Recipes > Briam | Greek Vegetables in Tomato Sauce

Briam | Greek Vegetables In Tomato Sauce

Details

This traditional Greek dish is not only ridiculously easy to prepare, it also happens to be outstanding.
  • Serves: 6 to 8
  • Active Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr 45 mins
  • Views: 50,749
  • Success Rating: 100% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog
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Steps

Step 1: Preparing Your Mise en Place

Preparing Your Mise en Place
  • 3 lrg floury potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice or sliced into 1-1.5 cm-thick pieces
  • 2 onions, cut in half, then sliced
  • 1 lrg eggplant, diced (or 3 sm eggplant sliced into rounds)
  • 2 sm green bell peppers, cut in large pieces
  • 2 sm red bell peppers, cut in large pieces
  • 2 carrots, large diced
  • 1 1/2 cups green beans, cleaned and cut in half
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped or 400 g canned diced tomatoes*

Method

For this dish, you basically need about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of each vegetable. If you like one type of vegetable more then another, then feel free to use more of that instead. Also, many recipes call for zucchini; however, we found them to be too watery for our tastes, so we used red peppers instead.

*Note: For the best final consistency, pulse the diced tomatoes a few times in the food processor before using.

While this may seem like a lot of vegetables, they will cook down considerably during cooking, releasing all of their water and juices — resulting in about half of their original volume.

As for the types of vegetables, feel free to experiment with other vegetables (see note at bottom of recipe).

Step 2: Assembling & Baking the Dish

Assembling & Baking the Dish
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, or to taste
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

To assemble the briam, place the potatoes on the bottom of a large baking or casserole dish and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Continue to lay the vegetables — hardest first, softest last — seasoning well between each addition or layer.

Next, add the tomatoes and chopped parsley. Lastly, add the tomato paste to the water and stir to combine. Pour this mixture all over the vegetables, followed by the olive oil. Note: The amount of olive oil used to make Briam comes down to personal preference. Many recipes call for at least a cup of olive oil; however we use considerably less and it still produces delicious results.

To bake the dish, loosely cover the baking dish with foil and place onto the lower rack of the preheated oven. Check the vegetables about every half an hour to make sure the ingredients on top are not drying out or burning. You may need to gently press the vegetables down into the liquid a bit during cooking.

Let cook for approximately an hour to an hour and a half, or until the vegetables are quite soft.

*Note: For more color, after an hour check to see that the vegetables are cooked through, if so remove the foil and roast for another 1/2 hour, uncovered, until the vegetables start to turn golden brown.

Allow to cool slightly before serving. To serve, sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley, if desired.

This dish goes particularly well with many of these delicious plant-based Greek recipes — Hummus, Tzatziki, Lemon Potatoes, Baked Beans | Plaki, Dolmades and Pita Bread.

Chef's Notes

There are many versions of this dish depending where one is from in Greece. Oftentimes, the vegetables used in briam are simply those that one has on hand or they are simply the family’s favorite combination. For instance, many recipe call for zucchini; however my partner Joe doesn’t like their texture once cooked down, therefore, I leave them out. After much experimenting, this is our favorite combination — in particular the potatoes.

Note: For extra flavor and color, some recipes call for lightly shallow-frying the vegetables before assembling the dish.

21 Comments

  • Andre K
    Andre K
    Made my first attempt at this one today - super delicious! Though I had limited tomato sauce available and unfortunately added too much water to thin it out, so it did not have the richness I expected.
  • Jocelyn N
    Jocelyn N
    I omitted the oil and cooked it in the slow cooker. I added one extra cup of wayer and a little more tomato paste. I nowhave a lovly vegetable base. One night I will add curry paste, but I will love it over rice, just as it is.
  • Jack R
    Jack R
    what size is the baking dish please in inchs?
  • Jack R
    Jack R
    what can i replace the potatoes with as im making lemon roasted potatoes so dont want the same element in the menu.thank you.
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Sounds like a very good idea, Jack. Let me know how the dish turns out. Cheers, Char
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Jack--Looking at the pan, it appears to be 9 inches by 12 inches. Hope this helps. Cheers, Char
  • Jack R
    Jack R
    how deep is the pan as im planning on using a small pie dish as im trying to be as economical as i can.the dish i have just says 19.5 cm which is confusing to say the least.
  • Demetra S Rouxbe Staff
    Demetra S
    Hi Jack- Any oven safe shallow cookware is fine. The round shallow pie dish is perfect. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 to 2 cups of vegetables, so with 19.5cm you are fine. If you find 2 cups are over overflowing, reduce to 1 1/2 cups.
  • Riaz M
    Riaz M
    my pie dish im using this recipe for has a capacity of 520g so ive downsized the recipe to fit the dish.would i still need to roast it for 90 minutes or do i reduce the cooking time as im using less in weight of ingredients?im only cooking for one so this would be really helpful.thank you.
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Hi Raiz, when adjusting the volume of a recipe like this, sometimes it is possible to reduce the cooking time. But, the "new" recipe should be tested, as your results will be unique to your kitchen. Check the vegetable every 30 minutes or so and cook until the vegetables are quite soft.
  • Riaz M
    Riaz M
    can this be assembled the day before then cooked the next day?thank you.
  • Demetra S Rouxbe Staff
    Demetra S
    Hi Riaz, Yes, as the plants are all sturdy in composition so there should be no deterioration when marinating overnight. Enjoy! Demetra
  • Riaz M
    Riaz M
    demetra thank goodness and thank you i cant wait to assemble this dish and enjoy a greek vegetable dish thank you for alleviating my worries.i love rouxbe .
  • Demetra S Rouxbe Staff
    Demetra S
    We appreciate you too, Riaz. Enjoy learning and I recommend leaving the added worry out of any recipes, as it is never needed!
  • Riaz M
    Riaz M
    I made this dish and came across alott of problems.the green beans did not soften at all they actually toughened the other vegetables leaked there liquid so I ended up with tough green beans , soggy remaining vegetables and a pool of flavourseless liquid at the bottom. What went wrong as I followed the recipe to the exact details?
  • Riaz M
    Riaz M
    What steps can I do as preventative measures to stop this as in my mind I'm seeing this as an oven ratatouille?
  • Riaz M
    Riaz M
    The recipe was water logged and soggy I can't understand it
  • Riaz M
    Riaz M
    the green beans didnt soften they stayed hard. would it be a better idea to add the tomatoes halfway through the cooking proces as the tomatoes are acidic which can prevent proper softening of vegetables in cooking when added to soon.
  • Riaz M
    Riaz M
    do i drain the tinned tomato before using?
  • Riaz M
    Riaz M
    i m planning on using an 8 by 8 inch square class roasting pan.if im using that roasting tray what are all the vegetables in grams as i cant work out recipes using volumes
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Hi Riaz, the situation concerning the green beans may depend on the green beans, to some extent. If they were quite mature, they may benefit from par cooking before inclusion in this recipe. If the recipe is too wet for your preference, then, yes, drain the tomatoes of liquid. As for the quantity of vegetables versus the pan size, you should simply give this a try as it's part of your cooking experience. Your personal preference is important here. Enjoy, Eric

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