The subtitle of this post should be: “How to Cut Vegetables Like a Boss and Not Hack Your Fingers Off”
Ok, maybe that’s a little dramatic. But this vegetable dish is a really good exercise in knife skills. One slip and your fingernails are in the dish with the veg. However, for our anniversary Mike gave me a gorgeous new chef’s knife, and as such, I have been working on my skills. And I’m happy to report that I haven’t chopped anything except food.
Moving on… This vegetable tian is a great way to get through whatever veggies you have on hand. I used potato, zucchini, tomato, onion, and green bell pepper. Then to really bump it up, I topped it with a fresh and vibrant cilantro sauce. I’ve seen a lot of this type of dish with cheese toppings, and that’s cool too, however, I wanted something that would jump off the plate with flavor. The sauce really does that. And if cilantro isn’t your thing, you could just as easily use parsley or mint.
Vegetable Tian with Cilantro Lemon Sauce
Serves 2 for main courses or 4 for side dishes
1 large potato
1/2 medium zucchini
2 medium tomatoes off the vine
1 green bell pepper
1/2 yellow onion
1/4-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 bunch of cilantro, rinsed
1/2 lemon, juiced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tspn ground cumin
1/2 tspn paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the Vegetables:
Spray the inside of a round or oval baking dish with the Pam. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Using a very sharp knife, and your excellent knife skills, thinly slice all of the vegetables into rounds. You want them to be about 1/16″. And the more evenly you cut them, the more evenly they will cook. Lay the vegetables into the baking dish in a clockwise fashion, overlapping them so it looks like a big swirl of vegetables. I ended up with more potatoes and zucchini than anything else, so the inside of the swirl is just those 2 ingredients for me. This is going to vary depending on the size of the dish you use.
When you have all the vegetables laid in the dish, season generously with salt and pepper and drizzle a tablespoon or so of olive oil on top. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.
For the Sauce:
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cilantro, lemon juice, garlic, cumin and paprika. Pulse it a few times to combine and then stream in the olive oil until the consistency suits you. I like to leave a little “unprocessed” for texture. But if you wanted to puree it all together, be my guest. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
When the vegetables are done baking, drizzle the cilantro sauce over them and dig in!