Monday, July 18, 2016

Summer Veggie Tian

E flew up to Dallas Friday morning {I guess I should say he went to the airport Friday morning... storms in the metroplex kept him grounded...and then flying, but circling...and then returning back to ATX...and then grounded some more... and then finally zipping into Love Field 6 hours later}, and the kiddos and I met him in the evening for a visit to GiGi and PawPaw's.  While I'm always thankful to avoid 4 hours on I-35, B is a crazed warthog in the airport and is not fond of lines. I thought our little owl backpack / leash contraption might help keep him contained, but he mostly ended up insisting on holding the lead himself and darting off the minute I was otherwise occupied with luggage or liquids in tiny containers or IDs. But! We all arrived relatively unscathed, and it was nice to be able to travel with just 2 sets of headphones, one iPad, and some snacks instead of a ginormous gremlin-dedicated satchel of All The Things.  

We had an excellent visit with GiGi and PawPaw -- lots of backyard swimming, park playing, and pit BBQ inhaling. If you're looking for suburbia's best brisket, look no further than Hard Eight {in either The Colony or Coppell if you're in DFW}; that place is consistently packed to the gills for very good reason. 

We returned home smack in the middle of naptime.  All things considered, the wheels stayed on until the very end... when B decided the best way to protest some tiny injustice was to lay flat on his face in baggage claim and wail for 7 minutes. When you have a 57 lb duffel strapped to your back and a convertible car seat to juggle and the rest of your family has foresaken you in favor of retrieving the car, there's not much else to do but watch, wait, and time for posterity.  Thankfully, he regained a bit of rational processing ability and scooted outside to continue his sit-in silently. 

Now the meatloaves are in bed and the wine has been poured and I must share this tasty recipe I tried a few weeks ago.  Love, love, love that it looks impressive {or it would if I could manage to take a decent photograph of food} but is actually super simple {even by hand, the prep work is a snap so long as you have a good, sharp knife!}.  I'd never heard the word "tian" in all my life until 12 days ago, but I still strongly feel you should make one ASAP. 

Summer Veggie Tian
- adapted from Budget Bytes

- 1/2 T of EVOO + 3 Misto sprays
- 1/2 T of butter
- pinch of brown sugar
- 1 medium sweet onion, halved and sliced thinly
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 medium zucchini*
- 1 medium yellow squash
- 1 medium potato
- 2 or 3 Roma tomatoes
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend {or use Parmesan or Asiago on its own}

* When you select your veggies, try to match diameters so that your slices line up together nicely.  As you can see, I didn't take this into account at all while shopping.  The dish is tasty regardless of its aesthetic shortcomings, but my internal OCD Meter was hella-fussy whilst prepping this dish. 

Heat 1/2 T of EVOO and 1/2 T of butter in a saute pan over medium high heat. Add the onions, stirring until softened, then turn heat down and continue to cook onions with the pinch of brown sugar, covered, until they begin to caramelize - about 15 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant - another 2-3 minutes. 

While the onions are cooking, thinly slice your remaining veggies.  If you have a mandolin, now would be a great time to dust it off.  If not, a good, sharp knife and a little bit of patience will do the job just fine. Pay particular attention to your potato slices so the end result won't be undercooked! 

Mist the bottom and sides of an 8x8 casserole dish with EVOO. Spread the sauteed onions and garlic in the bottom of the dish. Arrange the sliced veggies, "stacked vertically like dominoes" {love that description!}, in an alternating pattern.  I tried to make sure potatoes and tomatoes were touching so the juices from the 'maters helped cook the 'taters. Spritz the top of the veggies with EVOO and sprinkle with garlic salt and herbs. 

Cover the dish with foil and bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove foil, sprinkle with cheese, and bake for another 15-20 minutes.  I turned on the broiler for an extra 2 minutes to really brown the top. 

Enjoy as a side dish {serves 4-6} or as a main dish for two with a side salad or piece of toasted naan. 


  1. Yummmm. That looks tasty. Two questions, do you think it would work minus the onions? No one in my house will touch an onion unless it's deep fried and ringed or chopped so small to be hardly noticiable.
    2. Im trying to up my kitchen game. Got a mister you'd recommend?

    1. I think it would definitely work without onions! It might be slightly harder to form the stacks, but it will still taste great! i like the Misto brand olive oil mister!

  2. This is on the docket for tonight! Thank you for sharing yummy recipes. Your "Mustard Chicken" and "Quinoa Muffins" are on regular rotation over here.

    1. And concurring on Hard Eight! Delish. I actually haven't tried either one up here in the Metroplex. We have one in my Hometown and it's tasty!


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