The thing I like most about cooking is working towards mastering a recipe. Making it over and over again while adding small tweaks, making it better and better. I have posted several times about this tian, and my guess is I will time and again. It is that good. The addition of finely minced garlic the last few times I have made it has added a whole new layer of flavor. In season tomatoes take this over the top. When not in season, Roma tomatoes are the way to go. It is once again, my Wine & Dine Wednesday post.
What I like most about this tian is that it is a one dish dish that works nicely next to a piece of chicken or fish and you are all set. You really don’t need to serve it with anything else, as there is both veg and potato in it. Here we go.
Heat oven to 375 degrees while you get things chopping. Cut up one sweet onion. Finely mince 2 to 3 good sized garlic cloves. On the stove top in a skillet, brown the onion with extra virgin olive oil. The last few minutes of the onions cooking, add the garlic. Only cook a few minutes as the garlic will burn quickly. Once done, line the bottom of a baking dish with the sautéed onions & garlic. Add thyme that you pull off the buds and just sprinkle around and on top of your onions. This is the base. Fine that this cools a bit while you start chopping away.
Next, you want to choose tomatoes, small Yukon gold potatoes and zucchini that are very similar in circumference. Cut each into quarter inch sizes. On top of the onions, start stacking the slices, alternating the 3 as you go. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil lightly over the top. The above image is what it should look like when you are finished. Once done, add a liberal sprinkling of salt over the top of things. A bit of pepper too. Add 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 Gruyere 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 with the potatoes and the tomatoes and the zucchini mixed with the herbaceous goodness of the thyme is really all quite something.