Wine & Dine Wednesday brings us an old favorite of mine with a little twist. I have made this tian with tomatoes before. We found the most lovely pair of zucchini on Friday when we were driving around the island stoping at organic farm stands. They were the most divine shades of green, so thought they would be stellar in this so I omitted the tomato this time. Gotta say, the dish was pretty awesome in a different way. Always fun to mix things up a bit. We had this nestled up to a piece of salmon for a hearty, pretty darn easy supper. We were so hungry I completely spaced on snapping a photo of the finished product, but the above gives you an idea of just how pretty those zucchini were. Here we go!
Heat oven to 375 degrees while you get things chopping. Cut up one sweet onion. On the stove top in a skillet, brown the onion with extra virgin olive oil. Finely mince 3 garlic cloves and add before the onions are done and cook for just a few minutes. Always careful not to overcook the garlic as it becomes bitter fast. You want sweet. Once done, line the bottom of a baking dish with the sautéed onions and garlic. Add thyme that you pull off the stems, sprinkling all around the onion/garlic mixture. This is the base. Fine that this cools while you start chopping away.
Next, you want to choose Yukon gold potatoes and zucchini that are very similar in circumference. Cut each into quarter inch rounds. On top of the onions, start stacking the slices, alternating as you go—zucchini, potato, zucchini, potato. They should be leaning on one another. Once done, add a light sprinkle of extra virgin olive oil and liberal sprinkling of salt over the top of things. A bit of pepper too. Add more thyme leaves over the lot as well. The herb is so mellow and really adds to the lusciousness of this dish. Finally add a few whole springs of the thyme to the dish, cover with aluminum foil and bake in your now hot oven for 45 minutes.
Once the 45 minutes has passed, take out of oven, remove the foil and the whole thyme stems and discard. Add a generous, make that a super generous about of grated Gruyère cheese to the entire top of the dish. I take extra care to make sure the cheese has also fallen down the sides of the mixture. You really want all of this cheesy goodness spread everywhere once it is done. Put back into the oven uncovered, for another half hour so the cheese melts and the mixture finishes cooking. Trust me, you will be quite pleased with yourself. It is so darn good! The cooked and melted mixture of the onions/garlic with the potatoes and the zucchini mixed with the herbaceous goodness of the thyme is really all quite something.