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Color & French Cooking

January 26, 2011

If I were ever filling out one of those cheesy questionnaires that asks “what famous person would you want to have lunch with?” I know for sure that Ina Garten (better known as The Barefoot Contessa) would be near the top of my list. I absolutely adore her and her food. Although I can’t say I’ve been brave enough to try many of her recipes, that would be my moms expertise, I have taken on a few. Most recently; her vegetable tian. The recipe came from her Barefoot in Paris cookbook, (we own nearly all of her books in my house), so I frequent them for ideas whenever I decide to try a new recipe. The process itself wasn’t too hard, but the prep work and slicing of the 3 main ingredients, tomatoes, zucchini & potatoes was quite time-consuming (especially when you aren’t an expert with a knife). Cutting them into roughly the same sizes and arranging them into the pattern above for extra visual enhancement was challenging, but really made for an extra touch at the end.

About 30 minutes into their cooking time in the oven I took off the foil the dish was covered with and grated Gruyere cheese on top. This added an extra touch of flavor at the end, but didn’t overpower the rest of the ingredients. Roasting the tomatoes allowed their juice, (combined with the sautéed onions at the bottom of the dish), to act almost as a sauce for the rest of the dish. The end result? Mmmm.

Who knew cooking could be fashionable? What’s not to love about the amazing colors of this dish? Bright colors are popping up all over the runways for Spring and who says they can’t in your kitchen as well? Start the season right (it’s only a few months away) by mastering this colorful dish just in time for hosting your Spring parties.

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