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Provencal tian recipe

Discover this quick recipe for Tian provençal, a traditional dish from the South of France. It features sun-drenched vegetables: tomatoes, courgettes and aubergines, for the perfect summer meal. Whether served with meat or as a main course, this tian will delight your taste buds with its Mediterranean flavours. Find out how to prepare it the day before and freeze it to enjoy later.

Recipe and preparation for the traditional Provençal tian dish

Start by preheating the oven to 180°C. Meanwhile, wash your vegetables thoroughly. You don't need to peel the aubergines and courgettes, but make sure you cut off both ends. Cut the vegetables and tomatoes into slices about 5 mm thick.

Next, chop the onions and rub your terracotta dish with a clove of garlic to subtly flavour your tian. Arrange the vegetable slices in your dish, alternating colours for an appetising presentation: for example, start with a courgette slice, then a tomato slice, an aubergine slice and finally an onion slice. Repeat these steps until your dish is full.

For a more pronounced flavour, add some herbes de Provence or thyme to your vegetables. Drizzle with olive oil for even cooking and a rich flavour.

Note: For a gourmet tian, remember to add a few thin slices of mozzarella between your vegetables.

Finally, all you have to do is put your tian in the oven for about 1? hours. Cooking time may vary depending on your oven and the thickness of your vegetable slices. Make sure your vegetables are golden brown and candied.

Le tian provençal traditionnel.

Ideal cooking for a successful tian

Cooking is a crucial stage in making a successful Provençal tian. Aim for a long, controlled cooking time to ensure that the vegetables are soft and melt-in-the-mouth. Preheat the oven to 180°C and put the dish in the oven for 1? hours.

  • To ensure optimal cooking, keep an eye on your tian regularly. If the vegetables colour too quickly, you can cover your dish with a sheet of aluminium foil.

  • For a softer tian, remember to use a moist medium. To do this, place a container filled with water in the oven during pre-heating and leave it in during cooking.

You can also adapt the cooking time and temperature to suit your preferences: for a crispier tian, opt for a shorter cooking time at 180°C for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Variations with potatoes and lamb

Tian Provençal with potatoes and lamb is a richer, even tastier version of the traditional dish. To make this version, we add to the basic recipe potatoes that have been peeled and cut into thin slices, and lamb cut into small pieces.

  • We recommend using lamb, either saddle or shoulder, for its tenderness and unique flavour.

  • Potatoes add a denser consistency to the tian and go perfectly with the lamb and other vegetables.

The preparation remains similar, alternating slices of vegetables with pieces of lamb and slices of potato. Some choose to pre-cook the lamb before placing it in the tian to ensure that it is cooked through and melts in the mouth. Others prefer to marinate the lamb the day before to allow it to absorb all the flavours.

  • Whichever method you choose, this dish retains its Provençal character while offering a new taste experience.

Mozzarella tian, a gourmet variation

This variation of the Provençal tian with mozzarella adds a deliciously melt-in-your-mouth cheesy touch to the dish. This variation respects the tradition of slow cooking and harmonious stacking of vegetables, but adds sliced mozzarella to the alternating vegetables.

Mozzarella is an Italian string cheese, known for its mild flavour and elastic, melt-in-the-mouth texture when cooked. It adds a creamy note to the dish and forms a golden, crispy crust on the surface when au gratin.

To prepare a mozzarella tian, follow the steps for making a traditional Provençal tian, simply adding slices of mozzarella between each row of vegetables. Make sure you finish with a layer of mozzarella for a perfect gratin.

As with the classic recipe, drizzle with olive oil before putting the dish in the oven. Mozzarella goes wonderfully well with seasonal vegetables and Provençal herbs, bringing a new dimension of flavour to this iconic Provençal dish.

Origin and history of Provençal tian

The Provençal tian takes its name from the Occitan "tian", derived from the ancient Greek "têganon" meaning "pan" or "dish". This term, which has existed since 1803, refers to a wide, shallow, glazed terracotta cooking and serving dish. It has become a speciality of Provençal cuisine, a veritable ode to French gastronomy.

Tian originated in the Vaucluse region, in towns such as Carpentras, Cavaillon and Vaison la Romaine. It was then adopted by a large part of Provence, and is now considered one of the specialities of Provençal cuisine.

Linguist and etymologist Paul Peyre has also established a link between tian, a word of Provençal origin, and tajine, a word of Berber origin, both designating the dish and the meal.

Why do we say tian?

As explained above, the word "tian" means "dish" in Provençal, and is the name of the dish in which tian is traditionally prepared. In French, the term pot-au-feu is also used to refer to a basic dish.

The star vegetables: courgettes and aubergines

Courgettes and aubergines are the undisputed stars of the Provençal tian. They are chosen for their unique flavour and their ability to absorb the flavours of the other ingredients.

  • Courgettes, summer vegetables par excellence, provide a melt-in-the-mouth texture and sweetness that balances the more robust character of aubergines. They are generally cut into slices or rings for even cooking.

  • Aubergines are renowned for their tender flesh and subtle flavour. They are often cut into thin slices and blanched in coarse salt to remove the bitterness before cooking.

These two vegetables go perfectly with the other ingredients in the tian, such as tomatoes, onions and herbes de Provence. Their use is a heritage of Provençal culinary tradition, which favours fresh, local produce.

Tips for preparing and storing your tian

To prepare your tian, the trick is to use a mandolin to obtain thin, even slices of vegetables. This ensures even cooking and a more attractive presentation.

The tian keeps well in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. To reheat, use the oven rather than the microwave to retain the crispiness of the vegetables.

If you want to freeze it, remember to make it in individual portions to make defrosting easier. Before serving, leave it to defrost overnight in the fridge, then reheat it in the oven.

Finally, for a tastier tian, you can add a little grated Parmesan cheese to the top before putting it in the oven. This cheese will add an extra layer of crunch to your dish.

What accompaniment for your tian provençal?

Tian Provençal is rich in flavour and can be served as a main course or as a side dish. Its flavours go perfectly with various types of meat and fish.

  • Meat and poultry: Grilled meat, such as lamb or roast chicken, complements the tian perfectly for a complete and balanced meal.

  • Fish: A whole fish baked in the oven, such as sea bream, is an ideal accompaniment to the tian.

  • Bread: A simple crusty baguette or garlic bread can also enhance your tian.

Don't forget to choose a wine that goes well with the main course. A rosé for a starter, a red for meat and a white for fish.

Discover all our other Provençal recipes.

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