Recipes, both original and favorite ones from other authors. Vegetarian with vegan-friendly (most of the time!) options.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Briami and Manestra

Wow, it's been awhile since I posted on my food blog! I've been so busy I haven't even been cooking all that much. The week our church was made a cathedral, I realized that it was a whole *week* that I went without cooking a "real" meal, if you don't count fixing a quick-style huevos rancheros with store-bought refried beans, which I don't. :-)

One thing that's making me busy is the cooking class we're doing at church, though. And it's been so great! I am teaching it tomorrow. I figured I'd better test the recipes tonight. Honestly, though I've eaten it and enjoyed it and knew it'd be very easy, I've never before made either of these recipes. They're just which ones fit best with my vegetarian night. And let me tell you--they were *so tasty.* Hibi was very impressed as well! (That's all who are home tonight to enjoy it, though I know Paul will enjoy some later.)

A note about the vegetables: I know it's beyond eggplant season, just barely but still. And zucchini too. Though when I went to pull out my zuke plant yesterday, I found it still had little tiny zukes on it, and I didn't have the heart! So I left it. Anyway, I do plan to tell the folks that, and that they should really make this in late summer or early fall. But this was scrumptious all the same.

You could substitute other vegetables for the out-of-season peppers or carrots, and in season you could use green beans. I also used rosemary, even though the recipe I was following said to use dill. I don't have dill, and I do have rosemary growing in my garden. This recipe is very conducive to adaptation.

Briami (Roasted Vegetable Casserole)

3 zucchini, cut into 1" rounds
5 large potatoes, cut into 1" rounds
1 eggplant, cut into 1" rounds
1 medium onion, chopped coarsely
4 garlic cloves, chopped coarsely
2 tablespoons mint
2 tablespoons parsley
1 small piece of rosemary
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and place in a large baking pan. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 1 1/2 hours or until all vegetables are tender. Check frequently and add water if vegetables seem dry. Liquid should be absorbed when done.

Manestra (Orzo with cheese)

1 16 oz. package orzo
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup olive oil
mizithra, feta, or parmesan to taste

Cook orzo in boiling water until al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water. Heat butter and olive oil in a skillet until butter is melted, and add orzo. Stir for a couple of minutes. Add cheese to taste.


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