Autumn Tian of Beets, Potatoes and Tomatoes

From Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine, October 2014.

First of all, I needed to know what a “tian” was. Definition: a dish of finely chopped vegetables cooked in olive oil and then baked au gratin or a large oval earthenware cooking pot traditionally used in Provence.

My Roasted Autumn Tian
My Roasted Autumn Tian

While flipping through ta copy of Living Magazine, I saw a gorgeous photo of this recipe and decided I had to try it.  I love beets and thought it looked like an impressive dish to take to a party or serve guests. I think it would look lovely on a Thanksgiving table or Christmas buffet.

Thoughts from My Kitchen after Making the Dish

The preparation takes a bit of time, but THAT was expected to get the photo worthy result.

While I truly enjoyed the taste, I think I would leave out the tomatoes and add more onions next time. I would also cut down on the amount of olive oil.

When I reheated the dish the following day, I believe it tasted even more delicious.  This side
dish keeps well.

Thumbs up: With modifications, I will make it again. 

I cut the portions down slightly, so my stacks are not overlapped like the original photo.

Autumn Tian

Thanks to Martha Stewart

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours (takes a while for the beets to roast and then cool.)

Serves 6-8


  • 1-pound beets (about 3 medium), preferably a mix of red and golden, trimmed and scrubbed. (I couldn’t find any golden.)
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced (Next time two!)
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (cut down to 4)
  • 1-tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 medium) peeled and cut into ¼ inch slices
  • 1-pound plum tomatoes (about 3) cut crosswise into ¼ inch slices
My dish before roasting it in the oven. 
My dish before roasting it in the oven. 


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wrap beets in parchment-lined foil.
  3. Roast on a baking sheet until tender about 1 hour, 20 minutes.
  4. Let cool completely. Peel and cut crosswise into ¼ inch slices. (I did this early in the day- in my toaster oven.)
  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  6. Toss onion with 1-tablespoon oil and half the thyme. Season with salt and pepper and arrange on the bottom of a 3-quart round or oval gratin dish.
  7. On a cutting board, stack 1 slice each potato, beet and tomato.
  8. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Repeat with remaining vegetables, keeping each stack separate.
  10. Transfer stacks to baking dish and overlap slightly.
  11. Sprinkle with remaining thyme and drizzle 2 tablespoons oil.
  12. Cover tightly with parchment-lined foil.
  13. Bake 30 minutes.
  14. Uncover; drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons oil (use less.)
  15. Bake, uncovered until vegetables are tender and tomatoes are caramelized, about 35 minutes more.
  16. Let cool slightly before serving.