as a side dish, this tops the list. i found this recipe to be amazing—tasty with a beautiful presentation. i find Ina garten’s barefoot in Paris cookbook to have many of my favorites. this one was made almost to the directions, though i substituted fontina cheese for her suggested Gruyère. i also used my Cuisinart mandoline for slicing the ingredients.
this is not a quick recipe. the tian bakes for a total of 75 minutes, plus 1/2 hour of preparation time —so, plan ahead. it will be worth every minute.
to make the tian: preheat the oven to 375 degrees. slice one to two medium onions and cook in a saute pan with minced garlic to taste. cook the onions until translucent. spread the mixture on the bottom of a large flat ceramic baking dish.
next, slice two medium russet potatoes, one large zucchini, and three medium tomatoes. layer them alternately over the onions. season with salt, pepper, thyme, fresh thyme sprigs, and then drizzle with olive oil.
cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. remove the foil and the thyme sprigs and add about 2/3 cup of grated fontina cheese.