Vegetable Tian

October in Southern California is like summer in the rest of the country – it’s 85 degrees outside.  Most of us continue to take bike rides to the beach, but the best of October in SoCal is that summer produce like tomatoes and squash are still at the farmer’s market!  But even if you live in other parts of the country, these ingredients are readily available in the supermarket.  So whether you live in Southern California or Northern Vermont, you can make this vegetable tian recipe from Ina Garten’s book, Barefoot in Paris.

A tian is a hot or cold dish with several layers.   This version is like the last hurrah of summer produce.  I highly recommend going to the farmer’s market if you can to get the vegetables because not only are the ingredients superior, you need to support your local farmer!   This is hearty enough for a main vegetarian dish or as a side dish.  If you can’t find gruyere, you can use grated swiss cheese or even grated parmesan.  Enjoy!

Vegetable Tian by Ina Garten

 4 to 6 servings


  • Good olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, cut in half and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound medium round potatoes, unpeeled
  • 3/4 pound zucchini
  • 1 1/4 pounds medium tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus extra sprigs
  • 2 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Brush a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking dish with olive oil. In a medium saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the onions over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Spread the onion mixture on the bottom of the baking dish.

Slice the potatoes, zucchini, and tomatoes in 1/4-inch thick slices. Layer them alternately in the dish on top of the onions, fitting them tightly, making only 1 layer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme leaves, and thyme sprigs and drizzle with 1 more tablespoon of olive oil. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Uncover the dish, remove the thyme sprigs, sprinkle the cheese on top, and bake for another 30 minutes until browned. Serve warm.