Baked Mixed Vegetables

Briam

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During our summer holidays, we used to prepare this classic dish early in the morning. We would leave it with the village baker on our way to the beach, then pick it up baked on the way home. The top was always a little burned, but that did not spoil the taste.

Don’t be appalled by the amount of olive oil in the recipe. The vegetables need it to cook, otherwise they will be dry and tasteless. You don’t need to eat it all—you can leave most of it in the pan by serving the vegetables with a slotted spoon.

Serve with fresh Country Bread and feta cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound eggplant, cut in ⅓-inch slices
  • 1 pound zucchini, cut in ⅓-inch slices
  • Sea salt
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 4 medium onions, chopped
  • ½-1 chili pepper, minced, or about ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound medium potatoes, cut in ⅓-inch slices
  • ½ pound green bell peppers, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 cups fresh or good-quality canned tomato puree

Method

Sprinkle the eggplant and zucchini slices with salt and place in a colander. Let drain for 30 minutes, then rinse and drain on paper towels.

Preheat the oven to 400° F.

In a skillet, heat cup olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chili pepper and garlic, mix well, and remove from the heat.

Oil an earthenware baking dish. Arrange alternating slices of potato, eggplant, and zucchini in rows, letting each slice overlap the previous one by two-thirds. Scatter the bell pepper between the rows of the vegetables and sprinkle with the oregano. Pour the tomato puree over the vegetables, season with salt, and top with the rest of the olive oil.

Bake, uncovered, for about 1½ hours, or until the vegetables are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, checking from time to time to see if more water is needed.

Serve warm or cold.

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