Apparently, you can’t trust Disney. Ratatouille was a fun movie, but it turns out they weren’t making ratatouille at all. This dish, I’ve now learned, is called Tian Provençal. To be honest, I don’t find ratatouille to look particularly appetizing. This, on the other hand, looks bomb.
In just a couple of sentences, here is the way I understand it after some quick reading: Ratatouille is chopped veggies cooked in a pan with sauce. Tian is sliced veggies, layered flat in a dish and baked in the oven. So what we have here is sliced veggies, layered upright in a dish, baked with a marinara sauce in the bottom. Ours is not the typical recipe (I took a few liberties), but still, looks closer to tian than it does to ratatouille.
This is a gorgeous dish that is simple to prepare. I used a food processor to slice the veggies because I wanted them to be same thickness. You can also slice by hand or use a mandolin. Just be careful! That mistake has been once in our home already. It wasn’t pretty. So pay attention when using a mandolin!
You’re going to want to look for long, skinny vegetables to keep the diameter the same size. I used mini eggplants and medium sized vine tomatoes. Our dish includes carrot, but I’d probably leave that out. There is so much room to experiment with vegetables and spices here. Get creative! You may love what you come up with.
For the marinara sauce: Prepare using your favourite recipe or use from a jar.
Tian ProvençalPrint Recipe
- 2 green zucchini
- 2 yellow bell peppers
- 4 mini eggplant
- 4 tomatoes
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1 large pinch dried basil
- salt, pepper
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Cut your veggies into 1/8 inch slices. Food processor works best.
Your bell peppers might be tricky. Cut them into long pieces with a knife, so that you end up with a semi-circle when it goes through the food processor.
Pour the sauce into the bottom of your dish.
Start organizing your veggies into a pattern-repeating order on a cutting board.
When you've prepared quite a bit, start along the outer edge, gently leaving them upright. Continue all the way to close your loop. Finish with the centre.
There may be some gaps, start filling them now that the layout isn't at risk of falling over.
Sprinkle the basil over top. Add salt and pepper to your taste.
To avoid the veggies drying out, cut a piece of parchment paper into the shape of your dish and lay it loosely on top.
Bake for 40 minutes. To brown the top, remove the parchment after 30-35 minutes.
We sprinkled a little vegan parm for some flavour (basically a nutritional yeast and cashew mixture).
This is great on pasta, on top of bruschetta, or as a dish with a side of garlic bread. We would love to know how you paired this dish when you make it! Please comment if you do.