This Provençal dish is a bright accompaniment to a grilled steak or lamb chop. The term “tian” refers to both the earthenware dish in which the vegetables are cooked and the gratin of vegetables and cheese itself.
1 large eggplant (preferably Sicilian), thinly sliced
2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
Fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of a round 9-inch ceramic tart pan. Arrange the eggplant in a layer on the bottom of the dish, permitting the slices to overlap slightly. Then add a layer of tomato and season with pepper. Continue to layer in this fashion until you use all of the tomato and eggplant. Top with another drizzle of olive oil, and bake covered with aluminum foil for 30 minutes. Uncover, add the cheese, and bake for another 30 minutes until the vegetables are browned and the eggplant is tender. Top with fresh basil and sea salt before serving.