Which Came First, Briam or Ratatoillle?
There is quite the debate on whether briam should be called the Greek ratatouille or ratatouille should be the called French briam. Truth is, nobody knows for sure which recipe came first, but it doesn’t matter. Both dishes represent a perfect take on roasted vegetables, although, in some parts of France, people like to use the stovetop to prepare their ratatouille.
Of course, the Greek briam recipe has hundreds of variations, but this one comes from the island of Patmos.
- 1 ¼ lb gold potatoes (3-4 medium-sized)
- 1 ¼ lb zucchini squash (2-3 regular-sized)
- 1 ¼ lb eggplants (optional, 2 regular-sized)
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 4 garlic cloves (minced)
- Greek extra virgin olive oil (any other would do but let’s try to be traditional)
- 30-oz canned diced tomatoes with juice (unsalted and organic products are recommended)
- 1 large red onion
- Salt and Pepper
As stated above, this Greek classic varies by region, so feel free to adjust the ingredients by adding or removing other veggies and spices. For example, replacing the potatoes with bell pepper would make this dish even lower in carbs. A dash of piney rosemary would give it a pleasant kick, and serving this with feta cheese would make a huge difference.
Preparing the Briam
For presentation purposes, this exact recipe calls for thinly sliced veggies and a round pan or skillet (11-inch would do). However, this recipe works great with thicker chunk cuts roasted in a square casserole, especially if time is pushing you.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F and place a rack in the middle.
- Season and toss the veggies with salt, pepper, oregano, (and other spices of your choice).
- Pour half of the canned tomatoes into your pan or skillet and spread to cover the bottom.
- Arrange the rest of the veggies into the pan
- Top with a generous drizzle of olive oil, minced garlic, and the rest of the tomatoes.
- Bake for 45 minutes covered with foil
- Remove foil and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes until most of the liquid evaporates and veggies look soft and charred.
- Cool to room temperature and serve.