I know we're all looking forward to spring, but around these parts, there's still snow on the ground, with more cold weather on the way. This is a lovely fall and winter dish that presents squash in a different form from the usual mashed or pureed baked squash.
What is a tian? you may ask. A tian is a dish of vegetables sauteed in olive oil, layered in a casserole, and baked au gratin. This particular recipe doesn't saute the squash; rather, chunks of squash are tossed with olive oil, arranged in a baking dish, and sprinkled with garlic and Parmesan. I served it recently and my guests (at least the vegetable-lovers) found it wonderfully tasty.
1 large butternut squash
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 clove garlic, minced
pepper to taste
2 to 4 T. olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel, seed, and cut the squash into 1-inch chunks. Coat the chunks with flour by shaking them in a bag with the flour; shake off excess flour and place them, in one layer, into an oiled shallow baking dish. Scatter the squash with the Parmesan, garlic, and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.
The oven must be very hot before you put the baking dish in; otherwise, as Colwin advises, "you will get a sodden mess." Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until squash is tender. The squash will retain it's shape but be very tender in the center of each chunk.