From Chef Sheldon Payne, this recipe for tian gets its name from the small oval shaped dish it is traditionally served in. This tian combines the freshness of local Heirloom tomatoes with the nutty quality of eggplant and creamy umami of the Comanche Queen cheese.
2 eggplant sliced diagonally into 1/4in thick
2 or 3 heirloom tomatoes sliced in 1/4in rounds
5 cloves garlic minced
3 tbsp good EVOO
1/2 wheel Comache Queen cheese sliced
2 tsp thyme chopped
2 tsp oregano chopped
1 tbsp parsley chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 baguette (optional)
1) Preheat oven to 375
2) Mix oregano, thyme and cumin and reserve.
3) In bowl toss eggplant with oil and pinch of salt. Then in a large saute pan that has oil cook eggplant until both sides are golden brown. The eggplant should be tender but not soft.
4) Prepare tian, gratin, or small casserole dish with olive oil and some minced garlic.
5) Layer tomato then eggplant and so on until base of pan is covered. Season with herb mixture, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle some more garlic and drizzle olive oil on top. Repeat this for 2-3 layers depending on the depth of your dish.
6) Cover your dish in foil and bake in oven for 30 mins. Once 30 mins is up check your tian the eggplant should be fully cooked and the tomato should be soft but not falling apart. By hand break the Comache Queen cheese slices into smaller bits and place on top. There should be space between the slices. Then place in back in then oven uncovered to melt the cheese, about 2 mins. If you have a baguette this the time when you can cut it in half oil and toast it. Once cheese is melted remove from oven and enjoy your tian.