Veg-abundant Tian - Ratatouille Mash-up
This is more of a suggested formula than a strict recipe you should follow. As anyone who has a veggie garden knows, you can't always predict what veggies you will have in copious quantities (so much so that you'll be leaving surplus as 'gifts' on neighbor's doorsteps, and which will flower and then ... do nothing. Or what you might happen across at a Farmers' Market and bring home. Or maybe your CSA share is overly abundant. Whatever the case, this formula is a perfect way to use up a lot of veggies and not hate all of the leftovers.
What is a Tian, you might ask? It's a baked vegetable dish from the southern part of France that may or may not have a tomato sauce on the bottom and may or may not have a bread crumb topping. A ratatouille may be more familiar to you; it is many of the same veggies, but in a type of a stew.
We used roughly equal amounts of squash, zucchini and eggplant, but use what you have and love. Mushrooms are not exactly a traditional addition to a Tian nor ratatouille, but we love them so added them. I didn't feel like adding a breadcrumb topping, but you certainly could sprinkle the top with bread crumbs and bake until crunchy and brown. Or parmesan cheese. Or you could serve it with some soft goat cheese. You could serve it with hummus, too, though that wouldn't necessarily match origins. Once baked you can serve as an appetizer, part of a meal, or the focus of a veggie meal. You could add these to some sort of grain+veg bowl concoction. You could repurpose as pizza or salad topping. Really, the options are endless. My rule following YouTube cooking show-watching son told me it shouldn't be allowed to be combined, but these yummy roasted veggies are also pretty darn awesome with hummus. That's what I plan to enjoy them with! Here's my favorite recipe for hummus.
One last note on this: we used a mandolin to get nice even, thin slices of the veggies. It's admittedly a little nerve-wracking to let your kids (or you!) use one of these super sharp implements. Feel free to do the slicing with a knife, too.
A & O's Tian + Ratatouille
Yield: 4-6 servings
1 kg zucchini, thinly sliced (1/8-inch thick)
1 kg summer squash, thinly sliced (1/8-inch thick)
1 kg eggplant (long thin version preferred), thinly sliced (1/8-inch thick)
1 kg roma tomatoes, thinly sliced (1/8-inch thick)
3 containers button mushrooms, stemmed and thinly slice
3 medium onions, quartered, and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
The amount of veggies will fill two 9 x 13 pan generously. Lightly oil the bottom of each pan; set aside. Preheat oven to 375.
Have all of the sliced ingredients in large bowls nearby.
In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, parsley, basil and toss well to combine. Set aside.
Depending on the amount of sliced veggies, you may need to do this in more than one bowl. Toss together the veggies so as to combine well; add the parsley mixture and sliced onions, and combine well. This is easiest with your hands. If you have to do this in more than one bowl, you split the parsley mixture and onions accordingly. Generously salt and pepper the mixed veggies, and drizzle with 3 T olive oil. Using your hands or tongs, toss well to combine.
You can assemble this in multiple manners: you can organize the veggies on end and stack them in the dish in alternating row of veggies (creating stacks with the slices, and then lay the stacks in the pan). You can pile the veggies up, smooth it to a generous and generally flat layer and then arrange slices on top. You can just pile them all in the pan and then smooth the top. Once the veggies are arranged, season the top of the mixture with salt and pepper again, drizzle with olive oil. Cover the top of each dish with foil.
Bake in 375 oven 45 - 75 minutes. A large range is given here, to accommodate the thickness of your slices and the amount you've piled in the dish. After 35 minutes, remove the foil from the top of the dish, and return to the oven to continue baking and browning. The dish is done when the veggies are soft and browned and smell amazing.
Serve warm or at room temp with crusty bread. Enjoy!