eggplants

Μπριάμ φούρνου ουράνιο τόξο - Rainbow Greek Vegan Briam - Vegan in Athens

Traditional Rainbow Greek Briam

Briam recipe is a famous and delicious vegan Mediterranean recipe, the success of which is based almost entirely on the quality of the ingredients we use. Briam is an example of how freshly picked summer vegetables mixed with herbs, spices, salt and olive oil can be transformed into a mouthwatering summertime dish that everyone will love.

Μπριάμ φούρνου ουράνιο τόξο - Rainbow Greek Vegan Briam - Vegan in Athens

When I have the time, I like to arrange the sliced vegetables in a beautiful, colorful, rainbow-like spiral and then add a generous amount of olive oil, garlic, thyme and parsley. Of course when my time is limited, I just mix all the vegetables, herbs and spices in the pan! It’s just as tasty! My secret to make this vegetable bake mouthwatering, melting in the mouth is to bake it in a baking pan or a casserole with a lid. In that way, all the vegetables are baked evenly in their natural juices without the need to add extra water and they become soft, tender and delicious. Usually we like to eat this dish with a slightly fermented, homemade vegan white cheese or with our favorite vegan tyrokafteri (spicy vegan cheese salad).

Ingredients

  • 3 aubergines of medium size
  • 3 large zucchini
  • 3 bell peppers (choose different colors, eg green, red, yellow)
  • 3 large onions
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled
  • 3 large carrots, peeled
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • ½ – 1 cup olive oil (according to our tastes and habits)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tsp heaped salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp heaped curry powder (alternatively use cumin)
  • 1 tbsp. prepared mustard

Method

1. Slice all vegetables with a knife or a vegetable slicer in round slices about one centimeter thick. Lightly salt the eggplants and leave them in a colander for about thirty minutes (to drain the bitter compounds).
2. Arrange the vegetables alternately starting from the edge of the pan and going to the center, if using a round or oval baking pan. If you want you can also use a square baking tray, creating rainbow strips from one end of the tray to the other! The arrangement I like to do is: 2 slices of eggplant – 2 slices of zucchini – 2 slices of potato – 1 slice of tomato – 2 peppers rings – 1 slice of onion. The carrots slices are too small so I just add them in several places in between and above the layers to fill the gaps and add colour!
3. In a bowl, mix the olive oil, salt, mustard, garlic and spices well and pour over the vegetables. Sprinkle with parsley and thyme (if available), cover with the lid and bake at 220 oC for 1 1/2 hour or until the vegetables soften and get a nice color.
Note: In case your pan has no lid, cover with a foil and bake for 1 ½ hour. Then remove the foil and bake for 30 more minutes until they get a nice, appetizing color.

Μπριάμ φούρνου ουράνιο τόξο - Rainbow Greek Vegan Briam - Vegan in Athens

 

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Baked eggplant boats stuffed with split peas and topped with a fragrant bread crumb crust - Βαρκούλες μελιτζάνας φούρνου γεμιστές με φάβα και αρωματική κρούστα ψωμιού - Veganinathens.com

Baked eggplant boats stuffed with fava and topped with an amazing bread crumb crust!

Eggplants are staple vegetables in the Mediterranean cuisine and therefore form the basis for some of the most well-known dishes of the region. Especially when they are freshly picked and in season, they have a mildly sweet taste that can be combined with a variety of fresh ingredients, creating memorable dining experiences. This dish for us is associated with the spring and with some exceptional meals on our balcony.

Baked eggplant boats stuffed with split peas and topped with a fragrant bread crumb crust - Βαρκούλες μελιτζάνας φούρνου γεμιστές με φάβα και αρωματική κρούστα ψωμιού - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

3 medium-sized eggplants

For the tomato sauce

  • 900 g tomatoes, grated (preferably fresh)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • ½ cup chopped basil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Baked eggplant boats stuffed with split peas and topped with a fragrant bread crumb crust - Βαρκούλες μελιτζάνας φούρνου γεμιστές με φάβα και αρωματική κρούστα ψωμιού - Vegan in Athens

For the Greek fava

  • 200 g (1 cup) dried yellow split peas
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  •  juice of ½ a lemon
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups of water

For the bread crumb crust 

  • ½ cup bread crumbs (we used gluten-free bread)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • a handful of fresh leaves of aromatic herbs such as parsley, basil, green onion leaves , etc
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Baked eggplant boats stuffed with split peas and topped with a fragrant bread crumb crust - Βαρκούλες μελιτζάνας φούρνου γεμιστές με φάβα και αρωματική κρούστα ψωμιού - Vegan in Athens

Method

1. Cut the eggplants in half, score across 3-4 points internally, sprinkle with salt, leave them for 30 minutes in a colander and rinse.
2. Grease a baking pan, place in the eggplant and brush with olive oil. Season with salt and bake in preheated oven at 200 oC for approximately 35-40 minutes or until they become golden brown and tender.
3. Meanwhile prepare the tomato sauce: In a skillet sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for 2 minutes, add the wine and then the remaining ingredients. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.
4. For the split pea puree: Wash the dried split peas in a colander. In the meantime put to boil 3 cups of water and then add the split peas. Remove of the foam formed on the surface, add the garlic, onion, bay leaf, salt and pepper and cook over low heat for 40-45 minutes, stirring frequently (more detailed instructions can be found here). When the fava is ready remove from heat, add the olive oil and lemon juice and stir.
5. For the bread crumb crust: Put all ingredients in a food processor and process for a few seconds until crumbled and mixed.
6. Finishing: Pour the tomato sauce over the baked eggplants. Above each eggplant spread about three tablespoons of fava and sprinkle with the crust mixture. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes at 200 oC. Subsequently remove the foil and continue baking for about 10-15 minutes until they get a golden color. Serve hot accompanied with rice or baked potatoes.

Baked eggplant boats stuffed with split peas and topped with a fragrant bread crumb crust - Βαρκούλες μελιτζάνας φούρνου γεμιστές με φάβα και αρωματική κρούστα ψωμιού - Vegan in Athens

 

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Μελιτζάνες "παρμεζάνα" φούρνου - Veganinathens.com

Aubergine parmigiana (Melanzane alla parmigiana), vegan and with a gluten-free option

Since I am passionate with Italy and everything that is Italian (including the Italian kitchen) I have collected several Italian cookbooks (oh yes I’ve learned Italian!), I’ve enjoyed all the Italian vegan food I could when I travelled there and I cook Italian dishes very often. One of my favorites is my veganized version of the traditional side dish “melanzane alla parmigiana” (aubergine parmigiana), which may not contain cheese, but it is just as good.

Use gluten-free bread and gluten-free flour such as rice or corn flour, for the gluten-free and vegan version of “Melanzane alla parmigiana”

Ingredients
(for a small baking dish, 4-6 servings)

3 large aubergines

For the tomato sauce

  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes, grated
  • 1 medium sized onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ½ cup concentrated tomato juice (or one more grated tomato)
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves (or parsley if basil not available)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

For the béchamel sauce

  • 2 cups vegan milk (I used soy this time)
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

For the bread crust

  • 2 slices of bread
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 tbsp of parsley chopped
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Aubergines with parmezan vegan and gluten free - Μελιτζάνες παρμεζάνα βέγκαν και χωρίς γλουτένη - Vegan in Athens

Method

  1. Remove the stalks from the aubergines, slice them up into 1cm thick slices, put them into a strainer, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and let them in one side for half an hour. By this way their bitterness will be reduced.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 oC, and lay the eggplants on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. Brush them with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes until soft.
  3. Prepare the tomato sauce: Add the olive oil in a pan and fry the onion and the garlic for 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and the remaining ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Taste and set aside.
  4. Prepare the béchamel sauce: Pour 1 cup milk into a saucepan to boil and in the other cup of milk, dissolve the flour, the nutritional yeast and the spices. When the milk’s comes to boil, add the milk-flour mixture into the pan and stir constantly for a few minutes until it thickens.
  5. Prepare the bread crust: crumble the bread in a bowl with your hands, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  6. Assemble: Brush a bake dish with olive oil, lay on the bottom a layer of eggplant slices and spread over half of the tomato sauce. With a spoon pour half the béchamel over the tomato sauce and repeat the process for one more time. Over the last layer of aubergines – tomato – bechamel spread the bread crumbs. Bake for half an hour in a preheated oven at 200 °C. Wait for another half an hour to cool slightly before serve.
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