Or reason #458 why I need a Le Creuset Dutch oven.
I don't think I can express enough how much I love Greek food. Luckily I live in a city where Greek restaurants abound and there is also a Greek Fest held each year where I can feast until I can hardly make it to the car. Since making the choice to be a stay at home Mom, there have been many sacrifices we have had to make, one of which is eating out on a regular basis. Luckily, a lot of the best food is the most basic and inexpensive, and this is one of those dishes.
I first tried Briam at Athens and then had to rush home to recreate it the very next day. Briam is simply a Greek vegetable stew that is rich in olive oil and insane flavour. I've read many recipes and while they all have their own defining touches, they are all basically the same; layered sliced vegetables, seasoned and cooked in a tomato & olive oil sauce. Here is my everyday version:
Eggplant, sliced (1 lg)
Zucchini, sliced (2 lg or 3 smaller)
Potatoes, sliced thinly (3 medium)
Carrots, sliced thinly (2 medium)
Onions, sliced thinly (2 medium)
Red pepper, sliced (1 lg)
Tomato, chopped (1 medium)
Garlic, minced (4 cloves... or more)
1 cup tomato sauce (pureed canned San Marzanos)
2 cups boiling water
1 cup olive oil (yes, 1 cup :) )
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp dry oregano
S& P to taste
In a medium sized Dutch oven or roaster, pour a bit of olive oil and then layer the vegetable slices like a lasagna, starting with a layer of potatoes (try for at least 2 layers of each. Season each layer with S&P and then mix the tomato sauce, water, oil, garlic and herbs together and pour over all. Bake at 425 for 60 -90 minutes until all of the veggies are super tender and the top is getting nice and browned.
Briam tastes even better the next day in my opinion, but it rarely makes it that long around here. This recipe will serve at least 4 hungry adults. It will look like a lot when you pop it in the oven, but it quickly cooks down and is very addictive :)
Briam is fantastic served with some fresh crusty bread and with some feta cheese crumbled on top and a side of plump Kalamata olives...and that's just how we are going to enjoy it tonight in our house. Mmm!