This skillet calamari with zucchini is incredibly fast, flavorful and nutritious. If the calamari is cleaned, it takes only 10 minutes to prepare, it needs very little cooking over a very high heat. My cast iron pan is ideal for this and I am so…
This braised beef with zucchini (or courgettes if you prefer) is a classic Greek summer dish. By early summer, the farmers’ market stalls are filled with bright green zucchini and sun blushed tomatoes, perfect for this delicious casserole. As my grandmother used to make it,…
This is a classic summer dish that I keep making well into October as the produce and the weather is still so summery. A little bit of sausage goes a long way in persuading my kids to happily down this trayful of veggie goodness. As always the sausage is fresh (preserved only in the freezer i.e.), handmade, with natural intestine and grassfed minced meat with a little salt and spices.
One way I encourage children to taste more vegetables is by not “hiding” them constantly in sneaky recipes (though that helps too), but to prepare them in large enough pieces, so that they can leave what they do not want on the edge of their plate. I don’t think that forcing someone to taste any type of food is the best basis for developing a good relationship with it. At the same time, I do not remove ingredients from their plate when I’m serving dinner. This way they don’t get upset when they see something they don’t like in their portion, because it looks familiar and they know they can leave it aside without comment. Sometimes though it really works out wonderfully, for example this time they decided to try the eggplant that they’ve avoided all summer.
Back to our “Briam” now. In order for everything to cook evenly and for the flavors to blend together, we will need to our vegetables carefully in order for them to cook through in the same time. So the potatoes will be cut into thin slices, with the help of the mandolin, the peppers and eggplants in bites of 3 cm, the zucchini in slices of 2 cm. And the onions in 1 cm wedges. You can add the sausage whole from the beginning, or get it in halfway through in large pieces, in order to allow its juices is mix in with the vegetables imparting wicked flavor.
- 2 Eggplants
- 1/2 a cup of olive oil
- 6 potatoes, thinly sliced
- 4 peppers
- 4 zucchini
- 2 onions
- 3 ripe tomatoes
- 1/2 bunch parsley
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4 sausages, fresh, in large pieces, about 400 gr. in total
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200 C. Cut the eggplants into 3 cm bites, put them in a colander and salt them well. Leave them aside to sweat. Cut the potatoes into 0.5-1 cm thin slices. Put them in a large bowl, add salt and pepper and half the oil and mix well to coat. Pour into a large baking pan and put them in the oven.
Cut the peppers into 3 cm bites and add them to the mixing bowl from the potatoes. Cut the zucchini in half and then into 2 cm slices and add to the bowl. Finally, cut the onions into wedges, leaving the root at the bottom so that they stay together and don’t fall apart. Add the onions to the rest of the vegetables. Rinse the eggplants well and squeeze them to get rid of the liquid. Add them to bowl. Blend the garlic, tomatoes, parsley, remaining oil and the salt and pepper together. Pour the tomato sauce over the vegetables and mix them well. Add them to the baking sheet with the potatoes and let them cook together for 20 minutes.
Once they are half-done, add the sausage pieces. Roast for another 20 minutes until all the vegetables are tender and softened. Leave the baking pan covered with a towel to recover a little and serve with bread and feta cheese.
Of course this is in itself an excellent, vegetarian dish that does not need the sausage to stand out the table. But it does makes the kids happy, so you know how it goes…