This is one of the first pretty-looking dishes I ever made. I had just moved to the US, and I was browsing through my roommate’s oh-so-American cookbooks, thinking “how the hell can they call this cooking? it’s only burgers and hot dogs in there”. My memory may be deceiving me a bit, there may have been some healthier dishes displayed, but (sorry for the awful cliché), for a French girl, a burger never belonged in a cookbook. Until I started cooking.
This tian was awesome for this simple reason: it’s pretty to look at. The fact that it’s tasty and healthy doesn’t hurt either, but mainly it’s the pretty thing. I’m a fairly vain girl.
The other perk of this dish: you don’t need to be a wizard to make it look good. Up until recently (and probably still quite a bit) I was known for my complete lack of dexterity. Making a beautiful cake has eluded me to this day, and making everything worth looking at with my own two hands has always been a challenge (think: elementary school pottery class.) And then I met tian. Tian is handsome, tian is faithful, tian will never let you down.
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 4 large onions
- 6 roma tomatoes
- 2 zucchini
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp butter (if not vegan)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan
- salt and pepper
1. Slice the onions and finely chop the garlic. In a frying pan over medium heat, add butter and oil, then add garlic and cook until fragrant (1 minute.) Add onions, lower heat. Add salt, pepper and thyme. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender.
2. In the meantime, seed the tomatoes. Slice the tomatoes and zucchini into 1/8 inch slices.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the onions in an even layer at the bottom of a baking dish. Place the tomatoes and zucchini slices alternately in tight rows on top of the onions. Sprinkle with Parmesan, season with salt and pepper. Cover with tin foil, bake for 20 minutes, then remove tin foil and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Whatever the types of tomatoes and zucchini you choose, make sure that the slices have more or less the same diameter.
- Add yellow squash to brighten this dish even more.
Source: adapted from America’s Test Kitchen.