traditionally, for the Vegetable Tian, you would layer the vegetables in concentric circles, but I didn’t have a round dish that I liked for a photo, so I made this my own, by stacking the layers in rows. The taste is still the same.
Because I wanted to make the Vegetable Tian as light as possible, I eliminated as much of the butter and oil as possible by broth sautéing the bottom layer of onions before layering in the vegetables. If you haven’t tried broth sautéing vegetables yet, it’s a must. I love the extra flavor the broth gives and for a fraction of the calories.
Vegetable TianSERVES 4 PrintDownload
- 1 large sweet onion
- 2/3 cup broth. You can use any flavor you'd like.
- 1 tsp of chopped fresh thyme (can used dried if that's what you have on hand)
- 1 large clove of garlic
- 1 large zucchini
- 2 small potatoes
- 3 roma tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp of fresh grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp of butter
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Heat up a sauté pan to medium heat. Thinly slice the onion and add it to a sauté pan with half of the broth. Sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper over the onions. Let them cook until the onions start to absorb the broth. Add in the last half of the broth, the chopped thyme and garlic. I grated my garlic in with a microplane grater to evenly distribute over the onions. Cook for another couple of minutes until the broth is absorbed and the onions are soft.
- Butter the bottom and sides of a baking dish. Place the cooked onions in the bottom of the dish.
- Thinly slice the zucchini and potatoes and then slice the Roma tomatoes. Start layering the vegetables over the onions in either a concentric circle or in a line pattern like in the photos.
- Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the veggies and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 for about 30-40 minutes.
- Remove the foil, sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and continue baking for another 20 minutes, uncovered.
- *Serve as a side dish to any meat or over hot buttered rice or quinoa.