A tian to me means two or three layers of sliced or diced vegetables, carefully arranged with the thought of long roasting in the oven: a marvelous patchwork quilt of leeks and onions, mushrooms and thyme sprigs, a handful of small halved tomatoes, a generous two cupfuls of halved radishes, the brightness of butternut , scent of garlic and sea salt, melting into a delicious hot vegetarian dinner, which can be served alone, or with warm hunks of fresh baguettes, to sop up the amazing juices. I dice the vegetables, rather than slice, so the vegetables remain intact, rather than break apart as they tend to do, when sliced.
Consider this the emptying out of the vegetable drawer ( those thrifty Frenchwomen!), but oh, so elegant and fragrant.
My shallow ceramic dish has gone missing, but I had a lovely brown earthenware oval dish that worked just fine. I made three layers of vegetables, sprinkling each layer with thyme and a sprig of rosemary, sea salt, and olive oil. Cover and roast at 350 degrees for an hour, and there's dinner.
While there is no real recipe, here are my guidelines for vegetables you might chose to use. I would probably include 3/4ths of the vegetables, depending on what's in the vegetable drawer - but the onions, leeks, garlic, mushrooms, and radishes are always included.
Extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed with the side of a chef's knife
sea salt to sprinkle on each layer
1 large onion, peeled and sliced or diced
3 leeks, sliced across or lengthwise, in 5 inch pieces
2 heaping cups of mushrooms, stems intact, sliced in half
4 stalks celery, washed and sliced in 4 inch lengths, include leaves if you wish
1 package radishes ( or about 2 handfuls), washed and trimmed, cut in half
Thyme sprigs and rosemary sprigs
2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into medium dice
2 cups sliced fresh kale
2 cups peeled and sliced carrots, about 2 inch chunks
1 cup sugar snap peas, trimmed of stems, left whole
1-2 cups parsnips, if you have them, peeled and cut into rounds or spears
2 red skinned potatoes, sliced or cut into large dice
2 handfuls cherry tomatoes, left whole
2 sweet red peppers, trimmed, seeded, cut into strips
brussels sprouts, a handful, trimmed and halved
zucchini chunks if wished
a drizzle of wine, if desired
Drizzle the olive oil, add the butter and garlic on the bottom of the dish. The first layer should include the radishes, garlic, onions, half the leeks, thyme sprigs or whole thyme, and mushrooms, which add such wonderful flavor. As the dish cooks, it will make a lovely juice.
For the second and third layers, add the vegetables as you wish, sprinkling each layer with thyme and salt and a little pepper. I used two cups of kale for the top layer, and it disappeared during the cooking, leaving only a few little green bits in the casserole.
For the top, drizzle a little more olive oil, salt and pepper, and more thyme and a sprig of rosemary.
Cover with foil and roast at 350 degrees for one to one and a half hours. I've found it depends on the temperature and size of the vegetables you use.
Serve with warm slices of french bread and butter.
Hope you have a glorious day!