I love these classic dishes, and this vegan Greek briam bake is no exception. It’s deceptively simple and since most of the time it’s in the oven, it leaves you free to do other things: like make the hummus, or another main dish or side dish.
There are many variations to these classic dishes, and every chef will put their own little touches to it. My additions are chilli flakes, fresh and sundried tomatoes as well as aubergine which got missed out in this dish. Although there aren’t many actual spices, it’s the oven baking of the fresh tomato salsa, courgettes & potatoes & onions I like. The flavours are simple but rich, with a lovely umami effect from the baking.
Some recipes say grate the tomatoes, but then you have to discard the skin – chopping & blitzing works much better. You can use a slicer to do the potatoes, but by hand is easy too. Cutting the courgettes (zuchini if you live in the USA) thicker than the potatoes helps everything cook together. I would suggest 4mm for the potato slices and 1cm for the courgettes.
Make sure to use cold pressed olive oil – unfiltered if possible – & although you don’t want to overdo it, be generous. With the olives, you can use unpitted ones, which are best, but a pain so I just use pitted ones. Kalamata are nicest & have a fuller flavour, I suggest halving or quartering them.
With the vegan feta cheese, there are several brands to choose from. Apparently Green Vie is very good, but it isn’t available near me, so I used Sainsbury’s vegan Greek feta. It wants to go on top of the dish around 20 mintues from the end, so it melts and browns, but not to much. Enjoy your vegan Greek briam bake with some hummus and garlic bread and veggies of your choice.
vegan greek briam bake
- 1 sauteuse or mediteranean casserole
- 1 Food processor optional
- 600 g vine tomatoes roughly 4 good sized ones
- 800 g courgettes roughly 4 medium ones
- 650 g potatoes - waxy preferably roughly 4 medium
- 150 g kalamata olives a whole box 150 to 160g
- 1 tsp round chilli flakes to taste
- 250 g aubergine 1 small/medium
- 200 g vegan feta cheese a whole block
- 1 tbsp dried oregano to taste or preference
- 1 heap tsp black pepper
- 70 g olive oil unfiltered is best by cold pressed is ok
- 75 g chopped up sundried tomatoes optional but nice
- 1 round tsp garlic granules
- 10 g parsley 1/3 of a bag roughly
- 25 g garlic roughly 8 cloves
- 275 g red onion yellow is ok, roughly 1 largeish onion
- 100 g baby plum tomatoes optional but nice
- 125 g flageolet or lima beans optional
- scrub the potatoes - don't peel - it's all good roughage/fiber
- slice fairly thingly - 4mm or ¼ inch at to pan
- wash courgettes and slice roughly 2 ½ to 3 times the thickness - a little over 1cm - add to pan
- peel and chop onions into slivers/slices - add to pan
- peel the garlic and either crush or blitz and add to the pan - I find blitzing it in a spice grinder - is way easier than using a crusher - but that's just me.
- wash and trim the aubergine if using and chope into 2 cm segments - add to pan
- cut tomatoes in to segments, then in half and blitz briefly until fairly small pieces but not totally blitzed. Pour over veggies
- add the dried oregano, black pepper, half the chilli flakes and pour over the oil.
- mix thoroughly with 2 spatulas is easiest I find, and shake level.
- set the oven at 200°C fan - you can put the sauteuse if it's metal on the hob on a low flame to begin heating through while the oven warms up - or just put the oven on a little earlier.
- put the lid on the pan - or if you're using a deep baking tray, cover with foil. Put in the oven, then cook for 45 minutes. You can turn the veggies over after 25 minutes to baste them - though it's not essential.
- remove from the oven and add the halved baby plum tomatoes if using them, and also the halved or quartered olives and sundried tomatoes. There should be a fair amount of juices swilling around. You could also add the beans if you're using them.
- Turn over the veggies to mix in the plum tomatoes and olives evenly and return the pan to the oven - but with the lid or foil removed.
- Cook for a further 20 to 25 minutes and then sprinkle the vegan feta cheese over the top,
- Then scatter the remaining chilli flakes and garlic granules evenly over the dish, and return to the oven for the rest of the time - so it has 45 minutes in total with the lid off.
- chop the parsely with the thicker stalks removed fairly finely. A couple of minutes before you serve the dish, sprinkly the parsley over the dish and return to the oven briefly.