De retour en Provence – Tian Provençal et tartine de tapenade

Tian is a traditional dish from Provence, and should be made in a clay dish…since I just broke mine, I had to use a Pyrex one. The vegetables are sliced thinly, placed upright and cooked in the oven for a long time. You can add goat cheese as well, but I wanted to keep it vegan and light, so to get additional Mediterranean flavors, I served it with a tapenade tartine. This is a very simple dish to make yet delicious due to the slow cooking of the vegetables and all the herbs that have infused in it.

Of course, there are various recipes for tian, some people don’t add onions, but fennel, or potatoes, but tomatoes, zucchini and eggplants should always be around. You can play around with herbs, cheese, etc…but I wanted to keep it simple. Sometimes I like simple flavors and don’t want to add too many intricate and complex flavors into a dish. The slow cooking turned the vegetable almost “confits” in the herbs and own juices.

Usually tians are served with grilled meats or fishes, they add wonderful aromas to a dish. I have to admit that I ate the whole tian by myself and was still hungry. Usually this would be sufficient for four, if you serve it with a fish or meat, or also rice in case you want to keep it vegetarian. It really depends on how much vegetables your guests can eat. Quand on aime, on ne compte pas, that’s what the French say, when you love, you don’t count…which is true for many things. The tapenade tartine is a nice element if you want to keep your meal vegan, that olive spread is simply divine with this tian.

Ingredients for 3-4

  • 3 large tomatoes, sliced crosswise
  • 3 zucchini, sliced crosswise
  • 2 medium eggplants, sliced crosswise
  • 1 onion,
  • lavender salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tsp basil, chopped finely
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • pepper

For the tapenade, see recipe here


Spread some olive oil, all over the dish, preferably a clay dish.

Place all vegetables upright in the dish, alternating between a slice of tomato, two slices of zucchini (since the zucchini tend to be smaller), one slice of eggplant, and onion. The vegetables need to be tightly arranged so they stand still.

Add herbs and garlic, sprinkle with lavender salt and pepper. Add olive oil all over the vegetables.

Cover with aluminium foil and cook in a pre heated oven at 365-370 for about 40-45 minutes. Remove the foil and let the vegetables get golden brown.