I’ve been slicing and stacking and playing with vegetables over the last week, and producing various versions of a ‘tian’. Not to be confused with a traditional ratatouille, which is often presented in the same way, my tians have included not the courgettes, aubergines and tomatoes sitting on a base of onions and garlic of a ratatouille, but my version based on whatever I had to hand!
As is my way, I was already knee deep in making dinner for my boys when I decided to give a tian a go, so it was a bit of a rush job..
This was sliced aubergine, courgette and sweet potato sitting on a slick of one of my homemade Mexican chilli sauces. I put a lid on the pot and baked it for half an hour, then removed the lid, sprinkled over it all some spices and grated cheese and cooked it further..
The leftovers were even tastier the next day..
I decided to line the slices up in a rectangular pan which worked just as well, even if it doesn’t look as pretty. I also baked it uncovered for the whole time and sprinkled a smaller amount of cheese over it all 10 minutes before it was finally removed from the oven..
I think they look great when you serve them up, definitely a great option for Christmas if you’re looking for a side dish or vegetable based main dish. You could always replace the cheese topping with something else, or just leave it off, for a vegan. And try serving it with a dip, sauce or homous.
If you’re going to have a go yourself:
I would allow an hour to bake the dish
Try and slice everything thinly and of even thickness, you could use a mandolin or slicer if you have one, I don’t!
Slice up all of the your chosen vegetables and create piles
Then start by stacking them, holding them in your hand to create a starting stack, before sitting them into the cooking pot, then start adding the rest
Sit the slices on a bed of something with some flavour
Try mixing up the vegetables
Keep it as colourful as possible
Always make enough to have leftovers!!!
I’ve had lots of fun making these – and eating them 🙂