300g puff pastry
200ml olive oil, plus extra for dribbling over the tian
750g ripe tomatoes
1 bunch of parsley
4 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
I am no great shakes at puff pastry so, especially since this is the season for lazy cooking, I have no hesitation in buying it in. Needless to say, this tian is only worth making with good, ripe tomatoes, such as the Italian vine-ripened ones or French Marmande, or plum tomatoes from either country.
Roll out the puff pastry into a disc 26cm in diameter and leave to rest on a baking sheet in the fridge.
Cut the aubergines into slices half a centimetre thick. Toss them in a bowl with the olive oil and then cook in a dry frying pan, brushing them with a little more oil if they become too dry. They should be golden brown and cooked through.
Remove the cores from the tomatoes and peel them by plunging them into boiling water for ten seconds and then refreshing in plenty of cold water. Slip off the skins and slice the tomatoes the same thickness as the aubergines.
Wash the parsley, strip off the leaves and chop them quite finely. Peel the garlic and chop very finely, crushing it with the help of a teaspoon of sea salt. Mix together the garlic, parsley and breadcrumbs to make a persillade.
Arrange the tomatoes and aubergines in overlapping layers on top of the puff pastry, leaving a 1.5cm border of pastry still showing. Season with a little salt and plenty of milled pepper before sprinkling the persillade over the top. Dribble a little oil over the surface and then bake in an oven preheated to 190°C / Gas Mark 5 for 35 minutes.
Slide on to a large serving plate and leave to cool.
Extracted from No Place Like Home: Seasonal English Cooking by Rowley Leigh, published by Clearview Books.