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.
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).
- 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
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.
For those of us who like french fries but keep our fat intake low, this is definitely a recipe to try. A few years ago I read about this healthy version of “fried” potatoes and to be honest I was dubious about the success of the recipe. This is why I first made these healthy “fried” (actually baked) potatoes, with my own blend of spices and herbs, much later. But since then we never went back! The secret of making them soft inside with a savory, golden crust outside is to cut them just like we cut the classic french fries – neither smaller or larger – and sprinkle them with the spices of your choice. These potatoes, although oil-free, are just as tasty as the best french fries we’ve ever eaten without the heavy smell and taste of the fried oils.
- 5 medium potatoes peeled
- 1 tsp. fine salt
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. ground sweet paprika
- 1 tsp. ground smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. oregano
1. Preheat the oven to 225 oC.
2. Cut the potatoes into thick wedges and put them in a deep bowl along with all the spices and salt. Mix with your hands very well until they are evenly covered with the spices.
3. Line a baking pan with non-stick baking paper and arrange the potatoes, leaving few millimeters space between each other.
4. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy while still hot!
Note: Instead of smoked paprika you can also use the same amount of your favorite carry powder for a more complex taste!
Vegan panna cotta is one of the easiest and most delicious desserts one can prepare at home. Its secrets are not much, nor does it require any particular technique to be made. The only prerequisites are a dense, rich, plant-based milk such as coconut milk and a plant-based “gelatine” such as agar agar (a natural polysaccharide made from a species of seaweeds). During springtime, when the strawberries are abundant and delicious, I like to add a few into my recipe so that our panna cotta gets the aroma and the slightly sour taste of fresh strawberries. Garnished with a light strawberry sauce (recipe below) or a drizzle of vegan chocolate syrup, this vegan strawberry panna cotta is one of our favorite desserts during May!
for the strawberry panna cotta
- 2 cups or 1 can (480 ml) full-fat coconut milk or homemade coconut milk
- 250g fresh strawberries (you can also use frozen)
- 4 tbsp sugar or other sweetener of choice (you can also use coconut sugar or raw cane sugar although they may change the color of the panna cotta a little bit)
- 2 tsp. (level) agar agar powder
for the strawberry sauce
- 250g fresh strawberries (or frozen)
- 3 tbsp sugar or other the sweetener of your choice
1. For the panna cotta: Blend the strawberries in the blender and push the pulp through a fine sieve to remove the seeds. Measure the pulp to make sure it is one cup.
2. In a saucepan add the pulp of strawberries, sugar, coconut milk and agar agar. Stir until the agar agar is completely dissolved, turn on the heat and once it comes to boil lower and simmer for five minutes stirring.
3. Distribute the mixture among 4-5 ramekins and let cool. After completely cooled put it in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.
4. For the strawberry sauce: Blend the strawberries in the blender and push the pulp through a fine sieve. Put the pulp together with the sugar in a pan and simmer for five minutes. Transfer to a glass jar and let cool.
5. To serve: You can serve panna cotta directly in the ramekins, garnished with a spoonful of strawberry sauce or you can unmold it and put it on a layer of strawberry sauce, in a plate. Garnish with fresh strawberries.