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Barefoot Contessa's Vegetable Tian

This year for Hanukkah, I decided to buy myself a gift with the money my parents sent me. Yes, I'm 32 years old and my parents still give me Hanukkah money. I'm lucky.

One of the things I purchased is a beautiful yellow oval baking dish by Emile Henry from Chefs Catalog.

I was hoping to receive this baking dish in time to make Portobello & Leek Gratin, but alas that did not happen because I waited too long to place my order.

While chatting with my friend Sara, I asked her to suggest a few recipes I could make in my new baking dish. Sara and I "met" through blogging and became great pen pal friends in the last few years even though we've never met in person--that's just the magic of a blogging community.

Anyway, Sara suggested I make Ina Garten's Vegetable Tian. The photo on the Food Network's site is less than appetizing, but I trusted Sara's suggestion and decided to make the recipe this past weekend.

{Before I get to the recipe, I wanted to share with you my Le Creuset Tower: the yellow one is the latest addition. I happened to find it at TJ Maxx while shopping with Daphne and just could not resist! The Emile Henry oval baking dish is on the right.}

Vegetable Tian
slightly adapted from Ina Garten's recipe


olive oil
2 large yellow onions, cut in half and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 medium potatoes, unpeeled {I used the golden variety}
6 large Roma tomatoes
2-3 zucchini
2 Asian eggplant {Ina used 3/4 pound zucchini: I decided to use 1/2 amount zucchini and 1/2 amount eggplant for more color}
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus 2-4 extra thyme sprigs
1/3 cup grated Emental cheese {Ina used 2 ounces Gruyere}

1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
2. Brush your baking dish with olive oil. {The recipe calls for 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking dish.}
3. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet; I used my new Le Creuset. Add the onions and cook them for 8-10 minutes until they are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Spread the onion/garlic mixture evenly over the bottom of your baking dish.
4. Slice your vegetables into 1/4-inch thick slices. Layer them on top of the onions in one layer, fitting them tightly into the space.

5. Sprinkle the vegetables with thyme leaves, salt & pepper and top with thyme sprigs. Drizzle everything with a tablespoon of olive oil, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35-40 minutes.


6. Remove the baking dish from the oven, take out the thyme sprigs and top the vegetables with the cheese. Return the baking dish to the oven and bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes until the cheese has browned and the potatoes are cooked through. {Note: Ina had you bake the dish only 30 minutes uncovered, but I found it needed quite a bit more time.}

7. Serve warm.

This was a simple recipe to make and the result was outstanding! There was some liquid in the bottom of the baking dish, so make sure to serve this with good bread to soak up all the juices from the vegetables. This dish also makes great leftovers.


Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

This is so beautiful! A DC friend turned me on to your blog recently, glad to know about it!

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

Thank you, Emily! What a nice comment. Would love to know who your DC friend is ;) Thank him/her for me.

mary said...

Very healthy and the dish looks tasty. If the recipe is from Ina, it works and tastes good.

Megan said...

That looks beautiful! I love that it's all veggies. And your new dish is fabulous!

The Hungry Housewife said...

Love your tower!!! Oh and the veggies look good too

Sara said...

So glad you liked it!

Kaoru Yamamoto said...

This looks really pretty!

Test said...

Any secrets for keeping these baking dishes clean? I have trouble removing the baked on oil stains.

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

Haven’t had to deal with these issues yet. How about baking soda?

MJ said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous colors! Makes me so happy just looking at all the pics! (And thinking about the high nutritional content of this dish :)

beti said...

I love Ina! her recipes are always delicious and this is no exception th vegetables look amazing

Shelby Ruttan said...

This looks absolutely delicious and has my mouth watering!

Jeannette said...

I'm 43 years old and my mom still gives me Chanukah money too! I think it's sweet.

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

Erin Tighe from A Nesting Experience pointed me in your direction :)

Sophie said...

A good & lovely veggie tian is always a winner in my book! What's not to love when it is presented in a lovely, neat, stylish & new oven dish?

MMMMMMMM,...A Happy 2012 filled with many food adventures, good health & fun, fun, fun!!!

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

That's awesome!!!

Snyderwife said...

Try using Bar Keeper's's found right near the works like Comet but it's non abrasive. I use it on my porcelain sink too with GREAT results and NO scratches!!!

Sasha said...

Wow. This dish is perfect, especially for people who hate vegetables like me. Its aesthetic appeal totally distracts from the fact that it's healthy.