Tian Provençal (Aubergine, Courgette and Tomato Casserole)

Whatever you call this one, a Tian Provençal, ratatouille or a confit byaldi, they are all very nice varieties of delicious mediterranean casseroles!

When reading this recipe over at seriouseats.com it seemed to me that it is an elaborate type of melanzane alla parmigiana, but with additional vegetables and presented in a nice spiral formation. Nice!!

I couldn’t get my hands on summer squash or yellow courgettes, so it was just plain ole’ aubergine and green courgette. To make the dish resemble a melanzane a bit more, I decided to add 2 sliced balls of mozzarella cheese and “spiral” them in as well.

For the tomato sauce, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a sauce pan and fry 2 chopped small onions for 5 minutes or so. Then add 5 chopped cloves of garlic and continue to cook for a few more minutes. Add a 800g / 28oz tin of whole peeled tomatoes (crushed by hand or a give them 2 or 3 short blitzes in the food processor) and cook for another 30 minutes.

Then stir through 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh Mediterranean herbs like basil, rosemary, thyme and oregano leaves. Make sure that the tomato sauce is well seasoned as it will need to carry all the flavour as the vegetables themselves only receive a sprinkling of salt. Put the tomato sauce into the food processor (or use a stick blender directly to the pan) and blitz until completely smooth.

In the meantime, get 2 courgettes and 2 aubergines and cut them in 0.6 cm/ 1/4 inch slices. The recipe calls for pan frying the sliced vegetables on high heat to lightly brown them. I don’t like panfrying aubergines as they tend to soak up all the oil very quickly (courgettes less so, I therefore followed the recipe on that one which also made the whole cooking process twice as fast). Time to get the trusty panini grill out: just lightly brush the eggplant slices with olive oil (you will need about 1 tbsp per aubergine), season them with salt and grill them!

IMG_3799
First put a couple of ladles of tomato sauce in a 20cm/8″ baking dish to cover the bottom of the baking dish and arrange the cooled vegetables and mozzarella in alternating layers.
IMG_3800
Cover with a couple of ladles of tomato sauce until barely covered (you should have some to spare)…
IMG_3801
20 to 25 minutes in a 180C/350F oven and presto!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s