This is one of the most colorful French vegetable sides I know and a great way to use up summer squash that is dominating your garden. We made this dish (plus a whole lot more) at our French cooking class at Pie Ranch taught by moi.
Thinly slice squash, tomatoes and eggplant (eggplant doesn’t grow well on the coast but you can add it to this if desired). Place rounds on a bed of sautéed leeks, season with sea salt and a splash of white wine and a drizzle of olive oil and a few sprigs of thyme and whole unpeeled garlic cloves.
Pop in the oven and roast on high until veg is soft and slightly caramelized.
Enjoy this dish with fish or meat. It’s light and versatile. Tian Provençal was a recipe for my class at Pie Ranch on Summertime French Cuisine. Everyone enjoys a few easy recipes in between the more difficult ones…
For more pictures from our French Cooking class at Pie Ranch go to:
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, quartered lengthwise, rinsed well, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 3 garlic cloves in the skin, 1 minced
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1 yellow squash, thinly sliced
- 2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 small Italian eggplant, unpeeled, thinly sliced (1 cup)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- Garnish with: fried basil or parsley, Parmesan, pistou
Preheat oven to 450˚F. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leek, season with salt and pepper, and cook until soft (sweat), about 4 minutes. Spread in a 9-inch gratin or round baking dish.
Arrange vegetables on the bed of leek sin slightly overlapping circles alternating squash, tomatoes, and eggplant.
Top with a sprinkle of white wine, minced garlic and a few whole cloves of garlic in the skin, 1 tablespoon oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bake 15 minutes. Drizzle with remaining oil. Bake until vegetables are tender, 10 minutes more.
It is also possible to plate this summer vegetable dish in single portions for a more elegant presentation. To do this use a ring mold and layer vegetables inside it (you can remove mold while baking). Or slice veg a little thicker (about ¼-inch) and stack 4 layers high and bake.