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Provençal Vegetable Tian
* 1 large onion or 2 medium leeks
* 2 large cloves garlic
* 1 or 2 small zucchini
* 1 or 2 small eggplants
* 1 or 2 small potatoes
* 2 or 3 medium plum tomatoes
* 2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
* 1/4 cup dry white wine
* Extra virgin olive oil
* Sea salt
* Freshly ground black pepper
1. Cut a piece of parchment paper to the size of a two-quart glass or ceramic baking dish. Set aside. Butter the inside of the dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Slice the onions and peel and mince the garlic. (If you’re using leeks, cut the root end off and chop where the green begins then slice the white part and rinse in cold water to remove any sand/dirt. Let dry in a colander.)
3. Remove the ends from the zucchini and eggplant and discard. Cut each crosswise into coins 1/8-inch thick. Remove the stem ends from the tomatoes and discard. Cut each crosswise into rounds 1/8-inch thick. Scrub and dry the potato(es) and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices.
4. Coat a small pan with a good dose of olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and swirl to coat. Gently add the onions (or leeks). Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions (or leeks) have begun to soften and the garlic has released its fragrance, approximately two to five minutes.
5. Carefully spread the onion/leek-garlic mixture across the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and a few grindings of fresh black pepper; strip the leaves from one of the sprigs of thyme and sprinkle over the mixture.
6. Layer the zucchini, eggplant, potato, and tomato on top of the onion/leek-garlic mixture, alternating each and overlapping slightly. I made sure to put the juicier things (squash and tomato) between the drier veggies (eggplant and potato) to keep the whole thing consistently moist. If working with a square or rectangular dish, layer in rows; if working with a circular or oval dish, work in fans from the center. Drizzle with a two-count of olive oil and splash with the wine. Sprinkle with salt and a few grindings of fresh black pepper; strip the leaves from the remaining thyme and sprinkle over the casserole.
7. Butter the cut parchment and carefully place, buttered side down, on top of the vegetables. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, depending on your oven, until the vegetables are soft but not mushy while the edges are nicely crisp and brown.