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.
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
- 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.
- Top with your garlic, 1/2 your onion slices, parsley and season with salt and pepper.
- Continue layering with your tomatoes, followed by the red and green (cubanelle) and hot peppers, then the remaining onion slices.
- 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.
- Place in the upper-middle rack of your oven for approx. 1 hour or until the top is golden brown the liquid has thickened.
- Serve with bread and Greek feta on the side.
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