Serves: 2
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 65 to 75 minutes

You may not know what a tian is, but if you’ve seen the movie Ratatouille, you’ll be familiar with a version of this presentation of vegetables sliced thinly, cooked and served in an elegant stack. The dish you see in the movie was created by Chef Thomas Keller (of The French Laundry, among other restaurants), who was a consultant for the movie. My version of those stacked vegetables is a little easier for younger or novice cooks to assemble, but once you’ve mastered it, you’re well on your way to creating restaurant-worthy ratatouille! It’s important to choose vegetables that have a similar diameter so they stack evenly in the baking dish.


  • 1 small (3½ oz/100 g) yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning
  • 2 baby or 1 small (7 oz/200 g) eggplant, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium (5 oz/150 g) zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 3 Roma tomatoes (10 oz/300 g), thinly sliced in rounds
  • ½ teaspoon dried Herbes de Provence
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning


1Preheat the oven to 400˚F (200˚C).

2Place the onion slices and minced garlic in the bottom of a 5 x 7 inch (13 x 18 cm) baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper.

3Stack the eggplant slices upright against the long side of the dish so they are slightly overlapping each other. They should be quite tightly packed. Follow with a row of zucchini slices, arranged in the same manner. Next, make a row of tomato slices.

4Continue in this manner until you have no more vegetable slices left. You should have enough vegetable slices and room to make at least two rows of each vegetable.

5Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the vegetables, sprinkle with the Herbes de Provence, cover the dish with aluminium foil and bake for 45 minutes.

6Remove the foil from the dish, drizzle with a little more olive oil and bake, uncovered, for a further 20 to 30 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through.

7Season to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.


That “tian” is the name not only for this baked vegetable stew but also the dish it’s cooked in? Traditionally, it means a shallow earthenware casserole dish, but you can use a ceramic baking dish for the same effect!

Excerpted from In the French Kitchen with Kids by Mardi Michels. Copyright © 2018 Mardi Michels. Photography © Kyla Zanardi. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

First printed in our sister publication France Today

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