tian: A French word describing a shallow, earthenware casserole, as well as the food that it contains. A tian can be any of various dishes, but originally referred to a Provencal dish of gratineed mixed vegetables.-- The New Food Lover's Companion by Sharon Tyler Herbst.
Here's the perfect vegetable dish to welcome in the spring. This tian is light and tasty, yet substantial enough to be the center attraction of a meal. It can be eaten hot or cold. It's fast, easy, and economical -- a great way to use up leftover rice and eat your greens.
The tian invites experimentation so feel free to change the cheese choices and vegetables. I didn't think of it until I started eating, but pine nuts would be a great addition to this recipe. I strongly advise you to use fresh breadcrumbs (packaged will give you a much inferior dish).
Serve with crusty bread and a salad.
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
1lb zucchini, chopped
6 oz spinach
3/4 cup cooked rice
2-3 oz Swiss or Gruyere, grated
1/3 cup feta, crumbled
3 eggs, beaten
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350.
Butter an earthenware dish (mine was 8" x 11").
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion until soft. Add the zucchini and garlic and cook for another 5-6 minutes. Put the spinach in a colander and pour boiling water from a kettle over it. Let it cool and drain, then transfer to a chopping board and chop. Add the spinach, cooked rice, cheeses, and eggs and stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper then transfer mixture to your prepared earthenware dish. Top with fresh breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes until topping is light brown.