A tian is a traditional Provencal dish that is made and served at home and often served cold on picnics, but seldom found on a restaurant menu, until recently.
It is the name of the dish it is cooked in, as well as the food, which consists of green vegetables, such as spinach, chard, and sometimes small zucchinis all chopped lightly and sauteed in olive oil.
A little garlic, rice, or dried peas are sometimes included and eggs may be beaten in, according to Theodora FitzGibbons in her Food of the Western World food dictionary.
Tian is usually topped with breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese, then baked in a moderate oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
A tian gets its name from the large heavy earthenware pot in which it is cooked. In country districts near Vallauris it is sent to the local bakery to be cooked over a wood fire.