Briam Florinis (Μπριαμ-Φλωρινης)

Apr 7th, 2008 | By | Category: Greek, Main, Vegetables, Vegetarian






When I was growing up, I was forced to eat what my parents ate and endless arguments and bratty moping took place until a winner came out on top.

Conversely, I also missed out on alot of dishes that my parents didn’t like. My father, to this day, has not and will not eat chicken. My mother, as a young girl in Greece, ate Briam over & over again like many families did all over Greece. To this day she begrudgingly makes it or eats it.

Thankfully, everyone else in the family liked it and being the good Greek mama that she was, she would make Briam for us.

Briam is the Greek answer to Ratatouille. Variations of this vegetable dish differ from village to village in Greece, region to region and, practically all the countries that hug the Mediterranean basin will have a version of Briam.

Today, you get my family’s version. Both my parents come from towns in the Prefecture of Florina, located in northern Greece, western Macedonia to be specific.

Briam shines when vegetables are in season in the summer. Thankfully, the Ontario hot-house tomatoes have been pretty good this Spring and this vegetarian dish truly feeds like a meal.

Briam is quite simple…you’re layering vegetables. When baked, the juices of all the veggies blend together to form a new , unique flavour…a symphony of taste.

For this recipe, I used a round baking tray…say the size for a large pizza. The work is in the prep with your veggies and then after that, it’s basically layer your veggies and bake until gooey and the tomatoes look like they were sun-dried. Finally, try and cut your vegetables all the same thickness.

Briam Florinis
(for 4)
3 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 large eggplant, sliced
3 zucchini, sliced

2 medium onions, thinly sliced (divided in 2)

5-6 cloves of garlic, sliced

2 medium tomatoes, sliced

1 cup of chopped fresh parsley (divided in 2)

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 cubanelle pepper, sliced

1 medium hot pepper, sliced

4 scallions, chopped

1/2 cup tomato puree

3 cups of water
1 cup of olive oil

3 bay leaves
2 tsp. dry Greek oregano
sea salt and black pepper
Pre-heated 425F oven

  1. Drizzle the bottom of your pan with some olive oil. Cover the bottom with a layer of potatoes, followed by the eggplant slices and then the zucchini slices.
  2. Top with your garlic, 1/2 your onion slices, parsley and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Continue layering with your tomatoes, followed by the red and green (cubanelle) and hot peppers, then the remaining onion slices.
  4. Top with the chopped scallions, remaining parsley, bay leaves, oregano and pour the water, tomato puree, olive oil and season again with sea salt and ground pepper.
  5. Place in the upper-middle rack of your oven for approx. 1 hour or until the top is golden brown the liquid has thickened.
  6. Serve with bread and Greek feta on the side.

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51 Comments to “Briam Florinis (Μπριαμ-Φλωρινης)”

  1. Sam Sotiropoulos says:

    A masterpiece of vegetarian goodness… The veggie prep work was well worth it, it looks magnificent!

    Are you serious, your father won’t eat chicken? What’s his reasoning? Does he know something we don’t?

  2. Peter G says:

    This dish brings up memories of my childhood. We had this dish often and always enjoyed it. Nice one Peter. (I see you and Laurie are on the same wavelength today!).

  3. Proud Italian Cook says:

    A veggie lovers dream dish!

  4. StickyGooeyCreamyChewy says:

    Look at those gorgeous colors and textures! It looks fabulous! My husband might not even notice that it’s meatless.

    I’m chuckling because my mom would never make us anything that she didn’t like herself. Once I was out on my own,I discovered so many wonderful foods! I think that is why I became so fascinated with cooking. She makes a dish really similar to this one – only Italian-style. I don’t know if it has a name, but it’s good!

  5. Vicki says:

    Looks absolutely delicious, but…a cup of olive oil? Eek. Do you think I could cut it in half and still get good results?

  6. Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) says:

    This looks amazing. Peter- I also think our problem these days are that we do not have time to slow roast things. Veggies are always a quick after thought, but here….it is the star of the show.

  7. Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) says:

    This looks amazing. Peter- I also think our problem these days are that we do not have time to slow roast things. Veggies are always a quick after thought, but here….it is the star of the show.

  8. Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) says:

    This looks amazing. Peter- I also think our problem these days are that we do not have time to slow roast things. Veggies are always a quick after thought, but here….it is the star of the show.

  9. Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) says:

    This looks amazing. Peter- I also think our problem these days are that we do not have time to slow roast things. Veggies are always a quick after thought, but here….it is the star of the show.

  10. Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) says:

    This looks amazing. Peter- I also think our problem these days are that we do not have time to slow roast things. Veggies are always a quick after thought, but here….it is the star of the show.

  11. Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) says:

    This looks amazing. Peter- I also think our problem these days are that we do not have time to slow roast things. Veggies are always a quick after thought, but here….it is the star of the show.

  12. Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) says:

    This looks amazing. Peter- I also think our problem these days are that we do not have time to slow roast things. Veggies are always a quick after thought, but here….it is the star of the show.

  13. Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) says:

    This looks amazing. Peter- I also think our problem these days are that we do not have time to slow roast things. Veggies are always a quick after thought, but here….it is the star of the show.

  14. Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) says:

    This looks amazing. Peter- I also think our problem these days are that we do not have time to slow roast things. Veggies are always a quick after thought, but here….it is the star of the show.

  15. RecipeGirl says:

    This looks truly great. Greece seems to be calling my name :)

  16. Laurie Constantino says:

    We are definitely on the same wavelength today Peter! I love Briam.

  17. Pixie says:

    Great entry, I’m always amazed with all the different greek dishes I’ve yet to try.

  18. canarygirl says:

    Ooooh, this looks delicious, Peter! (and I got in here no problem today! YAY!) That picture of the winding road with the houses is gorgeous, too. :)

  19. White On Rice Couple says:

    You’re right about the symphony of flavors, but it’s also a symphony of colors too!
    This is vegetarian eating at it’s finest with lots of veggies and herbs!
    What made your Dad dislike chicken so much?

  20. Mochachocolata Rita says:

    amazing colors, and i love the rustic and smoky finish of it…yummm!

  21. Sylvie says:

    What a great and healthy meal.

  22. Peter M says:

    Sam, not sure about a masterpiece but I’ll accept “majorly delicious”.

    Pete, for me too and I’ll be making it more often now.

    Marie, it could a side too.

    Vicki, for the size of this recipe and the amount of vegetables used, 1 cup is not over-indulgent. You couls add more liquid/less oil but you won’t get the same tasty result.

    Nina, families lived on this and I’m sure my was sick of it (not I).

    Lori, if you visit Greece, you’ll get the Hellenic bite…just look at Val of Almost Burnt Toast!

    Laurie, I heart Briam.

    Pixie, I have to ask you something today…about this Maltese cheese that’s spelled with all acronyms!
    lol

    Nikki, that’s great…my prayer to the Blogging Gods worked! As for the town photo, it’s my dad’s…Amynteon, Florinis.

    White rice duo, it is perty too isn’t it? As for my dad and chicken, it mainly stems from when he emigrated to Canada. Back then immigrants were on a budget and the cheapest meat was chicken. His family ate chicken every freakin’ night!

    Mocha, rustic is is indeed.

    Sylvie, you’ve got everything in here and imagine…there are variations to this dish!

  23. Happy cook says:

    I was thinking what Braim was and then u had written it was a kind of ratatoulie.
    I love they way it is made.
    When i was small we also had to eat wht was made, and every one ate the same food, and if you didn’t like it u can sulk…..
    But i dont remember disliking any food as it was Indian vegetarian food.
    My hubby had more trouble as his parents ate lot of traditional belgian food which he dilike.

  24. Jan says:

    On my list to make! Looks amazing.

  25. Mike of Mike's Table says:

    That sounds like a delicious way to eat healthy and it looks excellent. I have a tough time treating my vegetable dishes as full-fledged food citizens, so this is one I’ll definitely be keeping in mind.

    And also, refusing to eat chicken? I’m amazed

  26. Mike of Mike's Table says:

    That sounds like a delicious way to eat healthy and it looks excellent. I have a tough time treating my vegetable dishes as full-fledged food citizens, so this is one I’ll definitely be keeping in mind.

    And also, refusing to eat chicken? I’m amazed

  27. Mike of Mike's Table says:

    That sounds like a delicious way to eat healthy and it looks excellent. I have a tough time treating my vegetable dishes as full-fledged food citizens, so this is one I’ll definitely be keeping in mind.

    And also, refusing to eat chicken? I’m amazed

  28. Mike of Mike's Table says:

    That sounds like a delicious way to eat healthy and it looks excellent. I have a tough time treating my vegetable dishes as full-fledged food citizens, so this is one I’ll definitely be keeping in mind.

    And also, refusing to eat chicken? I’m amazed

  29. Mike of Mike's Table says:

    That sounds like a delicious way to eat healthy and it looks excellent. I have a tough time treating my vegetable dishes as full-fledged food citizens, so this is one I’ll definitely be keeping in mind.

    And also, refusing to eat chicken? I’m amazed

  30. Mike of Mike's Table says:

    That sounds like a delicious way to eat healthy and it looks excellent. I have a tough time treating my vegetable dishes as full-fledged food citizens, so this is one I’ll definitely be keeping in mind.

    And also, refusing to eat chicken? I’m amazed

  31. Mike of Mike's Table says:

    That sounds like a delicious way to eat healthy and it looks excellent. I have a tough time treating my vegetable dishes as full-fledged food citizens, so this is one I’ll definitely be keeping in mind.

    And also, refusing to eat chicken? I’m amazed

  32. Mike of Mike's Table says:

    That sounds like a delicious way to eat healthy and it looks excellent. I have a tough time treating my vegetable dishes as full-fledged food citizens, so this is one I’ll definitely be keeping in mind.

    And also, refusing to eat chicken? I’m amazed

  33. Mike of Mike's Table says:

    That sounds like a delicious way to eat healthy and it looks excellent. I have a tough time treating my vegetable dishes as full-fledged food citizens, so this is one I’ll definitely be keeping in mind.

    And also, refusing to eat chicken? I’m amazed

  34. Helen says:

    Wow! The colours are so beautiful. Next time I consider making ratatoullie, I’m going to try this instead.

  35. We Are Never Full says:

    Cute story, Peter. It brought a tear to my eye to think of your dad not eating chicken to this day. I feel so sad…

    This dish, so rustic and healthy looking. It looks beautiful. I think I would sprinkle some whipped feta on top when it’s baking. probably not traditional, but i’d like it.

    i’d imagine you’re like us a bit, you make sure you exercise in order to be able to eat all this delicious stuff, huh? Or maybe you’re just naturally svelte?

  36. giz says:

    This is so my kind of comfort food. I love the picture – been on this Shirley Valentine kick lately and the pic just feeds into my wanting to get on that plane.

  37. Judy @ No Fear Entertaining says:

    I wish you had posted this when I was getting fresh veggies. I have printed this and will save it for the fall!

  38. Catherine Wilkinson says:

    Gorgeous, delicious, simple.
    What more can we ask for?
    Why wouldn’t your Dad eat chicken?
    My Dad is the same, but that’s because he’s cow rancher. He calls chickens, “rats with wings”

  39. Fearless Kitchen says:

    This looks amazing as always. I’m always looking for ways to get more vegetables on the table (almost to an OCD degree) but I never remember briam. Hopefully I’ll remember to think of it now!

  40. Bellini Valli says:

    When Costas dropped me off at my guest house on the island of Kea I had a few hours to get to know my surroundings. I was staying just outside the Hora which required a walk up a long hill where the town was with no vehicles allowed within its walls. The first place I stopped at the top of the hill was a small taverna for a late lunch… I had Briam…it was the beginning of a culinary dream:D

  41. Peter M says:

    Happy, I now like most of the food I despised as a child.

    Jan, I hope you share the results with us.

    Mike, I was pleasantly surprised how filling this was.

    Helen, try Briam and compare it to ratatouille…Briam will win!

    Amy/Jonny, I had feta on the side and as for eating…my height hides my weight. ;)

    Giz, are you sure you wanna be on a Shirley Valentine kick? Remember the boat ride? lol

    Judy, still time to make this.

    Catherine, read further up for the answer about my dad.

    Fearless, simply make it and you’ll never forget it.

    Val, Briam is a wonderful intro to Greek food.

  42. Rosie says:

    What amazing colours of this delicious veggie dish, Peter! I would really enjoy this dish I know!!

  43. ruthEbabes says:

    My mum spoilt us and made 4 different dinners almost every night, I’m so thankful for all she did but I’m sure I’ll be forcing everyone to eat the same when we have a family.

    Great dish! Sounds yum!

  44. Ivy says:

    Thanks for reminding me of briam. I haven’t cooked for some time now. Try it with some dill as well.

  45. winedeb says:

    Reminds me of summer when all the veggies are just asking to be roasted! Roasting brings out all the goodness and juices which are great mopped up with bread! And yum, I am sure the feta adds a nice salty flavor to the dish!

  46. Wendy says:

    This sounds delicious. So colourful too!

  47. Lisa says:

    Thanks for this Peter. Your vegetarian readers are very happy :)

  48. Maria V says:

    can’t wait to try this one with our vegetable garden’s produce in the summer -my idea of hot greek salad

  49. caravaggio says:

    complimenti gran bel blog e ottime ricette che ho potuto leggere con traduttore google ciao

  50. Sharlene says:

    Hi Peter,

    You definitely have to say a BIG thank you to your mommy. This recipe was fantastic and again my flatmates loved it. I really liked having such a variety of vegetables in one dish. I have tried making briam before following my boyfriend’s suggested recipe via his mom, but that was nothing compared to this one. Much nicer. Took a while to get the mandolin going but really easy dish to make. Thanks to your mom again! Good mommy!

  51. Anonymous says:

    Many would add a bit of cumin and hot pepper of some kind. Don’t worry about the oil. This is “ladera” cooking, from “lathi”/oil. Some would say the best part is the oil-veggie juice at the bottom which you soak up with crusty bread. Enjoy.

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