What is a tian? Well, I’m not referring to the Chinese word for sky, but the Provençal gratinée of thinly sliced vegetables. It is one of our favorite early fall recipes.
I love the way that the thin slices of veggies look, and it is always a fun time layering them. We used to make this recipe in a 9×13 baking dish, but it would get all sloppy when we served it. The other day I had a spark of inspiration for using the smaller au gratin dishes instead. They are way easier to serve, and just a bit cuter – if I do say so myself.
I love it, my mother-in-law loves it, and so will you!
- 4 ounces Swiss cheese, grated
- 2 yellow onions
- 4 large cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 medium red potatoes
- 2 to 3 small zucchini
- 6 Roma tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 4 au gratin dishes (or a 9 x 9 baking dish)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. If necessary, grate 4 ounces Swiss cheese.
- Slice 2 onions and mince 4 cloves of garlic. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, around 8 minutes. Add the garlic for one more minute.
- Meanwhile, brush the bottom of the au gratin dishes with olive oil. When the onions and garlic are done, spoon them into the bottom of the dishes.
- Slice the 4 potatoes, 2 zucchini, and 6 tomatoes into ⅛ inch slices (use a mandoline if you have one). For the thyme, remove the leaves from the stems.
- Season the vegetables with a few pinches of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then place the slices in the dishes in a spiral pattern, alternating between potato, zucchini and tomato.
- Sprinkle the top of the vegetables with 2 tablespoons thyme and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
- Loosely cover each baking dish with aluminum foil, then place the dishes on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil, sprinkle with the Swiss cheese, and bake for another 30 minutes until the cheese is browned.