A rainbow of color and flavor, traditional Greek Briam is a hugely popular Mediterranean casserole. Featuring thin slices of roasted vegetables baked in Greek-seasoned tomato puree, this recipe is an excellent way to get all the flavors of the season into one healthy side dish.
Briam - Greek Roasted Vegetables
Briam is a collection of roasted Greek vegetables. This traditional dish celebrates the natural flavors of zucchini, potatoes, and onions while enhancing them with Mediterranean herbs and spices. With aromatic olive oil and acidic tomato puree, this recipe is a crowd pleaser.
Though generally served on the side, these Greek roasted vegetables can also be a hearty main course when served with delicious pita or spanakorizo rice. Otherwise, I recommend serving briam with gyros, fish, lamb, or any other protein, really. You can even serve it for breakfast with the addition of some eggs. And if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, you can also use these roasted veggies as a filling for gozleme.
To add some protein while keeping things vegetarian, serve with legumes or lentils. Chickpeas also go very well with briam, and they’re easier than you might think to prepare at home.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Potatoes - Golden or Yukon Gold potatoes roast tremendously well, softening without becoming too mushy. They have a natural buttery flavor that does not overpower the other veggies.
- Zucchini - This squash has great body and is deliciously crunchy both roasted and raw. You can also substitute any variety of summer squash.
- Red Onion - This vegetable’s deep color and mild flavor has earned its place in a variety of Greek cuisine.
- Parsley - Parsley is fresh and a bit peppery. Basil and cilantro are possible substitutions in a pinch.
- Oregano - Earthy and green, this seasoning is popular worldwide, but is especially prevalent in Mediterranean and Mexican dishes. Thyme and prepared Italian seasonings are good alternatives.
- Rosemary - This herb is bright and aromatic. Very fragrant, it enhances Mediterranean recipes with its slightly minty sweetness.
- Garlic - We use garlic to elevate the aroma of our Greek vegetables without overpowering them. When roasted, it takes on a deliciously nutty flavor.
- Olive Oil - A staple of Greek cuisine! We use it here to help roast the vegetables.
- Tomato Puree - Acidic and tangy. You can also use tomato passata, an uncooked tomato puree.
- Salt & Pepper - Classic seasonings used to prepare our vegetables. Sprinkle to taste on your completed dish.
Substituting Other Veggies?
If you'd like to use other summer vegetables in the Greek briam, just be sure that they're close to the same consistency as squash and potatoes. In other words, avoid using soft veggies like mushrooms or extra firm ones like carrots.
Good choices are eggplant and bell peppers.
By using similar consistency veggies, everything cooks evenly and you'll have a delicious outcome!
HOW TO MAKE BRIAM
1. Preheat. Preheat oven to 400°F
2. Season the Vegetables. In a large mixing bowl, season the sliced potatoes, onions, and zucchini with the salt, pepper, parsley, oregano, rosemary, garlic, and olive oil. Toss well to combine and thoroughly coat each veggie.
3. Create a Base Layer. On the bottom of your pan, pour half of the tomato puree or passata and spread evenly.
4. Arrange the Vegetables. Arrange the potatoes, zucchini, and onions in the pan in a continuous overlapping row. Go around the shape of the pan and alternate each vegetable until the center is reached. I add an onion every 3 pairs or potato and zucchini so as not to overpower them.
5. Final Toppings. Pour any remaining herb and garlic mixture over the pan. Finally, pour the rest of the tomato puree or passata over top.
6. Roast! Cover the pan with foil and bake on the middle rack. After 45 minutes, carefully remove the foil and roast for another 30 minutes or until the veggies are soft and charred and most of the liquid has evaporated.
7. Serve. These roasted veggies can be served either warm or at room temperature.
It is very common to pair briam with feta cheese, either topping the dish or served toasted on the side.
You generally want to use summer veggies that have a similar consistency to squash and potatoes. Eggplants and bell peppers, for example, are a couple of great options. I’ve even seen this dish made with okra!
Briam pairs well with warm pita or spanakorizo rice. Both are excellent with this dish. If eating at room temperature, some cool tzatziki would also be delicious.
If using very moisture-packed veggies, such as eggplant, keep them as dry as you can so you don’t add too much liquid to the dish.
Absolutely! Roasted veggies tend to freeze very well. Allow the dish to cool and store in a freezer-safe, airtight container. These will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Briam (Greek Roasted Vegetables)
- 1 ¼ lb gold potatoes sliced into ⅛-inch thick rounds (about 3 medium potatoes)
- 1 ¼ lb zucchini sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds about 2-3 zucchini
- 1 large red onion sliced into ⅛-inch thick rounds then cut in half
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup fresh parsley chopped
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoon fresh rosemary chopped fine
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 28 oz tomato puree or passata
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Season sliced potatoes and zucchini in a large mixing bowl with salt, pepper, parsley, oregano, rosemary, garlic, and olive oil. Toss to make sure the vegetables are thoroughly coated.
- In a round 12" baking pan, pour half of the diced tomatoes/passata and spread to cover bottom of pan.
- Arrange the seasoned potatoes, zucchini, and sliced onions in the pan in a continuous row by going around the shape of the pan and alternating (I do the onion ever 3 pairs of potato and zucchini) until the center is reached. Pour any herb/garlic mixture left in the bowl over the vegetables. Top with remaining half of tomato puree or passata.
- Cover the pan with foil and bake on middle rack for 45 minutes. Take pan out and carefully remove foil. Place back in oven and roast for another 30 minutes or until the veggies are soft and charred and most of the liquid has evaporated. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.