Sunday, January 27, 2013

Caramelized Onion, Green Bean, and Cherry Tomato Tian

A tian is a Provencal version of a vegetable gratin. Although normally prepared in a dish of the same name, you can prepare a tian in your American kitchen using any baking dish.  Choose an easily grateable cheese like the vegan mozzarella block from Galaxy Foods, to get a nice gratin-style browned topping.

  • 5 cups (1-inch) cut green beans
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 cups thinly sliced onion
  • 6 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons vegan sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup grated vegan cheese
1. Cook the green beans in boiling water for 3 minutes.  Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat a skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, garlic, sugar, salt, and black pepper; saute for 8 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the balsamic, basil, and oregano, and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

3. Arrange the green beans in the bottom of an 11x7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Top with the onion mixture, then arrange the tomatoes on top of the onion mixture and sprinkle with the cheese.

4. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes, until the top is lightly browned.

Pair with a French entree (like a vegan sausage quiche) for a fun Gallic evening at home.  

I had fun veganizing this recipe, using a blend of silken tofu, cornstarch, and turmeric for the eggs.

Nutrition Info:
6 servings (1 cup), Calories 75

Tasting Notes:
This is exactly how I want vegetables to be - warm, tender, and wonderfully, naturally sweet just from caramelizing and roasting, without adding artificial sweeteners.  The vegetables release so much liquid as they bake that guests might be surprised to hear there is no added sauce.  The balsamic vinegar gave just the right touch of acidity.  This dish gets high marks without any changes, but if you want to kick it up a notch, consider tossing the cheese with an equal amount of breadcrumbs before sprinkling on top.


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