A French word from the Provencal language describing a shallow earthenware casserole, as well as the food that it contains. A typical tian consists of layered, sliced vegetables (such as eggplant, bell peppers and tomatoes) baked until tender. A tian is usually topped by breadcrumbs and sometimes grated cheese. The vegetables may also be chopped, and sometimes bits of meat are included.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.