This and That

Random bits of my life

Zucchini and Tomato Tian

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 9, 2010

Vegetable Tian

Cold stormy weather is expected to move into our area tomorrow, so this recipe may represent the last gasp of summer! I associate tians with summer because they’re so light and easy to prepare with summer vegetables. I’m still hobbling around with a surgical shoe on my foot, so I’m not spending a lot of time in the kitchen. My husband was starting to chafe under the steady diet of leftovers, rice, chickpeas, and other pulses. He doesn’t like meat all that much, so my mid-week cooking tends to be vegetarian. Yesterday I made a sweet potato and zucchini soup, a walnut and raisin quick bread, and this zucchini and tomato tian.

A tian is really more of a method than a follow-the-recipe dish. If you have other vegetables that need to be used up, toss them in. If you’re watching your weight, substitute toasted breadcrumbs for the grated cheese (there’s only 2 ounces of cheese on top, just for colour and flavour). But please don’t try to leave out the olive oil!

You may be wondering why I put egg in the rice. The rice is there to add substance, absorb the juices of the vegetables, and I happened to have a couple cups of cooked rice left over. The egg turns the rice into a lovely, delicate, creamy crust under the vegetables, so if the combo seems odd to you, try it just this once.

Zucchini and Tomato Tian au Gratin

1 large onion, sliced into half moons
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbs olive oil (plus a little extra for drizzling)
1 large red pepper, thinly sliced
2 large zucchini, very thinly sliced
2 large tomatoes, cored and very thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
2 eggs
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Oregano
2 oz. hard cheese, grated (whatever you have will work but Gruyere would be wonderful)

Sauté sliced onion in olive oil until starting to brown. Add red pepper slices and cook until tender. Add garlic and cook until aromatic.

Put the cooked rice in a bowl. Add the sauted vegetable mixture and mix thoroughly. Lightly beat 2 eggs and stir into the rice mixture. Season lavishly with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Oil a 1.5 liter gratin dish. If you don’t have a gratin dish, any shallow casserole will do. Smooth the rice mixture on the bottom of the dish. Add alternating layers of zucchini and tomato slices. Season with oregano, salt and pepper, and drizzle olive oil over the vegetables. Sprinkle grated cheese on top.

Bake in a preheated 400° oven for 45 minutes or until the zucchini is tender when you prod it with a knife.

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3 Responses to “Zucchini and Tomato Tian”

  1. Ann said

    This looks and sounds really delicious – thanks for the recipe.

  2. pam said

    I have a recipe for a zucchini/Italian sausage casserole that is a huge favorite at my house, so I am definitely going to give this one a try. I agree with Ann – delicious – AND beautiful.

    Well done on the photography. Food photography is much harder than people think. Except for the fact that I need to take pictures for some of my recipe posts – I leave it to the professionals who specialize in it.

    You on the other hand, is appears, can do almost anything with a camera! Passion? Magic? Talent? All three? What ever it is – you have a lot of it!

    • Avital Pinnick said

      Thanks, Pam. It’s true that food photography is harder than it looks. I’m lucky that I have a window in my kitchen that has reasonably good light. The plus side is that the food never complains or tries to rush you. 🙂

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