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This is a beautiful dish that just cries out “summer”. It uses all vegetables that are at their peak in summer and you find them in abundance at all the local markets. The name tian actually comes from the pottery dish that was used to bake it in. It is basically a deep dish pie or tart plate. You can use a quiche pan, pie dish or any low baking dish to cook this. At this time of the year, we have the most gorgeous tomatoes, all with interesting names, some round and even, others strange shapes and mottled colors ranging from red to purple to orange. The courgettes too come in different sizes and colors, dark green, pale green, yellow, striped. What an assortment! So having all these vegetables, I just had to make a dish that brought out the colors and flavors of summer and a tian is perfect. Simple and rustic.

If you like tomatoes and do not yet own a tomato knife, I highly recommend you get one or ask someone to buy you one as a gift. It is a small serrated knife that allows you to cut through the ripest tomato quickly and with a minimum of pressure without crushing the flesh. Many have forked tips that allow you to lift the slices after they have been cut. Do invest in one, it is well worth it.


Serves 6

4 courgettes
6 tomatoes
2 small aubergines
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 onions
Fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons olive oil
A few basil leaves
Salt & black pepper

Preheat your oven to 200C / 400F
Wash and dry the vegetables
Thinly slice the courgettes, aubergines, tomatoes and onions
Use a 20 x 30-cm / 8 x 12-inch baking dish
Layer the vegetables in the dish, alternating them
Sprinkle the crushed garlic, bay leaf and the thyme on top
Drizzle with the olive oil, salt & freshly ground black pepper
Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes
Sprinkle with the shredded basil leaves and serve