Author Notes: I first read about this tian in a Tom Douglas cookbook (Tom's Big Dinners,) and have since made some version of it, seasonally dependent, nearly once a week. This can easily be made with tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini. Or sweet potato and fennel. Later in the season, I turn to this variation on the theme. —MrsWheelbarrow
- 2 tablespoons unsalted, high quality butter
- 2 cups dry toasted bread crumbs
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup Parmesian, grated
- 1 long necked butternut squash
- 4 leeks
- 1 medium shallot
- 12 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 8 ounces fresh spinach
- 2-3 tablespoons unsalted, high quality butter
- salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Butter a heavy baking dish. I use a Le Creuset 9" oval baker. Double the recipe for a larger Tian, and use a rectangular baker. Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Heat 2 T butter in a large skillet until bubbling, stir in the breadcrumbs and then stir together the rest of the ingredients for the crumb topping and set aside.
- Separate the squash neck from the bulb. (I use the bulb for soups, first roasting it to make it easier to free the squash from the peel.)
- Peel the neck and then slice into thin rounds using a mandoline or a very sharp knife.
- Trim and thinly slice the leeks Into rounds. Slice the mushrooms. Mince the shallot.
- Blanch the spinach, squeeze dry and chop. (or substitute thawed frozen chopped spinach.)
- In a heavy skillet, heat 1 Tbls of butter, add the shallot when it is foaming, then the mushrooms. Cook, undisturbed, until softened and beginning to brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Wipe out the skillet and heat 1-2 Tbls. of butter. Add the leeks and cook them slowly until just beginning to brown. Place the leeks on the bottom of the well buttered baking dish.
- Add the spinach, sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and drizzle again with a little olive oil.
- Next, add the squash. Make it decorative. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle on the crumb topping. It will seem like a lot, but it isn't. Reduce the oven heat to 350° and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Serve.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Vegetarian Holiday Side
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Butternut Squash