Briam is a tomato based Greek casserole that just happens to be vegan. We aren’t trying to fake meaty flavours here, we let the gorgeous Mediterranean veg show off it’s true potential with a few helpful herbs to take the flavour to the next level. It is one of my favourite dishes, as it is so easy to make and mouthwateringly tasty, especially when served with fresh feta cheese and sliced olives. I imagine it would also make a good accompaniment to chicken, especially if you use a Mediterranean or Moroccan spice mix on the chicken and serve on skewers, Suvlaki style.
I first had Briam whilst on holiday in Kefalonia. It was served in a big bowl with hunks of crusty bread to mop up the juices. After a few mouthfuls I knew this was a dish I wanted to eat again, so as soon as I got back home and unpacked, I started trying to recreate it.
I serve my Briam on top of chunky slices of bread to soak up all the lovely juices so none of it is wasted. Then lick the plate just to make sure . . .
Portions freeze well in airtight containers. Just defrost and heat through until piping hot in the microwave.
Ready in 75 mins (15 mins prep, 60 mins in the oven) – Serves 4 – 6.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 small aubergine – top and tail then cut into quarters length-ways then into chunks
- 1 large white onion diced
- 3 large garlic cloves crushed then chopped finely
- 1 large courgette – prepared as above
- Half a butternut squash chopped into bite-sized chunks (no need to peel)
- 4 chestnut mushrooms diced
- 1 green pepper chopped into chunky slices
- 1 large sweet potato chopped into bite-sized chunks (no need to peel)
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon of oregano
- 1 tablespoon of thyme
- 1 tablespoon of basil
- A good pinch of salt and black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 230c / 210c fan / gas mark 8.
- Put oil, aubergine, onion and garlic in a pan over a medium heat on the hob and fry until soft. – Pic 1
- If you’re using an oven proof dish that’s also suitable for the hob, take it off the heat. If you’re using a frying pan, decant into an oven proof dish.
- Add the rest of the raw veg, tinned tomatoes, herbs, seasoning and lemon juice. – Pic 2
- Half fill each of the empty tins of chopped tomatoes with cold water and swill it round to get every last bit of tomato flavour and pour into the dish along with the rest of the ingredients.
- Mix well and bake in the oven, uncovered for 30 mins.
- Give it a good stir, put the lid on or cover with foil and bake for another 30 mins.
- Serve on top of crusty bread with crumbled feta cheese and sliced olives on top.