Being of Service to Your Kitchen Chores

A tian, most simply, is an earthenware casserole dish used in France to cook vegetables. Which vegetables? Diced or sliced? With or without cheese? Or eggs? That’s where it gets complicated, unless you allow it to be simple again.

Summer of 2011, I dub you summer of the tian!

I will not fret about using a 9 x 13 Pyrex instead of a French earthenware vessel. I will not fret about not having Gruyère on hand. I will simply slice vegetables, whichever ones look good, stack them on top of lightly sauteed onions, drizzle them with olive oil and, when I have some, whatever fresh herbs I have on hand, and bake.

This particular one is:

1 large 1015 onion
2 beets
4 Roma tomatoes
3 zucchinis
1 large potato
1 large red bell pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Splash oil in the bottom of a 9×13 Pyrex, or whatever casserole you have.
  3. Saute thinly sliced onions until they start to brown, then spread over the bottom of the casserole dish.
  4. Thinly slice all of the other veggies. If the potato or beet slices are very big, cut them in half.
  5. Arrange the slices in the pan. It helps to sandwich tomatoes between potatoes, as the potatoes can soak up the tomato liquid.
  6. Once you’ve wedged them in tightly, drizzle with more olive oil, a healthy dash of salt, and any herbs, like tarragon or oregano, you might have on hand.
  7. Spray a sheet of parchment with Pam or other cooking spray and lay it across the top of the veggies.
  8. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes covered with the parchment.
  9. Remove parchment and bake another 15-20 minutes.

We made this to go with chicken two nights ago, but the chicken was past its prime, so we just at the whole casserole of veggies, just the two of us. Very tasty, very filling. Make some rice, add some meet, scramble an egg, slice some bread … you can build around it very easily, or not at all.

The knife work would take forever, because getting uniform slices is a pain but a necessity. Here’s the workaround:

The Super Benriner, in addition to being an inexpensive option for quickly slicing vegetables thinly and uniformly, provides an excellent and hilarious example of why we should learn foreign languages in schools. From the instructions:

It is very much appreciated that you have purchased the super Benriner. dressing apparatus of Benriner.
This Company has been accumulating researches for the past thirty years based on the Company’s concept of making allout efforts solely for the purpose of turning ut vegetable dressers of a ‘superior quality’ and being of service to your kitchen chores. In this apparatus are utilized results of experiences of a long period, and the stainless steel material unique to this Company has been used, cares have been used in carrying out manufacture, and therefore, the superb sharpness of the dresser cutters is our pride.

Yes, Benriner, let’s have daily crisp vegetables. I agree. Sharpness of the cutter does make my cooking chore enjoyable. In fact, I don’t think I’ll find cooking tians to be a chore at all.

ボナペティ and bon appetit!

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This entry was posted in eat this!, recipes and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Being of Service to Your Kitchen Chores

  1. houstonchick says:

    First, that looks absolutely delicious. Already wondering where I buy parchment paper in Istanbul. And the foreign language thing? Hilarious. And, boy, do I get it.

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