Use-It-Up Summer Tomato and Green Bean Tian

4 Aug

My mother’s neighbor has quite the prolific garden this summer and we were gifted a plastic shopping bag full of green beans, cherry tomatoes, and zucchini. The zucchini will become bread (vegatables? What vegetables? It’s a delicious baked good, kids!) and we snacked on the beans and tomatoes for a few days, but there was no way we were going to eat them all raw like that. ‘Twas a huge bag.

I’d already made two pizzas for dinner last night (more on that soon!) and didn’t feel like having two or three more bowls to clean, so steaming or salad-making was out. I thought for a bit and remembered a delicious tian I’d made last Christmas, and started improvising based on that recipe, which called for a stovetop step and an oven step, and more ingredients than I had around.

A traditional tian is a layered vegetable dish that’s topped with cheese and/or bread crumbs and baked until the top is crunchy and the veggies are soft and delicious. This doesn’t have bread crumbs and isn’t exactly layered, but it fits the bill in my own cooking dictionary. It was really fast and super easy, and only dirtied up a cutting board, knife, spoon, and small casserole dish. Score. The vegetables tasted sweet and fresh, the beans stayed crunchy while the tomatoes softened, and the cheese melted on top into a delicious crust. DH’s verdict: “I’d make a whole meal of this anytime.”

You’ll notice a lack of measurement. I tossed what I had into the casserole until it was about 2/3 full–I’d guesstimate I used a cup each of beans and tomatoes for the small dish I had. The beans still had the snap and a bit of the taste of raw beans. If you like yours more thoroughly cooked, steam them or give them a quick whirl in boiling water before you add them to this.

To make my summer tomato and green bean tian, you’ll need:

Fresh green beans, ends cut off and discarded, and beans cut into 1 – 2 inch pieces

Cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (you can use larger tomatoes–just cut them into smaller pieces)

Shredded Parmesan cheese (I used a handful and would guess it was 1/2 cup)

Extra-virgin olive oil

Balsamic vinegar (I used about a teaspoon of oil and a tablespoon of vinegar)

Spray a small casserole dish with olive oil or cooking spray and heat your oven to 400 degrees.

Combine beans and tomatoes in the dish. Drizzle the oil and vinegar over them, and stir to combine. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake until the cheese is melty and starts to crunch up–about 15 minutes or so.

I bet those zucchini would have been good in here, now that I think about it. And truthfully, I’m going to try this with only tomatoes next time I have a bunch laying around–they were just amazing. Love summer tomatoes this way!

One Response to “Use-It-Up Summer Tomato and Green Bean Tian”

  1. Doran August 4, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    This sounds so yummy—- Can’t wait to try it—

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