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Vegetable tian with thyme crumb

The beauty of this dish is in its versatility - use any seasonal vegetable to satisfy your own tastes.

By Jessica Brook
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 50 mins cooking
  • Serves 4 - 6
  • Print
Photo: John Paul Urizar
If your first thought is to serve this dish as a side, think again. Featuring a layer of sourdough bread and topped with thyme crumbs, this hearty vegetable tian will no doubt keep you satisfied as a main. Make with any of your favourite vegetables, top with basil and breadcrumbs, and enjoy.


  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 6 slices sourdough bread
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 260 gm Bolognese sauce
  • 4 eggplant (about 1.4kg), cut into 5 mm-thick slices
  • 3 large vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into 5 mm-thick slices
  • 3 large zucchini, cut on an angle into 5mm-thick slices
  • 3 Desiree potatoes, cut into 5mm-thick slices
  • 25 gm each finely grated parmesan and Gruyère
  • ½ cup firmly packed basil leaves


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 220˚C. Grease a 22cm x 28cm ovenproof dish. Lay 4 slices of sourdough over base and rub with garlic. Top with Bolognese sauce.
  • 2
    Place eggplant, tomato, zucchini and potato, alternating upright in dish. Repeat with remaining vegetables in two rows. Season to taste, drizzle with oil and bake until vegetables are tender (45-50 minutes).
  • 3
    Meanwhile, remove crust from remaining bread and roughly tear. Toss with cheeses and place on a small baking tray lined with non stick baking paper. Bake until cheese is melted and bread golden (5 minutes).
  • 4
    Serve warm or at room temperature, scattered with crumb, basil leaves and pepper.


Tian is a French term for a shallow, earthenware dish, as well as the food that is cooked in it. Usually, it's a gratin (a baked dish with a crisp breadcrumb topping) of mixed vegetables.