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.
Stewed okra in tomato sauce or okra casserole is one of my favorite traditional Greek foods, eaten mostly during spring and summer, when local okra production reaches a pick. To make okra casserole, okra are cooked in tomato sauce until tender and then they are baked, to get a thicker sauce and develop an extra delicious, umami taste (thanks to the tomatoes).
In this recipe I use okra together with fresh, local tomatoes as well as marinated tofu, in order to create an authentic vegan Mediterranean taste. The addition of some Indian spices such as spicy curry powder, make this simple vegetable dish unbeatable! We usually enjoy it together with fresh homemade or store-bought, whole wheat bread, but it can be served with rice as well.
- 1 kilogram of fresh or frozen okra
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 3-4 medium tomatoes, grated
- 1 package (400 g) tomato passata
- ½ cup fresh parsley chopped + 1 handful to sprinkle
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup red wine
- 3 tbsp vinegar
- 1 tsp spice curry powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- salt and freshly ground pepper
For the marinated tofu
- 300 g of hard tofu cut into about 5 slices of 2 cm thick
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp soy sauce (optional)
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- juice of 1 lemon
- freshly ground pepper
1. Marinate the tofu: In a bowl put the tofu. Mix the marinade ingredients and pour the tofu slices. Cover and let sit for at least 1-2 hours.
2.Prepare the okra: If you have fresh okra, wash them, remove the stalk and cut off the “hat”. Put them on a dish and let them sunbathe for 3-4 hours to wither. If you don’t live in a sunny area, put them in the dehydrator or in the oven at 50 oC for 5-6 hours. If you use frozen okra, use them as they are.
3. In a large saucepan, add the olive oil and saute the onion 1-2 minutes until it becomes translucent. Add the okra and stir for a few more minutes. Add the wine, the vinegar and the remaining ingredients and mix. Simmer over low heat for 30-40 minutes or until the okra is tender.
4. Transfer the okra with the tomato sauce into a baking pan and lay the tofu slices on top (without the marinade). Garnish with a handful of parsley and bake for half an hour at 225 oC or until the sauce gets a nice deep red color and thickens. Serve hot with a piece of marinated tofu and a few drops of lemon juice.
Vegan pasta recipes are definitely everybody’s favorites. The fact that in less than half an hour one can make – with the simplest ingredients found in the kitchen – a tasty and hearty pasta dish is something that makes some of them unbeatable. Moreover pasta is nutritious and, especially if accompanied with a light, plant-based sauce – for example a thick tomato sauce with lots of freshly grated tomato but without the excess oils and fats – it can provide you all the energy you need during a busy day.
Often, when we return back home after a long walk in Athens or after a day at work, I put a large pot with water to boil in order to cook some pasta and in the meantime I make in the food processor a pesto sauce with rocket (during this season is on its best) or a basil pesto or even a batch of kale pesto, preparing a delicious, vegan Italian pasta dish in only few minutes. Another alternative choice, especially for the sunny days like today, is a tasty tomato sauce enriched with cherry tomatoes, olives and capers and flavored with red wine and rosemary, with all these ingredients bringing together the most typical Mediterranean flavors in each bite.
The sauce has a rich tomato flavor that is beautifully combined with the slightly spicy taste of olives and capers and wonderful aromas of garlic and rosemary. One of the things that I like about this tomato sauce is that it is can be served with any kind of pasta as well as gnocchi. Fortunately, now, one can find ready-made gnocchi, without animal ingredients, packed tightly, in some large supermarkets. Since there are also brands that use eggs, check the labels first or if you have time try to prepare your own.
for the sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 sprig rosemary, fresh or dried
- 2 heaped tablespoons, capers
- 2 heaped tablespoons, olives (pick your favorite!)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 package 400g grated tomatoes (if you don’t want to use canned you can grate your own)
- salt and freshly ground pepper
500 gr gnocchi or pasta of choice
1. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic and the rosemary over medium heat for two minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes olives and capers and sauté two minutes more.
2. Add the red wine, the grated tomato and a pinch of ground pepper and simmer for about 15 minutes until the sauce thickens. Meanwhile you can cook the pasta or gnocchi according to package instructions.
3. Taste the sauce, add salt or pepper if necessary and serve immediately. Because capers and olives are already salty, you just need a small amount of salt to achieve the right taste.