Lenten Recipe 31: Classic Briam

Briam

I remember the first time I tasted briam. I was a student in Greece and we were traveling in Nafplion. We went to a small taverna and their specialty was briam. A friend urged me to try it and when I did, I thought that I might be able to become a vegetarian. The eggplant, zucchini, and potatoes were just the right blend in the garlicky tomato sauce. This is one you won’t want to miss this season!

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

4 large Yukon gold potatoes

1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 medium onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 cups tomato sauce

½  pound  zucchini, sliced in thin rounds

½ pound eggplant, sliced in thin rounds

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Peel and boil the potatoes in generously salted water until nicely tender, about 15 minutes. Slice the potatoes into 1/4 inch rounds and set aside.

Heat 1/3 cup olive oil in a sauce pan and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about a minute.

Add the herbs, tomato sauce, and about a 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

While the sauce is simmering, drizzle some olive oil in the bottom of a rectangular baking pan. Layer half the potato slices on the bottom of the pan. Season them lightly with salt.

Top the potatoes with the zucchini slices. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Next add the eggplant  slices. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Top with half of the tomato sauce. Repeat the potato, zucchini, and eggplant layers. Top with the remaining sauce. Bake in a 425 degree oven for one hour or until the vegetables have cooked through and are very tender.