Greek briam
Greek briam

Traditional Greek briam: Slow roasted vegetables

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Encapsulating the essence of the authentic Mediterranean Diet, Briam or Briami is the Greek version of ratatouille. This finger-licking dish of slow roasted vegetables and herbs belongs to the Greek category of “Ladera” dishes,  meaning ”oily”. The main ingredient is, of course, the olive oil which dominates the preparation of the dish and includes vegetables (zucchini, eggplants, potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots.) It is simple, easy, quick and works even if you don’t have all the vegetables on hand.

Ingredients:

3 small zucchinis, 2 small eggplants, 3 medium sized potatoes, 3 ripe tomatoes and puréed tomatoes, 3 bell peppers, 2 medium-sized carrots, 2 onions, 3-4 cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons oregano, 1 tbs sea salt, 1tbs ground black pepper, 120 gr extra virgin olive oil, fresh and/or dried herbs (parsley, basil, thyme, oregano), water.

Instructions:

Chop the vegetables. Preheat oven at 180 C. Spread potatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, eggplants, onions, carrots in a baking tray. Add the olive oil, half glass of water, 1 glass of puréed tomatoes, 3 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped garlic, parsley. Season liberally with sea salt and pepper. Give everything a good stir, mix well, cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. If you find it’s a little dry, add a little water around the vegetables. Then, remove the foil and bake 30 more minutes, until vegetables are tender and moisture has evaporated. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Tips:
Don’t use just a tiny bit of olive oil, otherwise you’ll just end with some watery roasted vegetables. Serve with fresh parsley and oregano on top or other fresh or dried herbs. Accompanying briam with feta cheese is the quintessence of flavor. Add it 3-4 minutes before removing the baking tray from the oven. Take fresh crusty bread to dip in the leftover olive oil on your plate. For a meatier approach, you can serve briam with roasted lamb or chicken.