Can you spare a few minutes for a Wow? Prepare to be amazed by this stunning Summer Vegetable Tian which is CooktheBookFriday’s recipe choice this week.

I dropped off a piece of this for my friend, Wendy. Here’s what she texted later, “What a treat! 1st that I had a great dinner without doing anything but heat it up. After working hard all day, it was a super treat. 2nd, it tasted delicious and very healthy. It also looked fabulous. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I rest my case.

A Sweet Potato
A Fancy Sweet Potato (leftover Summer Vegetable Tian)

Besides this jolt of deliciousness from Dorie Greenspan’s latest cookbook, in today’s post there are also pictures of Mother Nature’s splendor. She’s been busy. With July approaching, it time for more books. Lots to learn about and like in today’s post. Let’s Go.


What a lifesaver to be in the mountains during these strange and disturbing days. Since its beginning in mid-March, and here I’m talking about the Quarantine, I’ve been a Fauci follower, disciple of our Governor’s Safer at Home order and have always worn a mask ( a law in Aspen now ). For me, it’s all about keeping my eye on the ball, seeing my California kids again.

For two days last week, a Mother Deer would leave her newly born fawn near my friends’ front door. The first day the baby laid there quietly for 4 hours before her Mother returned. The second day, 10 hours. (We got a bit worried.)
Sometimes the Mama would disappear and sometimes she’d just hang out in their back yard.
On the second day, at 8pm, the Mama finally returned for her baby. They’ve spent the past few days in the nearby woods.

I’ve always appreciated the power and constant grounding that my hikes in the wilderness provide whether they be healing, reflecting or stress reducing. But this year, more than any other, Time has become my companion as I’ve literally stopped to smell the (wild) roses. Maybe we humans have hit pause but life in the natural world is constantly unfolding around us.

Mom, Dad and the kids are having a glorious early morning swim at the North Star Preserve in Aspen.
A Hungry Broad-Tailed Hummingbird
This male Broad-Tailed Hummingbird is flashing his gorget, an iridescent rose-magenta throat patch.
SWALLOWS often take over Bluebird Nesting Boxes for their own use.




READY for the oven – 70 to 90 minutes at 400 degrees

A Tian is a plain round earthenware oven-to-table dish. It is also the name for a recipe of layered or overlapping vegetables slow-roasted in the oven and served as a main or side dish. Although this idea has been passed down from generation to generation in France, it was the renown Provençal chef Roger Verge who popularized this particular Tian recipe.

MISE en PLACE (Everything in its Place)

Don’t be chintzy with your olive oil, it’s the difference between bland and flavorful. Go big or go home with those fresh herbs. Be generous with salt, pepper and sliced garlic. Although in her recipe Ina sprinkles grated Gruyere cheese on top, No, just No. The only question should be how can something so simple be so amazing.

“The best Tians should have too much oil, enough salt and a long cooking. In other words, if your vegetables melt and border on jam, you’ve made a good tian.” Cookbook Author Lucinda Scala Quinn

SUMMER VEGETABLE TIAN by Dorie Greenspan, Everyday Dorie, The Way I Cook

Serves 4-6



5 to 9 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

10 sprigs fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, rosemary, tarragon and/or basil

3 pinches fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 pounds tomatoes

1/2 pound zucchini, green or yellow, scrubbed and trimmed

1/4 pound eggplant,washed and trimmed

1/4 pound red onion(s)

1 loaf of crusty, artisan bread for serving

NOTE: Use a 9-inch pie plate or any ovenproof casserole of a similar size. If you have a bigger or smaller pan, just multiply or divide the recipe.


1.Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 400° F.
2.Pour 2 tablespoons of oil into the baking dish, tilting it so the oil coats the sides. Scatter over half the garlic and a little more than half of the herbs. Season generously with salt and pepper.
3.Slice the vegetables about 1⁄4 inch thick. Ideally they should all be about the same size, so if any are particularly large, you might want to cut them in half the long way before slicing them. I used an Inexpensive OXO Hand Hold Mandoline slicer for all the vegetables but the eggplant. You can also easily use a sharp knife to slice all your vegetables.
4.Arrange the vegetables in the dish in tightly overlapping circles. Try to squeeze the eggplant between slices of tomato and get the zucchini and onions to cuddle up to one another. Keep the circles tight, since the vegetables will soften and shrink in the oven.
5.Season generously with salt and pepper. Tuck the remaining slivers of garlic in among the vegetables. Top with the remaining herbs and drizzle over as much of the remaining oil (3 to 7 tablespoons) as you’d like.
6.Place the tian on a baking sheet lined with foil, parchment or a silicone baking mat. Bake the tian for 70 to 90 minutes, until the vegetables are meltingly tender and the juices are bubbling.
7.Serve the tian a few minutes out of the oven or allow it to cool to room temperature. Either way, you’ll want bread…a lot of it.


This post follows my progress cooking each recipe from
Dorie Greenspan’s “Everyday Dorie” along with those participating 
in the online group