The “Sunshine Veggies” season is still on but will slowly be closing up soon in Nice as we progressively come out of Summer. We are lucky in this Southern area of France, because summertime is actually lasting much longer than in any other area of the country, and our veggies can keep bathing in the sun almost all year long, regardless of temperatures. However, there are still some vegetables that the French like to call “Sunshine veggies” because although they can grow almost everywhere around the country, but they are very popular in the South because they are synonymous of bright light, healthy and happy growing, and synonymous of bursting flavors thanks to so much sunshine all year round. Those vegetables are simply tomatoes and bell peppers. Nevertheless, you should know that in Nice, we are proud to have among other specialty dishes one that is called the Ratatouille, and thanks to a combination of multiple flavors and veggies within this same dish, the common sense in France has added some of its ingredients, zucchini and eggplant, to the list of official “sunshine veggies”, especially when it comes to cooking them along with tomatoes and local Provence aromatic herbs such as thyme or basil.
Here I introduce you to my recipe of Sunshine Veggies Tian. It included tomato, eggplant and zucchini, but I’ve chosen to exclude the bell pepper because this dish is slow roasting in the oven, and the bell pepper doesn’t behave the same way as the other vegetables in an oven. What we call a Tian simply is a dish in which all ingredients are sliced up and arranged in columns as you can see on the picture. This one is a vegan version, but some people like to cook Tian with a mix of vegetables and fish, and eventually give it a tartar look (circle shape). On top of the dish you can see just here, tonight I’ll go wild (wouhouhouuuuuu!) and top it with Mozzarella, because yeaaah, I’m a cheese lover, my friends!
Before you get started, did you know my first cookbook got published? It’s called Cookbook #1: A French Girl’s Cooking Adventures in Her Kitchen, and it’s available online, you’re just a click away, RIGHT HERE!
Ingredients: (serve 2 pax)
- 1 small eggplant, sliced and each slice cut in 4 quarters
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- 2 tomatoes, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
- thyme and basil dry leaves flakes
- olive oil
- Preheat the oven at 160 degrees Celsius
- Slice all the vegetables and arrange them as shown on the picture
- Mince the garlic and sprinkle over the veggies
- Season with salt and pepper, and the herbs
- Drizzle with olive oil
- Roast in the oven for a total time of 1h20
- About 15 minutes before the end, slice a mozzarella ball and top the veggies with the cheese.
- Let the mozzarella melt more or less totally depending how you like it
- Serve eventually with green leaves on the side
Created and Written by Sophie Rebibo-Halimi, © 2015 All Rights Reserved.