Our tips for a successful homemade Provençal tian

What is tian?

Originally, this word refers to both a traditional earthenware dish from Provençal cuisine and a cooked dish. The word tian is derived from the ancient Greek word têganon, which means “frying pan” or “earthenware dish”. This recipe, consisting of a gratin of seasonal vegetables slowly preserved in the oven, dates back to the Middle Ages. After baking their bread, bakers would put this dish in the oven to enjoy its warmth. Today, tian is one of the emblematic French recipes and is an essential summer specialty.

How to prepare a Provençal tian?

As simple to prepare as it is tasty, tian allows you to enjoy seasonal products.

Tasty ingredients

Like homemade ratatouille, tian is made up of southern vegetables, with the exception of peppers. It therefore includes onions, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and olive oil to drizzle over everything. Be sure to choose fresh, sun-ripened products, which will give your tian an exceptional flavor. Finally, garlic, thyme and oregano are added to the dish to add more flavor.

Some variations may contain pepper, potato, mozzarella or goat cheese. You can of course customize the recipe according to your tastes, while respecting a few rules.

A custom assembly

Unlike traditional gratins where the ingredients are layered, the vegetable tian is made vertically. To do this, the vegetable slices are placed on top of each other, on their edges. Make sure to press them together tightly and form a pretty rosette. You can also arrange them in successive rows, which are more suitable for a square dish.

To make assembly easier, choose vegetables of the same size and cut slices of the same thickness. This will allow for even cooking and a better visual effect.

The right cooking

Forget this recipe if you are in a hurry, cooking tian takes time. Slowly candied vegetables in the oven, that’s the secret to a successful tian. Allow between 45 minutes and 1 hour of cooking at 180 °C or 1 hour 30 minutes at 160 °C. Cover your dish with a sheet of aluminum foil if the vegetables brown too quickly.

This dish requires patience, but it is worth it.

The complete recipe

Preparation: 15 min
Cooking: 45 min

For 6 persons

  • 6 large, ripe tomatoes
  • 4 zucchini
  • 3 long eggplants
  • 4 large onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • thyme leaves
  • salt pepper

Start by preparing your vegetables: rinse them, peel the onion and garlic, remove the germ from the latter. Crush the cloves and brown them in a little oil with the sliced ​​onions. Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes, eggplant and zucchini into slices of the same thickness. Arrange the garlic and onions in the bottom of the dish and arrange the vegetable slices on top vertically, alternating them. Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with thyme, before baking for 45 minutes at 180 °C. The vegetables should be roasted and tender as desired.

Provençal tian can be enjoyed hot or cold.

Here is a light recipe, perfect to accompany grilled meats or fish.

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