I included a similar tian in my first slow cooker book, but have since simplified my approach a lot. When you layer the ingredients, they’ll come almost to the top of the cooker pot, but don’t worry: They’ll collapse and sink down after a couple of hours and their flavors will all meld, resulting in a dish that’s much greater than the sum of its parts.
In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the bread crumbs and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and crunchy, 2 to 4 minutes.
If there’s a lot of excess liquid in the cooker pot, use a large spoon to press down on the layers of vegetables and scoop it out without disturbing the layers too much. Spread the fried bread crumbs on top and serve.
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