Briam (Greek Roasted Mixed Vegetables)
What can I say about this dish? You all already know how I feel about any kind of roasted vegetables and fruits for that matter — so this dish is a total dream!! I can live off it if I had to, and gladly.
It’s the easiest thing to make and it’s one of those dishes that always brings to my mind a summer scene with friends and family gathered and enjoying food and company alfresco. Just like a turkey dinner makes you think of family and friends enjoying a nice dinner together. Briam brings that same sort of feeling when I think of it. I think summer, big table filled with food including a large baking dish with these perfectly roasted veggies, a big ole salad, crusty bread, lots of feta to go around, maybe something off the grill, wine and family and friends enjoying a meal outdoors, relaxed and everything served family style.
Although I paint a very summery picture, and it very much is a summertime dish for Greeks, it can be enjoyed all year round. You can also use any vegetables you like. You can stick with the combo of veggies below or add and omit as you please.
My husband loves that the vegetables are chunky and ironically meaty. Tender morsels roasted long enough for them to soften and sweeten, all hang out in a tomato based sauce created not only from the tomatoes but from the release of moisture when they all cook down while roasting. No one vegetable overpowers the next. It’s a beautiful medley of flavours and textures.
This dish can be eaten as a side or a main dish with lots of crusty bread, an extra drizzle of olive oil cause you know how I roll, crumbled feta and of course a little wine never hurt nobody. We had it with a pretty cool tasting cane sugar wine from Jamaica. It was a nice pairing as it was slightly on the sweeter side and only sharing so you don’t think it’s apple juice in the glasses. It totally looks like it but it’s just a darker white wine.
I should also mention that many recipes for briam, also known as tourlou tourlou (which appropriately literally means ‘all mixed up’ in Greek) call for roasting the vegetables with the feta or another hard cheese over them but I personally am not a fan of making it that way. I like the vegetables to roast on their own and add cheese after. But if you want to roast the veggies with the cheese by all means!
Go ahead and give it a try! It’s simple to make and so wonderfully satisfying! Besides we all could use a few more portions of veggies in a day and this would definitely take care of that!
- 1 red onion peeled and chopped
- 1 large eggplant washed, trimmed and chopped
- 2 zucchinis washed, trimmed and chopped
- 2 green pepper washed, seeds removed and chopped
- 4-6 tomatoes chopped
- 3 potatoes washed, peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1 tbsp oregano
- ½ cup of parsley chopped — plus a little extra to garnish
- 2-3 tbsps of fresh thyme
- ½ cup of Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp tomatoes paste mixed or diluted in ½ cup of water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup of feta to crumble over before serving
- Preheat oven to 425 ° F
- Put all the veggies and herbs in a large bowl, pour in the oil, water/paste and toss well and season well with salt and pepper to taste
- Pour out all the veggies evenly on one large baking sheet and roast for up to an hour or until all the veggies are tender and browned and have slightly crisp edges
- Make sure to check them halfway to toss the veggies and make sure they have enough liquid- may need to add a couple tbsps of water