Inspiring Provencal Lentils & Vegetable Tian

Provence!  The gorgeous weather, the bustling markets, the beautiful FOOD!  Crack open a(nother) bottle of Rose and you’re so relaxed, you’re practically asleep.  You open your eyes for a second and wonder where your kids have gone, only to find them running around playfully (or, poking each other’s eye’s out, whichever), and go back to dozing.  No seriously, it’s that relaxing!  One of the biggest advantages to living on this side of the pond: only a 4 hour drive away to this loveliness. Ok, on to the food!  We stayed at the stunning Maison Collongue in Lourmarin.  Guillaume, the owner and creative designer by trade, is clearly a lover of all things beauty.  Every detail in his home is perfect, down to the gorgeous throw blankets in our bedroom.  He also loved his organic food, luckily for us!  He made us a gorgeous lunch, which inspired me to re-create it at home a few days later… Here’s what was on our plates:

Green lentils spiced with cumin:

Cumin lentils, so simple, so good!

Cumin lentils, so simple, so good!

  • Green lentils (the small ones… can find them in farmers markets and any grocery story)
  • Cumin
  • White onion (optional)
  • Fresh parsley (optional)

Just boil around 2 cups of lentils with double the water and around 1 tbsp of cumin, for ~ 25 min.  Water should be mostly absorbed and lentils tender when done.  Serve with thinly sliced white onions (optional) and parsley on top.

Mixed Vegetable Tian

Ayla is becoming quite the sous-chef!  Kale smoothies power us through our morning cook-fest.

Ayla is becoming quite the sous-chef! Kale smoothies power us through our morning cook-fest.

My proud little helper.

My proud little helper.

  • 3 long, thin eggplants
  • 4 zucchinis
  • 5 plum tomatos
  • Sauce: Tamari, provencal herbs, olive oil, salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 150 degrees.  Slice everything in rounds.  For me, as the eggplants were much wider in diameter than the zucchini and tomatoes, I halved them and that worked fine.  Arrange everything on your broiling pan or tian (earthenware) in a row, rotating between eggplant, zucchini, tomato, repeat.  Pour your sauce over the veggies and shake around the pan a bit to ensure the bottom is well covered.  Bake for around 1.5 hours.  Every 20-30 min, take it out and shake it a bit to ensure nothing is sticking to the bottom, and add bit of water overtop.  You can skip this step if you add 2 tomato slices instead of 1 for each rotation.

Serve with simple cooked quinoa. Enjoy!