Popular in southern Italy, a Tiella is a beautifully layered vegetable dish that often contains tomatoes, potatoes, and zucchini. Its name refers to a deep earthenware baking dish as well as anything cooked in that dish. A Tiella, however, can also be cooked in other baking dishes. Every region in Italy has their own favorite version of Tiella—variations for ingredients are plenty—but most would agree, on one thing: a Tiella should be made ahead of time for the flavors to develop and the texture to set so that it holds together when cut. It’s usually made on a summer morning while the kitchen is still cool and served for supper that night. I can confirm that the flavors only get better the next day.
As the end of summer quickly approaches, I’ve been looking for interesting ways to cook with summer vegetables. This dish was a great find! Overall, I was pleased with the result and will definitely make it again. I served it for dinner and puréed a portion so my baby could enjoy it as well, and he did!
I hesitated to post this recipe simply because I didn’t think my version and photos of Tiella did the dish justice. Although the flavor turned out very well, I thought I should make it again and possibly not broil the potatoes so long, or perhaps I could layer the vegetables differently, or… all in order to make the dish look prettier. My husband convinced me that “perfection can sometimes be the enemy”. So I decided to share my Tiella with you, despite it’s visual imperfections. Buon Appetito!
1/2 cup plus more if necessary, olive oil, divided
1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 red peppers, peeled and sliced
1 medium eggplant sliced into 1/3 inch rounds
2 zucchini, ends removed and sliced lengthwise
2 ripe red beefsteak tomatoes, sliced in rounds
3 large potatoes, peeled and sliced lengthwise, 1/4 -inch slices
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons basil, finely minced
2 tablespoons parsley, finely minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2-3/4 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated
In a pan under medium heat, cook the onion slices in 1-2 tablespoons olive oil until they are very soft and beginning to brown. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl or plate.
In a bowl with a little bit of water, soften red peppers in the microwave. Or, in the same pan used to sauté the onions, lightly sauté the red peppers until softened. Set aside.
Preheat the broiler and lightly oil a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 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.
In a small bowl combine about 1/2 cup of olive oil, basil, parsley, oregano and season well with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Lightly grease a spring-form pan and begin by laying down potato slices, slightly overlapping, to cover the bottom. Lightly brush the top of the potatoes with the oil seasoned with herbs. Begin to layer the rest of the vegetables—onions, eggplant, zucchini, red peppers, and tomatoes—on top of the potatoes in the same manner, brushing each layer with a little oil and sprinkling each layer with a little cheese. Finish with a layer of potatoes.
Place the spring-form pan into a larger baking pan or dish to catch any juices that escape. 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 removing from pan and serving.
Optional: Garnish with a tomato (sliced thinly and shaped into a rose) and fresh herbs.
Recipe adapted from: Italian Food Forever
Martine’s Notes: This dish was fun too make, not too complicated and I loved the look of the layered vegetables and the overlapping potato slices. Preparation and baking time was approximately an hour and a half to two hours. The next time I make it I might experiment with different vegetable combinations and add tomato sauce in between the layers.
17 thoughts on “Tiella”
Whoa!!!! Beautifully done as always! Love the pictures, you think they do not do the dish justice?? Had me drooling and inspecting the pantry for ingredients!
Grazie mille Bianca!!!! Thanks for your support!
I first scrolled down to the pics and thought “geez, Martina makes beautiful meals for her family, the layers in the dish are so pretty”. Then I read the post.. Thx for this recipe, I am going to make this, prob next week. Looks and sounds delish. Rio has her first yr molars in and about 8 other teeth,aybe she’ll be able to enjoy it too!
Hi Mandy, Glad you thought it was pretty even though I was hesitant about it. Thank you! I really liked making, serving and eating this dish. The overlapping potatoes and the tomato flower and basil leaves added a bit of elegance that I loved! As for the taste, I liked it even more the next day! As for serving it to baby, I added a little water and tomato sauce to it and made it a chunky purée and he seemed to love it. You might want to slice the vegetables thin so Rio doesn’t have trouble chewing them. I hope she and the rest of your familia enjoys eating as much as we did!
Martini- Bellisimo!!! presentation looks amazing. Makes me nostalgic for Italy or a dinner invite to your place : )
Grazie mille! You’re invited and most welcome to our place for dinner anytime! There’s even a place setting already set for you. 😉
Looks delish. Too bad its only me enjoying gourmet food :)…my husband is not a fan of eggplant and the kids wont touch so many veggies in one dish unless hidden well.
Thank you! The great thing about this dish is that you can really try to make it your own and appealing to all in your family. Variations for Tiellas are many! So if you don’t want to add eggplant, no need to put it in and perhaps you can add/layer a few ingredients that your kids do like to make it more enticing to them. This way your whole family can too enjoy gourmet food! : ) All the best and thank you again for reading and commenting!
That’s a great-looking dish! I was going to make a layered tomato appetizer myself and came across this. Thank you for posting!
Thank you. I’m gad you like it. A layered tomato appetizer sounds great too. Do let me know if you decide to try this or a version of the tiella. The possible variations are endless. Ive already thought of other vegetable combinations and methods I could try when I make this dish again! Thanks for visiting the site and commenting! I just visited your site, it’s lovely!
🙂 So glad we’ve connected. I just started following!
Thanks! I’m following you too and glad we’ve connected!
Your ingredients do not list the “cheese” you mention adding during the layering process. I am making this now, and will be grated some fresh romano but would like to know what you used. And your photo is gorgeous and so glad you included the recipe. There is another pretty photo on this website, but no recipe! http://www.italoamericano.org/story/2015-7-9/DeliciousEasyFood
Hi Jerri, Thank you so much for your comment. Apologies for the omission. I will update the post. The amount of cheese is 3/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese. So glad you like this recipe! Please let me know how yours turns out. All the best!
Hi! Please note that potatoes should be peeled (like your photo) and also cut lengthwise. I did not do either and wish I had. I have this in the oven now and it is smoking a lot from the drips. Next time I will use a Silpat to have an easier cleanup. Looking forward to some good eats!
Thanks Jerri, this was a post from my first few months of food blogging so I can see how I was not very clear with instructions at the time. Thanks for your patience!!! And, thanks for taking the time to comment. I’ll update the post ASAP! All the best!!!
Hi Jerri! Again, apologies for the lack of clarity. I updated the post again. Please let me know if the instructions are not clear. A Silpat is a good idea, or parchment paper can also be used. I hope you like your tiella!!