Sunday, May 20, 2012

Roasted Vegetables: "Briam" with a twist!

This is my own version of a traditional Greek recipe called "Briam", which is basically roasted mixed vegetables; potatoes, carrots, eggplants, tomatoes, onions, zucchinis etc. You can actually use any other vegetable you wish. It always depends on what I have available and what is in season. You can even add beans, peas, zucchini blossoms or okra. Mushrooms also taste great in it, but I tend to use them more in the winter when eggplants and zucchinis are (normally) out of season. I also love adding turmeric, cumin, spicy chili and coriander to give it a more oriental flavor, but you can always play with your spices and herbs and check the results! 

Here is my basic "Briam" recipe:

5 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
2 onions, peeled and sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 tomatoes, cut into chunks
4 potatoes, peeled and sliced
3 eggplants, thickly sliced
4 zucchinis, thickly sliced
1 small turmeric root, peeled and sliced (or 2 teaspoons turmeric powder) 
2 green peppers, sliced
1 chili pepper, seeded and sliced
3 teaspoons cumin seeds or powder
½ cup parsley, roughly chopped
¼ cup coriander, roughly chopped
Fresh oregano
3 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 glass of water

Preheat oven to 240°C/475°F/gas 9. Drizzle half the olive oil in a large roasting tray. Put all the cut vegetables in it and add the chili, turmeric, cumin, oregano, parsley, coriander, salt and cayenne pepper. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and mix well, using your hands. Add the water and place the roasting tray in the oven. Immediately turn the heat down to 200°C/400°F/gas 6 and cook for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Check the food regularly, giving it a stir and if the vegetables look dry, give them another splash of water (little by little, because you don’t want them to overcook in water). Once ready, it can be served immediately, but it is also delicious when cooled down to room temperature...and goes great with feta cheese!

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