Easy Vegetable Casserole
As an exchange student in the South of France, I loved my host mother’s cooking. She adored sharing French traditions and recipes with me. One of my favorites, that I continue to cook and enjoy on a regular basis, is Vegetable Tian. Essentially a vegetable casserole, a tian sliced vegetables over a bed of sauteed onions and garlic, and covers it with yummy, melted cheese. You can use many types of vegetables for this - zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes, cauliflower, eggplant - and may need to adjust cooking times.
Originating in the south of France, a Tian is akin to a veggie casserole, topped with spices and cheese. What I love about it is that it is easy and looks pretty. It’s good for everyday cooking and also great for guests.
An added benefit is that it is highly versatile, so you can experiment with whatever vegetables or cheeses you enjoy and have on hand. For a heartier main dish, use potatoes as one of the layers.
Here are step-by-step directions for cooking a basic Vegetable Tian.
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 plum tomatoes, sliced in 1/4 inch thick slices
- 2 medium zucchini, sliced in 1/4 inch thick slices
- 1 head cauliflower, sliced in 1/4 inch thick slices
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 4-6 ounces Gruyere, Jarlsberg, or Swiss cheese, grated
1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
2. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
3. Saute the onions in a pan until soft, 8-10 minutes
4. Add garlic to the pan and saute for 2-3 minutes.
5. Spread the onion/garlic mixture over the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
6. Add the zucchini, tomatoes, and cauliflower in layers.
7. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme.
8. Cook, covered until vegetables start to soften, about 30 minutes.
9. Remove from oven and sprinkle cheese on top.
10. Cook, uncovered, 30 minutes until cheese starts to brown.
11. Remove from the oven.
12. Enjoy warm or hot!