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Sunday, August 25, 2013

4 Good Reasons for Cooking with a Tian

Provençal cooks are fussy about their cuisine, their earthy healthy traditions, and their Mediterranean diet.  And it’s not just about the ingredients they use such as healthy olive oil but how they prepare their Provençal cuisine.

Cooks in Provence will often use tians –tians are earthenware dishes used for cooking and serving – vessels that are glazed  in the inside. A tian is also the name of the dish prepared in it.

Here’s why you should use one:
- With a tian the dish goes straight from the oven to the table – nothing could be more practical.

-There’s no added juices only those of good wholesome vegetables.
-As this is not a gratin, there’s no breadcrumbs, no cheese making it almost fat free.

-Slow cooking in the oven so you can prepare  and relax.

 This is one of the healthy olive oil recipes from my book An Olive Oil Tour of France
Madeleine Montebert from Cooking in Provence has got it right – this dish is simplicity itself
– a good dollop of extra virgin on succulent garden vegetables

 Provençal Tian
Quantities may vary according to the size of the vegetables and your tian

800 gms fat free trimmed lamb
10 tomatoes
5 courgettes
5 aubergines
1 onion
A few shallots
1 clove garlic
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Wash the vegetables. Peel and slice the onion, shallots and garlic.

Spread these and the thyme leaves on the bottom of a tian.
Lay the meat on top.

Cut the aubergines, tomatoes and courgettes into quarter-inch slices. Lay them alternately on top of the meat overlapping them slightly and fitting them tightly to create one layer.
Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables and cook the tian in a hot oven (180°C) for about 2 ½ hours.
Serve warm.

Bon appétit


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