One of the loveliest vegetable preparations ~ thinly cut vegetables roasted with silvers of garlic and rosemary, bathed with fruity extra virgin olive oil.
A tian is an assortment of roasted vegetables cooking in a shallow dish, sometimes with cheese or au gratin. This dish derives its name from the large, round, earthenware cooking pot used in Provence, France. Roasting in high heat creates a caramelization – the vegetables will be silky in texture, and perfectly browned around the edges.
A simple vegetable tian allows various types of vegetables to be arranged in layers, with each successive layer complimenting the taste of the previous one.
Tians are usually simple to make and prepare (the slicing of the vegetables is all the work.) The selection of the vegetables… and their freshness – will dictate the final, delicious flavor. Make this dish when produce is at it’s peak for ultimate flavor. I shopped for these vegetables at the Greenwich, CT farmers’ market ~ and bought the heads of garlic at The Hudson Valley Garlic Festival last weekend in Saugerties, NY. I have added plenty of slivered garlic to the dish, their flavor will mellow in the oven, yet still quite pronounced.
One of my favorite days of the year is an annual trek upstate to The Hudson Valley Garlic Festival, now in it’s 25th year. It continues to be a fun celebration of the harvest of what garlic aficionados lovingly refer to as the ”stinking rose”. Over 50, 000 attendees enjoy the harvest with offerings from local garlic farms (40 varieties of garlic!), a food hall, folk music, crafts and lots of tempting treats – from Garlic Knots to made-to-order Falafel with a very Garlicky Tahini Dip (my favorite!)
A Tian has plenty of flavor and visual appeal, it is the ideal way to dress up a meal while still keeping mealtime fun and casual. Roasting the vegetables covered, at high heat, will coax their flavors and bring out their natural sweetness. That’s what I love about this preparation – the garlic lends an essence to every bite, while rosemary enchants with it’s pine-flavored infusion. As the natural liquids reduce, and the moisture evaporates – the dish is ready, and perfectly roasted.
Variations I like : Add home made bread crumbs to the finished dish, and let them soak up the juices. Substitute dried herbs de Provence for the rosemary for a French flair. Wide leeks can replace the shallots.
This is a great make-ahead dish, just cover very well, then reheat just to warm through.
Enjoy the early flavors of fall,