About this recipe:Briam embodies how Greek cuisine takes a few of the simplest of ingredients and turns them into something utterly delicious with little effort. This is a traditional dish served as a main course, and with olive oil as the only source of fat it is a quintessential example of the 'Mediterranean diet'. If preferred, serve with a hearty chunk of feta on the side.
Preheat the oven to 200 C / Fan 180 C / Gas 4. Find the largest baking dish or tin you have - 22x33cm or preferably larger, as you don't want the veg to be layered too deep (use two baking dishes if necessary).
Place the potatoes, courgettes and red onions in the baking dish. Pour over the pureed tomatoes and olive oil, and sprinkle with parsley. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Toss the ingredients together so that the veg is evenly coated. Finally, add about 100ml of water to the dish.
Bake in the preheated oven for 90 minutes, checking after 1 hour to stir the veg and also add a tad more water if necessary. (There should be no water left in the end, however.) At this point I also taste the veg and add more seasoning if needed.
Cool slightly before serving, or serve at room temperature.
If using larger tomatoes instead of plum tomatoes, use only 4 to begin with. You can always add more pureed tomato after an hour of baking, though note that Briam is not supposed to be drowning in tomato sauce!
This might seem like a lot of time in the oven, but trust me - the bulk of the flavour is derived from this, and you definitely want some nice crusty and charred edges on your veg for maximum flavour.
Lastly, don't be afraid of salt and pepper with this dish - be liberal for best results. Start out as you normally would, and you can always add more seasoning when you check at the 1 hour mark!
All I had to cook with were potatoes and courgettes so I googled them and found this recipe. I had olive oil and red onions. No parsley so I used dried oregano. And a tin of Napolina tomatoes which I pushed through a sieve (You don't always get what you pay for in tinned tomatoes but Napolina are consistently high quality). I thought about adding some garlic but decided to trust the recipe. Excellent result with terrific flavour for such a simple recipe - and the oregano seemed to make it even more Mediterranean-y.
Diana - you ARE a goddess! - 21 Aug 2012
Nice, quick to prepare, and tasty recipe. Can be varied slightly depending on available ingredients - I find a tin of Ratatouille makes a very acceptable substitute for the tomatoes, for example. Thanks, Diana. - 13 Mar 2013