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Photo by: Joseph De Leo
While the word “gratin” refers to any dish topped with cheese or bread crumbs and then baked, a tian is actually a simple vegetable gratin. Because the colors of the vegetables are so striking in this dish, you might want to arrange them in rows of the same type and color. Start at one end of the gratin dish and lean the slices at a bit of an angle. Add the next vegetable type, overlapping by about two-thirds, and continue this way until the dish is full.
Heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring, until the leeks are tender, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and spread them on the bottom of a 1½-quart gratin dish.
Heat the oven to 375°F. Put the flour on a plate. Heat 2 more tablespoons olive oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. Lightly coat a slice of eggplant with flour on both sides, shaking off the excess, and add it to the pan. Do the same with just enough slices of eggplant so as not to crowd the pan. Brown the eggplant slices—in batches and adding more olive oil as needed—on both sides and drain on paper towels.
Layer the tomatoes, squash, zucchini, and eggplant into the gratin dish on top of the leek mixture. Sprinkle the thyme, marjoram, and white wine over the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and bake until the vegetables are tender and much of their released juices have evaporated and become more concentrated, about 40 minutes. Sprinkle with the pecornio cheese and let rest at least 5 minutes before serving.
If you think your eggplant might be old—its flesh will look dark—and possibly bitter, you may want to salt it. Put the uncooked eggplant slices in a strainer and toss with ample salt. Let the eggplant drain for about 20 minutes. Rinse the eggplant under running water and pat dry with a kitchen towel.
Nutritional information is based on using 4 tablespoons of olive oil, and includes 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving.
Nutrients per serving (% daily value)
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