Greek Briam is a favourite spring/ summer time dish of mine. Sat out on the balcony, with a glass of wine and a plate of this medley of olive oil roasted vegetables is another example of how Greek cuisine is all about taking ordinary ingredients to create full and beautiful flavours. It is good, honest and healthy food that is cooked simply. It is very similar to a ratatouille or a tourlou (a Greek oven baked stew) and typically topped with feta and basil.
I find that Greek food is often unfairly dismissed as too simple or just a plate of gyros and chips. In fact, Greek food is one of the most diverse mediterranean flavours. It has the Middle Eastern influence along with the Italian style dishes of the Greek islands. The famous Greek pies, such as a Spanakopita are influenced by Turkish or Israeli flavours and often seasoned with nutmeg. The Greeks love to use a variety of nuts such as almonds and pistachios and on the islands such as Paxos you will find delicious Mezze dishes of Taramasalata, Tzatiki and Dolmades (stuffed vine leaves) or pasta and risotto’s with grilled fish and seafood (squid ink risotto and grilled octopus being my favourites) cooked with wonderful olives and tomatoes. For me, Greek food is how food should be treated. Not smothering it in avocados or some kind of superfood powder. Not being afraid of a few grains or a tomato and certainly not over complicating ingredients.
I like to serve this Greek Briam with some Souvlaki and Pork Chops. This is also a typical dish I put together of Easter Monday and serve all that delicious leftover lamb on the side. It is easy and quick to put together.
- 2 courgettes (sliced)
- 1 large aubergined (sliced)
- 3 medium tomatoes (sliced)
- 500g new potatoes (sliced)
- Small bunch oregano (finely chopped)
- Small bunch basil (finely chopped)
- 70g feta (crumbled)
- 1 medium red onion (finely sliced)
- Handful of green pitted olives (halved)
- Olive oil
- Salt/ pepper
- Preheat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.
- In a roasting dish lay out the potatoes flat on the base of the dish and scatter the onions on top. Drizzle in olive oil and bake for 10 mins.
- Take the dish out of the oven and lay the courgettes on top. Then lay the aubergines on top and drizzle with olive oil, and then the tomatoes on top. Scatter the olives on top and then sprinkle the oregano and basil on top. Bake in the oven for 25 mins.
- Take the dish out of the oven again and scatter the crumbled feta on top. Bake for another 10 mins.
- Once done, leave the dish to rest for 5 mins and season with black pepper. Then serve.