Every year, my husband’s entire extended family gets together for Easter. Each family brings a dish – and with over 30 people there, we eat pretty well that day! There’s ham, duck, deer, sauerkraut, dumplings, veggies, salads, walleye lasagna (yes, sounds weird, but it’s delicious!), rosettes, kolaches, and everything else under the sun.

This year, I was assigned to bring a vegetable dish. My usual go-to is green bean casserole. But this year, I wanted to try something new. I wanted something with some variety, that was also easy to put together. I found the vegetable tian!

vegetable tian

Here’s what you’ll need:

(NOTE – these ingredients fill a 9×11 baking dish. You could easily cut it down to fit whatever size pan you’d like to use. I’ve seen this in round ceramic dishes, with the veggies in a spiral – looks really pretty!)

2 tbsp olive oil (divided)
1 large sweet yellow onion cut in half and sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3-4 potatoes, unpeeled (I used Yukon Gold, but any type of potato will do.)
2 zucchini
2 yellow squash
4-5  large Roma tomatoes
Sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Dried thyme, to taste (could also substitute Italian seasoning)
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (I ended up using an Italian blend)

How To:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and coat a 9×11 baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large skillet on medium heat, add the onions and saute until they start to get soft and translucent. Should take 8-10 minutes or so. Add the garlic and cook about a minute more. We just want to soften the garlic a little – you’ll smell when it’s ready! Once those are cooked, spread them on the bottom of your greased baking dish.

While the onions are cooking, we’ll prepare the veggies. Slice the potatoes, squash, zucchini and tomatoes in about 1/4 inch slices.

Once your onions are in the baking dish, layer all the other veggies alternately on top of them. You’ll want to pack them fairly tightly, so everything looks pretty. And we haven’t even baked it yet!

pre-baked vegetable tian

Season the veggies with salt, pepper, and dried thyme. (You could also use Italian seasoning if you like!) Finally, drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 35 minutes – or until the potatoes are tender. Then, take off the foil, add your cheese, and bake for another 15-20 minutes. You want the cheese to melt and start to brown just a little.

vegetable tian close up

To make ahead:

I actually made this a day ahead of time. Just bake the vegetables until the potatoes are tender, cover with foil and refrigerate. When you’re ready to serve, add the cheese, bake for another 10-15 minutes or so (enough for the cheese to melt and brown a little, and the veggies to warm through.) Then you’re ready to go!

So there you have it! An easy dish, that looks like you put in a lot of effort! Enjoy!

vegetable tian finished

Corey Urbanek

I was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, but have since been transplanted to Kearney, thanks to my husband, Bryce. We met while attending UNK, and ended up settling here in town. We're also excited for this coming summer, as we're expecting a set of twins, due in late June or early July 2015! Growing up, I participated in everything fine arts - from band, to choir, to theater. (Yes, I play several instruments, including piano, French horn, mallet percussion, a little guitar, and I sing.) I earned a Music Business degree at UNK, but when I graduated during the recession, arts jobs were few and far between. So I took a position at NTV News, and have been there for the past 7 years in various roles. (Yes, that's where I met Leslie Means!) In my free time, I still love anything music, especially finding new songs and artists. But my other big passion is food! As my husband can tell you, I'm obsessed with the Food Network (I'll even watch episodes I've seen already.) He's often my guinea pig for new recipes - but he doesn't seem to mind, as long as he gets fed! I'm excited to share some of those recipes with all of you, and I hope you enjoy them!