Old kitchen wisdom: “If it grows together, it goes together.” This potato, tomato, and squash tian – a Provençal dish – is a very tasty example, using the super fresh vegetables of summer.
A tian is both a food and the vessel it’s cooked in: either a dish of vegetables baked together, or a large oval earthenware vessel that the dish is traditionally cooked in. Don’t worry if you don’t have an authentic tian – any shallow baking dish will do, as long as it’s large enough to hold all the vegetables. I used an oval 2-quart baking dish for this summer vegetable tian, and I could have squeezed more in there.
The exact composition of this dish is variable, depending on what you have on hand, and what you love to eat. You may notice that the photo in the recipe differs from the photo on this post. Yet they’re the same dish! I had eggplant one day, and no eggplant another, but that day I had an onion to use up.
Do you hate eggplant? Don’t use any. Have lots of squash? Double up. This is a way to use what the garden (or the farmers market) is producing. Use the best that you can find, at the peak of flavor. Take summer vegetables, slice them thinly, and layer them in a shallow dish. Season with salt and thyme, moisten with oil, and bake until they’re tender and delicious.
This is a potato, tomato, and squash tian. Are you looking for another version? Check out this version with eggplant.
Potato, Tomato, and Squash Tian
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus a bit more to drizzle
- 1 large onion sliced thinly
- 3 medium tomatoes
- 1 medium summer squash: yellow or green (zucchini)
- 2 medium white or red potatoes
- coarse salt
- freshly ground pepper
- fresh thyme leaves
- 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat oven to 375˚F. Slice the onion thinly. Slice the tomatoes, potatoes, and squash into even quarter inch slices.
- Heat a skillet, then add olive oil and sauté the onions until tender and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Scatter the onions evenly over the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish (or your choice of equivalent size.)
- Shingle the sliced vegetables on top of the onions. Season with salt and pepper, scatter fresh thyme leaves over all. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil.
- Cover tightly with foil, and bake, covered, 30 minutes.
- Uncover the tian, sprinkle with a bit of grated Parmesan cheese, and bake 30 minutes longer, until the top just begins to brown.