Summer is here, and what better way to make do with an abundance of Summer vegetables than with a layered vegetable Tian? This traditional dish from Provence alternates slices of tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplants to create a colorful, veggie-focused dish.
In my take on this beloved French recipe, the Tian gets encased in a buttery shortcrust that is spiked with dried herbs and olive oil. This makes for a vibrant Summer dish that showcases seasonal vegetables in a perfect way, and that’s as pretty as it is tasty!
So what is a French “Tian”, exactly?
Originally, a “tian” is a round earthenware vessel from Provence, used for both cooking and serving, going from the oven directly to the table. Being often filled with layered vegetables and baked in the oven, the vessel has also given its name to the dish prepared in it.
In older versions of the recipe, a Tian was described as a lean stew with the layered vegetables cooked in a sauce. But in modern versions of it, the vegetables are cooked with no liquids and naturally steam with their own moisture. Tian are often made with vegetables alone, but you will find some topped with goat cheese, crumbled hard-boiled eggs, bread crumbs, or even with added fish and meat slices inside.
Layered Vegetable Tian Galette
This take on the traditonal Provencal Tian has it encased in a buttery shortcrust. A layer of caramelized onions is also placed underneath the Tian to add another layer of sweetness. The crust, the sweet onions, the olive-oil doused veggies… the flavors and textures all meld together as the galette bakes.
This Layered Vegetable Tian Galette has been part of my Summer repertoire for years, and it isn’t leaving it any time soon. When I feel like it, I even add a handful of black olives and a few anchovy filets on top for extra-bursts of saltiness.
- For the crust, you can use a store-bought pie crust or make your own. I am providing you with a recipe for a homemade pie crust spiked with Herbes de Provence, which pairs perfectly with the layered vegetable tian filling.
- When picking out your vegetables to make this recipe, try to choose tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant that have the same circumference. It will be easier to create the circular pattern-top of the galette if your slices are all the same size
- Optional: the bottom of the crust is left plain here, but you could spread 1 tbsp of Dijon Mustard, Pesto or Tomato paste at the bottom if you wish (before adding the caramelized onions on top).
For the crust:
2 cups All-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp Herbes de Provence
2/3 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubes
2 tbsp (30ml) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-3 (30-45ml) tbsp cold water
For the filling:
1 tbsp (15g) unsalted butter
2 onions, peeled and sliced in half rounds
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 zucchini, cut in ¼ (0.65cm) inch slices
1 thin eggplant, cut in ¼ (0.65cm) inch slices
3 small tomatoes, cut in ¼ (0.65cm) inch slices
3 tbsp (45ml) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
For the crust :
To make the pastry crust, mix the flour, salt, Herbes de Provence, butter and EVOO with your fingers or pulse in a food processor, until you get a crumbly consistency and pea-size bits of butter are still visible. Add the water, 1 tablespoon (15ml) at a time, and mix until the dough roughly comes together into a ball - you may need to add 2 or 3 tablespoons of water; do not overmix. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
For the filling:
Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and lightly caramelized. Set aside.
Place the zucchini and eggplant slices in a large bowl. Add ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp black and 2 tbsp (30ml) EVOO and toss with your hands until the zucchini and eggplant slices are all evenly coated.
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease and flour a 9-inch (23-cm) pie dish.
Take the crust out of the fridge, transfer it onto a lightly floured working surface and roll it out to a 12-inch (31-cm) circle. It is fine if the circle isn’t perfect – the galette is supposed to be rustic-looking. Carefully transfer the circle into the pie dish, leaving the edges of the crust hanging over the rims of the dish. Poke the bottom of the crust with a fork.
Spread the caramelized onions evenly on the bottom of the crust. Arrange the tomato, zucchini and eggplant slices on top, in a circular pattern, and alternating layers: tomato, zucchini, eggplant. tomato, zucchini, egglplant. etc… The slices must be arranged nice and tight. When finished, drizzle with 1 tbsp (15ml) of EVOO and sprinkle with Herbes de Provence.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 20 more minutes, until the crust is golden and the vegetable slices are slightly browned and wrinkled on the edges.
If you try this Layered Vegetable Tian Galette recipe let me know! Leave a comment or share a photo using #pardonyourfrench on Instagram. Bon Appétit!