Summer is the perfect season for eating more vegetables. After all, it’s hard to say no to the bounty bursting from your garden! Put those tasty tomatoes, potatoes and fresh squash to work in a summer vegetable tian. This effortless dish is big on flavor. And it works beautifully as either a meatless meal or as a side to a grilled main.
How to Make a Summer Vegetable Tian
This recipe comes to us from Taste of Home Volunteer Field Editor, Andrea Bolden. For a dish with less fat and fewer calories, she says you can leave off the cheese—it’s good either way!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 medium yellow squash
- 1 medium potato
- 1 medium tomato
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup shredded Italian cheese, optional
Step 1: Preheat and Saute
Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Then, finely dice the onion. In a small skillet, combine the onion, garlic and olive oil. Cook over medium heat, sauteing until soft.
Step 2: Slice the Veggies
Rinse and dry the zucchini, yellow squash, potato and tomato. Use a sharp knife to thinly slice each vegetable into even pieces. A mandoline also works great for this step, just be sure to guard your fingers.
Step 3: Layer and Bake
To arrange the dish, spray an 8×8 baking pan (these are our favorites) with nonstick spray. Spread the onion and garlic mixture in a thin layer over the bottom of the dish. Then, stand the vegetables vertically in the pan, in an alternating pattern. Sprinkle with spices, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Step 4: Add the Cheese
After 30 minutes, remove the foil and, if desired, add the cheese. Bake for 15-20 more minutes or until golden brown.
But wait…isn’t this just ratatouille?
Nope! If you’re familiar with the Disney film about a rat who loves to cook, you might remember Remy painstakingly layering vegetables in a pan. Well, turns out he was actually making a tian!
While the ingredients for both dishes are very similar, ratatouille is typically prepared as a stew where all of the vegetables are chunked and cooked together. Tian, on the other hand, features veggies that are sliced and layered in a pattern.
Next, whip up one of Grandma’s favorite fresh tomato recipes.
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