A tian is a Provençal dish made of egg and vegetables that is ideal for summer picnics. It takes its name from the shallow terracotta dish it is traditionally cooked in. I use a cast iron skillet instead. The basic mix of vegetables is greens, herbs and potato; use what is cropping. You can add flavour with olives, capers, anchovies, a thickish tomato sauce and switch courgettes for spinach or chard, for instance. My recipe is inspired by Elizabeth David’s.
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- 250g courgettes
- 250g potatoes (steamed, peeled and cut into cubes)
- 1 heaped tbsp each of parmesan and gruyère cheese
- 1tbsp finely chopped parsley and a few sorrel leaves, salt, pepper, nutmeg and garlic
- 5-6 eggs
- 4tbsp of olive oil
- Put the cubed potatoes with a little chopped garlic, seasoning and 2tbsp of olive oil in the ovenproof dish and warm through in a low oven (150°C).
- Grate the courgettes and fry them gently in 2tbsp oil, crush over some salt, cover the pan and cook for five minutes.
- In a large bowl beat the eggs until frothy, add sorrel, herbs, cheese, salt and pepper, a little grated nutmeg and the courgettes, then stir in the potatoes and tip the whole lot into a well-buttered skillet or gratin dish.
- Transfer immediately to the oven (otherwise the egg rises up) and bake for 25 minutes at 190°C.
- Cut into wedges when cool.