Thursday, August 12, 2021

Tomato and Eggplant Tian paired with Two Amphora Wines from Portugal #ImprovCookingChallenge #WinePW

This delicious seasonal casserole contains layers of tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini and onion that are topped with shredded parmesan and broiled to a golden brown.  


I made this delicious dish as part of the Improv Cooking Challenge and paired it with some Amphora Wines for our Wine Pairing Weekend.  I can't wait to share the results with you......

Improv Cooking Challenge

Each month Nichole of Cookaholic Wife invites us to join her in taking 2 ingredients and making the best recipe we can.  It is our little version of chopped and it is a lot of fun.  This month's ingredients were Eggplant and Tomatoes.  Let's see what everyone cooked up........

This casserole was originally called a tian after the earthenware pot in which it was cooked.The name tian has now come to mean any casserole using layers of vegetables that are sprinkled with cheese and browned under a broiler before serving.  Eggplant, tomatoes and zucchini are very common ingredients in a tian.


By happenstance, Gwendolyn of Wine Predator invited us to join her in exploring Amphora wines for our Wine Pairing Weekend.  Amphora wines are any wines made in earthenware pots.  That's what I call a happy coincidence.  I knew that I wanted to pair a Tian with this wine since both originate with similar vessels.

I ordered up a bottle of red and a bottle of white from Rocim vineyards in Portugal both made in the Amphora style.  I was having my brother, Dick and his wife, Jackie over for dinner.  Jackie is also a wine lover so I decided to make a dinner to pair with these wines.

dinner plate with wine

So I made the Tian that I am sharing with you today and also served up some Peri Peri Chicken, corn on the cob and some fresh tomatoes.  


When Dick and Jackie first arrived, I put out these Beer Pretzel Nuggets, got Dick a PBR and opened the bottle of Amphora Red for Frank, Jackie and myself.  So this was our first pairing.  Jackie and I took our wine into the pool and floated around a bit, enjoying some catch up time.  This wine was very nice all by itself.  Light, smooth and fruity, it was perfect for lounging in the pool and it was fine with the pretzels too but I'm sure my brother's beer was a better pairing.

When we had dinner, I opened the white and poured myself and Frank a glass.  Jackie finished the red that was left in the bottle.  I still had some red left in my glass so I tasted both wines with the Tian.  The fruitiness of the red was very nice with the tomato and eggplant flavors in the tian.  I would serve that combination again.

The white blend was bone dry but had notes of tomato in it so it, too, was a nice pairing with the tian.  Both wines paired very nicely with the entire dinner as a whole but the white was a little nicer with the spice of the chicken, in my opinion.  

Tian pin

Both of these bottles were priced under $20 and were available to me on  If they are available to you or if you can find them locally don't hesitate to pick up either bottle.  Whether you are a white wine lover or red wine lover (or both, like me) pour yourself a glass.  Take that glass into the kitchen with you and sip on it while you make this wonderful Tian that can be enjoyed as a vegetarian meal by itself or as a side to anything else you are enjoying for dinner.  When it is ready, pour a second glass of wine and toast to the fact that life, though complicated, is very good.  

The Wine Pairing Weekend gang will be getting together on Saturday, August 14th at 11 AM ET to talk more about these Amphora wines.  We love when readers join in the discussion.  You will find us on Twitter chat following #WinePW.  Here are the topics we will be discussing.  Hope to see you there.

Vegetables, Casserole, Eggplant, Tomatoes, Cheese, Zuchinni, Onions
Yield: 4 servings
Author: Wendy Klik
Tomato and Eggplant Tian

Tomato and Eggplant Tian

This delicious seasonal casserole contains layers of tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini and onion that are topped with shredded parmesan and broiled to a golden brown.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 20 MinTotal time: 30 Min


  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 8 slices, 1/4" thick of small eggplant
  • 8 slices, 1/4" thick of onion
  • 8 slices, 1/4" thick of tomato
  • 8 slices, 1/4" thick of zucchini
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 c. shredded parmesan cheese


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over med high heat.  Season the eggplant and cook until browned on both sides, remove to a plate and set aside.  Repeat with the onion and zucchini.
  2. Rub the bottom of a 9" square baking pan with the smashed garlic and then discard the garlic clove. 
  3. Layer the eggplant, tomato, onion and zucchini down one side of the baking pan, in this order until 4 slices of each have been used. Repeat on the second side. Season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with a little olive oil, then cover the baking pan with foil and bake in a preheated 375* oven for about 20 minutes, until veggies are tender but tomatoes are still holding their shape.
  4. Uncover, sprinkle with the cheese and place under the broiler until cheese melts and browns, about 1-2 minutes.


Recipe adapted from one by Melissa d'Arabian


  1. Perfect appetizer and pairing of wines, dish looks colorful and delicious too!

  2. I have yet to find a *white* amphora wine! Was beginning to wonder if there were any. So nice to read about yours.

    1. I ordered it from Andrea. Perhaps you can find one there.

  3. Veggie Tian is one of my favorite sides on the grill. I like to make mine in a cast iron skillet. So easy and colorful!

  4. I have to say not my favorite ingredients but Sue would love this. Both of these wines are such a great value!

  5. That Tian looks delightful, and I'm very intrigued by both of these bottles.

  6. Lovely and delicious tian! This is a great way to enjoy the summer produce. Absolutely delicious!


I enjoy getting comments and feedback from my audience. Please let me know what you think, keeping in mind that we are all entitled to our own beliefs and opinions. I am happy to hear yours as long as they are stated nicely.