Happy New Year from Australia! Most people at the beginning of January are thinking about how to make healthy resolutions, so here is a great vegetarian dinner recipe that looks a bit fancier than just eating some steamed or roasted vegetables. It’s a great recipe for cold winter months especially, although I did just make this in the summer here and enjoyed it. It’s also good to make for a few friends or to just eat by yourself and get some extra lunches out of it. Expect more healthy recipes to come, but of course interspersed with all the baked goods that are necessary to reward yourself for eating so healthily (welcome to my life every day, not just at the beginning of January).
Vegetable tian (adapted from For the Love of Cooking)
Makes enough to fill up a 9-10 inch pie pan, so I would say it could be dinner for 4, especially if you serve it with a nice salad on the side
- Olive oil spray
- 1 medium red or yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced (I admit to being lazy a lot of the time and just using minced garlic that I keep in the fridge)
- 1 medium to large sweet potato (you can use normal potatoes here and I have, but I actually liked the sweet potato a lot. If you you use normal potatoes I’d suggest using the small red-skinned variety and using 3 or so of them)
- 3 small zucchini (to add additional colour, feel free to use 2 small zucchini and 1-2 small yellow squash as well)
- 4 Roma tomatoes (you can use others, but ones that are a bit narrow as opposed to plumper are easier to work with)
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- Dried thyme, to taste
- 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (fresh is of course best, but you can use a bag of Parmesan as well, as long as it’s grated and not powdered)
Preheat the oven to 375 F / 190 C. Coat a round baking dish with olive oil cooking spray. (You can use a square baking dish if you don’t have a round one – you just have to get creative with your vegetable arrangement.) Spray a skillet with cooking spray (or use a tsp of olive oil) and saute the diced onions and garlic on medium heat until soft and translucent. Spread the onion mixture on the bottom of the greased baking dish. Slice the potatoes, zucchini, and tomatoes in 1/4 inch thick slices. (I slice the tomatoes a bit thicker than the potato, since the potato will cook more slowly.) It’ s a bit tricky to get equal numbers of the various vegetables, but think of it as a fun challenge. Layer them alternately in the dish on top of the onions, fitting them tightly into a spiral, making only one layer. Season with sea salt, black pepper and dried thyme, to taste. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top if desired.
Cover the dish with tin foil and bake for 35 minutes, or until the potatoes are starting to get tender (prick them with a fork). Uncover and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until browned. Enjoy!
Onions in the bottom of the baking dish
Beginning the layering of the vegetables
Wishing everyone a happy new year full of good eating and exciting new food experiences!