A tian and a gratin are similar, yet different. In my world, gratins tend to have a lot of cream and cheese and the sliced vegetables are piled horizontally while the tian is lighter and fanned vertically around a circle making an eye-catching dish.
I avoided making the tian version for a long time. It’s definitely pretty! But I didn’t think there was going to be enough flavor in it, especially if didn’t have any cheese in it. There are times when we are right and times when we are wrong. This was a time I was entirely wrong.
Thanks to the hidden layer of onions and garlic at the bottom, along with a little white wine, that plays so well with the soft roasted veggies. Plus the top edges add texture and get a little crunchy from a quick finish under the broiler. I used a lot of fall vegetables but these could all get easily changed out.
It’s a perfect side dish or simple dinner. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Fall Vegetable Tian
1 tbls olive oil
1/4 cup onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 green apple
1/2 small honey or butternut squash
1 small sweet potato (purple or classic orange)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp smoky paprika
Heat 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil in a 6.5″ cast iron (or similar oven-proof) pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes until the onions begin to soften. Add the garlic and sage, continue to cook another 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the wine and remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly while you slice the veggies.
Use a mandoline (or a knife), slice the apple on the thinnest setting. Slice the squash and the potato in the same manner but on the 2nd thickest setting.
Arrange the slices in a circle around the pan, alternating between each (apple slice, squash slice, potato slice).
Mix together the salt, pepper and paprika in a small bowl. Spritz or drizzle the remaining olive oil across the top of the tian and sprinkle the seasoning over the top. Cover with tinfoil.
Bake the tian for 15 minutes covered and 15 minutes uncovered. Turn the broiler on for just a couple minutes to crisp the top edges.
When you serve, be sure to scoop up some of the onions at the bottom.
Notes: my recipe is for smaller, 6.5″ pan. If you are using a typical 12″ cast iron, be sure to double the recipe.2