All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2025

Saturday, November 2, 2013

roasted vegetable tian with thyme and olive oil

If you google images for tian, you most likely will see a ceramic tart dish, with a colorful pattern of , say, zucchini rounds and tomatoes, maybe a little cheese melted on top.

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.

Did you know before the hurricane of 1938 you could take a train from this little town in New Hampshire to Boston - every day?  I walk the old railroad bed almost daily, thinking of the fresh milk and apples and eggs that were picked up every day, heading to Boston.  And now?  We have no way to get to Boston, except by private car.  

Hope you have a glorious day!


La Table De Nana said...

I love roasted tian dishes.. so full of flavor..

Didn't know about your private car /Boston...
Love the photos:)

We had huge winds yesterday.. trees down..power lines..


diary of a tomato said...

This looks like a joy to put together as to eat!

katrina said...

Nana - it's Sunday afternoon and your winds have been gusting around here too! I think my favorite thing about tians is the incredible juices those beautiful vegetables give out. Mmmm... Stay warm tonight!

katrina said...

Diary, it is, it is! Arranging the colors and vegetables are a joy - and best bonus is eating it!

Barb said...

I'm not familiar with the word or the dish 'tian'. As usual, I've learned something new in cooking from you and also about the train to Boston - very interesting.

The path looks quite lovely - except that it does remind me that I have to rake my yard today and there are A LOT of leaves to clean up.

Now I'm thinking that a tian might be delicious for dinner.

Thank s again.

katrina said...

Hi Barb! I'm delighted you enjoyed the tian, and it's a wonderful cold weather dish - especially after a day of raking leaves:) I'm so, so lucky to live in a place that has a very good yard service (and I don't have to pay the bill, since I rent). Good thing, too - raking is one thing that really bothers my back. Don't do too much at once!

thyme-oil said...
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