Briami – a simple and quick to make Greek-style vegetable casserole. The vegetables – eggplant/aubergine, zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes, and onions – are roasted in the oven and come out tender but still a bit crunchy. The dish is seasoned with oregano, mint, parsley, olives, lemon zest and plenty of good olive oil and covered with melted, slightly gooey and crispy golden cheese on top!
This dish is similar to the French vegetable stew – Ratatouille.
This recipe is my twist on the traditional briami recipe. I ate this dish a few times in Greek restaurants and loved it. However, the vegetables were more stewed and softer. The vegetables can also be stewed on the stovetop, but I like the roasted version more.
All you need to do is to chop the vegetables and aromatics, toss them with olive oil, season, sprinkle with cheese and bake!
Briami is so simple to make, and yet so aromatic and flavorful! So here’s how to do it – step by step:
- Prepare all the vegetables and aromatics:
Vegetables: You can basically use any vegetables you like but according to the tradition briami should consist of following vegetables: potatoes, zucchini, eggplant/aubergine, onion, tomato, and bell pepper.
Aromatics: this is what makes this casserole Greek and super aromatic: lots of garlic (don‘t worry, it won‘t be too garlicky, roasted garlic loses its harsh taste), good olive oil, fresh parsley and mint, lemon juice and zest – they brighten up the whole dish.
Cheese: Briami is usually served with feta cheese. I used pecorino cheese because this is how I ate this dish for the first time and loved it. This is one of my favorite cheeses, its taste resembles parmesan, but it‘s more intense as it’s made from sheep’s milk, not cow’s milk. Although it’s not a typical Greek cheese (it’s Italian), it works great here and tastes similar to some Greek cheeses (eg kefalograviera). I used semi-hard Pecorino variety – Pecorino Toscano, it melts nicely on the vegetables. You can also use easily available feta cheese – it can be crumbled directly over the roasted vegetables or added to the casserole 5 minutes before the end of baking time. Originally, the dish is served rather with feta cheese, but if you try the delicious, melted pecorino cheese, you won‘t go back!
2. So now you need to chop all the vegetables and aromatics: Cut the zucchini into 1 cm / ½ inch slices, aubergine/eggplant into 2 cm / 1 inch cubes, potatoes into 0.5 cm / ¼ inch slices, onions into 0.5 cm / ¼ inch half-moons, garlic into very thin slices, slice the olives, finely chop the parsley, grate and juice the lemon.
3. Toss the vegetables in olive oil, season with lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, mint, sprinkle with olives. It’s important to place the cheese and garlic on top – if not, they can burn at the bottom of the tray. It’s ready to be roasted. Pop the baking tray in the oven and roast at 200C / 400F for about 30 minutes.
The size of the tray is also important. So, if your tray is bigger than mine add a little water so that the vegetables won’t burn and stick to the bottom of the tray. If the baking sheet is smaller – the vegetables will be a little overcrowded and won’t brown properly.
4. This is how it should like! Tender full of flavor vegetables with crunchy, caramelized edges and melted golden cheese on top.
This is a modified recipe from this blog.
Another quick sheet pan dinner that we love is this sheet pan chicken fajitas.
Briami – Greek-style roasted vegetables
- 1 medium zucchini/courgette 10.5 oz / 300g
- 1 medium eggplant/aubergine 10.5 oz / 300g
- 4 medium potatoes 1.1 lbs / 0.5kg
- 2 medium tomatoes 10.5 oz / 300g
- ½ medium onion
- 5.3 oz pecorino cheese* 150g, best is semi-hard pecorino toscano, or feta cheese
spices and aromatics:
- 7 cloves garlic
- 8 green or kalamata olives
- zest from ½ lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried mint or chopped fresh leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- salt and black pepper to taste (the cheese is already slightly salty)
Prepare the vegetables:
- Cut the zucchini into 1 cm / ½ inch slices, aubergine into 2 cm / 1 inch cubes, potatoes into 0.5 cm / ¼ inch slices, onions into 0.5 cm / ¼ inch half-moons, garlic into very thin slices, slice the olives.
- Preheat the oven to 200 ° C / 400 ° F / Gas Mark 6, no fan (if you have a convection oven reduce the temperature by 20°)
- Pour boiling water over the tomatoes, peel them and cut into 16 pieces (into 8 wedges and then the wedges in half) or into 2cm /1-inch cubes.
Combine the chopped vegetables with spices and aromatics:
- Cut the pecorino cheese into 1cm / ½ inch cubes.
- On a large rimmed tray (33×33 cm / 12×17 inch) toss all the ingredients together (except the cheese and garlic). Distribute them evenly across the tray. Top the vegetables with garlic and cheese (located directly on the tray will burn).
Roast the vegetables:
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender but still have a bite to them and the cheese on top is melted and browned.
- Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.
- Authentic briami is served with feta cheese. You can crumble the cheese over the vegetables 5 minutes before the end of baking time or just serve it on the side.
- If your baking sheet is bigger than mine or you’re using fewer vegetables add a little water at the bottom of the tray so that the vegetables, less crowded, don‘t stick too much to the bottom. If your baking tray is smaller than mine or you’re using more vegetables, the vegetables will be a little overcrowded and will be stewing rather than roasting – so they will more tender, less crunchy, but still very good and flavorful.
- Calories count = 1 big serving (1/2 of the recipe). The serving may look too big, but seriously it’s too good to eat less.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it and give it a star rating in the comments below! You can also add a photo of your creation!