Monday, July 19, 2010

Meatless Mondays: Vegetable Tian

Janet here: Today's Meatless Monday offering is adapted from Susie Middleton's fabulous new cookbook called Fast, Fresh & Green. A tian for those who don't know — and I was among them until last week — is a Provencal summer vegetable gratin. Anyway, Susie's book offers a ton of great new ways to cook veggies or enhance your veggie input. It's great for vegetarians or carnivores who want to add a little pizazz to their vegetable sides.

I have made a number of recipes from her book already and everyone was a winner. This one is no exception. Add a little crusty bread, maybe some cheese and you are good to go.

Summer Vegetable and Tomato Tian with Parmesan Bread Crumbs
serves 6

1/2 cup plus teaspoon olive oil, plus more for the pan
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
2 smallish zucchini
1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, about five
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup bread crumbs
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 heaping teaspoon dried parsley

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a shallow 2 quart gratin dish with a little olive oil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the orange juice, balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. (She also adds 1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint, which is probably fine but I didn't have any and mine turned out fine.) Slice the zucchini thinly, add to the bowl and toss. Core and slice the tomatoes crosswise a little thicker than the zucchini, arrange them on a large dinner plat and sprinkle with 1/4 cup salt. Let both sit while you're cooking the onions or at least 15 minutes. Toss the zucchini in the marinade occasionally.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium pan. Add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until they become translucent and start to turn golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to the gratin dish and spread in one layer. Let cool.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs (Susie, of course, makes her own. I don't) with 2 tablespoons of olive, two tablespoons of Parmesan, parsley and a pinch of salt.

Drain the juices off the tomatoes and zucchini. Starting at one end of the gratin dish, arrange the veggies in rows with the slices slightly overlapping. Maybe alternate one slice of zucchini with one of tomato or whatever you want. Sprinkle cheese over the zucchini slices as you go. Sprinkle any leftover cheese over the veggies. Drizzle the remaining olive oil and spring the bread crumbs over the top.

Bake until well browned all over the juices are bubbling, about 60-70 minutes. Susie says in the intro to this recipe that her secret is cooking this long enough for the juices to reduce and carmelize. I think you could make this with whatever summer veggies you like as long as tomatoes are one of them. At least that would be my vote. Enjoy!

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