A Tiella is a layered vegetable dish often containing tomatoes, potatoes, and zucchini that is popular in southern Italy and baked in an earthenware dish.
I make a type of Tiella that is a little different, and that varies each time I make it depending on what vegetables are seasonally available. This is going to be a sort of “Nonna Lina” type of recipe (My Mother-In-Law), where the ingredients may seem a little vague but I think you should experiment with your own vegetable combinations and create a dish that best suits your taste.
For my version, I actually precook the vegetables before I assemble the dish as I feel the flavor is enhanced this way, and it cuts downs on the actual baking time as well. This dish is best served at room temperature or just slightly warm, and in fact tastes great if prepared earlier in the day which allows the flavors to melt.
1 Large Onion, Peeled And Thinly Sliced
1 Medium Eggplant Sliced Into 1/3 Inch Rounds
2 Zucchini, Ends Removed And Sliced Lengthwise
2 Red Peppers, Roasted And Peeled
2 Ripe Red Beefsteak Tomatoes
3 Large Potatoes
Salt & Pepper
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
Finely Minced Fresh Basil And Parsley
3/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
Cook the onion slices in 2 tablespoons olive oil until the are very soft and beginning to brown, then season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the broiler and lightly oil a baking sheet.
Place the eggplant slices on the baking sheet, and brush the tops of the slices with a little oil.
Broil until fork tender and lightly browned on both sides, and then cook the zucchini and potato slices the same way.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Lightly grease a spring-form pan and begin by laying down potato slices slightly overlapping to cover the bottom.
Mix together about 1/2 cup of olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of each of the minced basil and parsley.
Add the oregano and season with salt and pepper.
Lightly brush the top of the potatoes with the seasoned oil and sprinkle with a little of the grated cheese.
Begin to layer the rest of the vegetables on top of the potatoes in the same manner brushing with a little oil in between and sprinkling each layer with a little cheese finishing with a layer of potatoes.
Place the spring-form pan into another larger dish to catch any juices that escape and bake the Tiella for about 30 minutes.
If it begins to brown too much on top, cover the top with foil.
Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.
Roasted Potato Spiral
I honestly think when it comes to potatoes that there is nothing as delicious as perfectly roasted potatoes that are golden brown and crispy on the outside and creamy, soft inside.
I’ve made this dish twice to date, first following the recipes exactly as stated, and the second time I made a couple of changes which are shown below. The original recipe used thinly sliced shallots wedged between some of the potato slices and I also added thinly sliced garlic. I also used rosemary in place of the thyme as I think rosemary and potatoes together are a match made in heaven.
4 Pounds Russet Potatoes, Peeled
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
4 Medium Sized shallots, Peeled & Thinly Sliced
4 Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Thinly Sliced
Coarse Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
3 Teaspoons Chopped Fresh Rosemary
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Mix together the butter and olive oil and use a little to lightly grease the bottom of a round 9 inch oven-safe dish.
Use a mandoline, or a very sharp knife, and cut the potatoes into very thin slices crosswise. (Try and keep the slices together to make it easier to assemble the dish)
Arrange the slices in the dish as pictured, then wedge some of the shallots, garlic slices, and chopped rosemary between some of the potato wedges throughout the dish.
Brush the dish with the remaining butter and olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle any remaining rosemary on top, and bake for about 1 1/2 hours or until the potatoes are golden brown but tender when pierced with a fork. Serve hot.