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Tourlou Tourlou / Briam

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tourlou tourlou of summer vegetables

tourlou tourlou of summer vegetables

Tourlou tourlou, which literally means all mixed up, is really the most wonderfully delicious mix up of vegetables!  Perfect for summer when garden fresh veggies are everywhere, a few simple ingredients and you’re on your way to one of the best traditional vegetable meals in all of Greek cooking.

This dish also goes by the name briam from the Turkish version and is also very similar to the traditional French dish ratatouille. Full of flavor and so satisfying, you can enjoy tourlou tourlou hot right from the oven or the next day at room temperature. Serve as a filling meal or as a tasty veggie side dish to just about anything and its a great take for lunch option too!

One of my favorite things about tourlou tourlou is its amazing flexibility. This dish can accommodate whatever is in season and can be made with a huge variety of vegetables.  I’ve given you probably the most traditional choices here  and I’d recommend you start with this version below for your first time so you get the feel of the recipe. Then maybe your second time around, try switching and swapping out different vegetable options.  I’ve used okra, green beans, peas, green peppers, mushrooms – feel free to get creative! And remember to share your favorite vegetable combinations in the comments below 🙂

traditional mix - zucchini squash, eggplant, potatoes

traditional mix – zucchini squash, eggplant, potatoes

I prefer to use a large ceramic or stoneware casserole dish for this recipe. It also works well in a large baking pan or an authentic round Greek pan.  Its important, whatever pan you use, to make sure you don’t have more than I’d say 4 inches of layered vegetables.  Much more than that and it will not only take forever to cook but some of your lighter vegetables will dry out before the dish is cooked through. My yiayia used the four-finger  width rule as her guide and thats another good way to go. Don’t worry about being too exact, just be aware as you’re stacking. It’s often better to use a wider pan to help keep your layer height under control.

onions, garlic, crushed tomatoes and fresh basil

onions, garlic, crushed tomatoes and fresh basil

You can choose to cut your vegetables into chunky, rough cut pieces or into slices.  I usually go with slices and not just because I like the finished look better (which I do!) but because the dish cooks quicker and more evenly in my experience.  Certainly, if you’re running short on prep time and can keep your tourlou tourlou in the oven an extra half hour or so go with the chunky version – both are just as yummy!

layered, sliced vegetables

layered, sliced vegetables

And you can also change up your herb options.  I usually stick to basil and sometimes add oregano, depending on whats closest at hand, but you can certainly add mint and or dill also.  The flavor of course is a bit different but all are equally tasty in their own ways. Whatever herbs you choose, make sure to chop them thinly so they are dispersed throughout the dish.

You’ll notice that tomatoes are listed twice in the ingredients below. Once is for the tomatoes that will be layered in with all of the other vegetables and the second time for the tomatoes that will be peeled and crushed then mixed with water to pour over the top of your layers. If needed, you can substitute canned, crushed tomatoes in a pinch – just remember to drain off the liquid from the can before adding the water.

A quick guide to peeling tomatoes: Cut a small cross on the bottom of your tomatoes and add to a pan of boiling water.  Remove pan from heat and allow tomatoes to sit for 5 minutes. Remove tomatoes from water and when cool enough to handle, gently peel skin down the sides of tomato from the cross marks. Then just given them a good mash with the back of a fork.

quick, easy way to peel tomatoes

quick, easy way to peel tomatoes

And always start your pan with a good coat of olive oil before you begin layering in vegetables. I strongly recommend your first layer always be the potatoes. They’ll take the longest to cook and seem to work best at the very bottom. Make sure to add 1/2 your basil, onions, garlic and tomato slices right on top of the potatoes – they just soak all those yummy flavors right in!

coat pan with olive oil and add first layer of potatoes, tomatoes, basil

coat pan with olive oil and add first layer of potatoes, tomatoes, basil

Ingredients

2 cups sliced eggplant (approx 2 medium eggplants)

2 cups sliced zucchini squash /green or yellow or combination of both (approx 2 medium squash)

3 cups sliced potatoes (2 large baking potatoes)

1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onions (1 medium sweet white onion)

6 large cloves garlic (sliced very thinly)

3 cups sliced tomatoes (approx 4 large ripe tomatoes)

3 tbsp sliced fresh basil

1 cup olive oil

1 tsp salt/ 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

2 cups peeled, crushed tomatoes (approx 3 large tomatoes)

1/2 cup water

1/2 tsp sugar

Instructions

Peel and crush tomatoes. Add water/pinch of sugar, mix well to combine and set aside.

Start with 1/2 cup oil on bottom of casserole dish and layer vegetables in the following order

All potato slices, 1/2 tomato slices, 1/2 garlic slices, 1/2 onion slices, 1/2 tsp salt/pepper, 1/3 basil

All eggplant slices, 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 garlic slices/ 1/4 onion slices, 1/2 tsp salt/pepper, 1/3 basil

All zucchini slices, remaining garlic, onion, basil, tomato slices and salt /pepper

Drizzle top generously with remaining olive oil and pour peeled, crushed tomatoes over the top.

Bake uncovered in 400 degree oven for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

To test for doneness – check that potatoes are fork tender.  You may need to leave dish in the oven another 15 minutes or so depending on the thickness of your slices.

**Increase baking time by approx 20-30 minutes if using chunky cut vegetables instead of sliced.

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24 Responses to Tourlou Tourlou / Briam

  1. VICTORIA MASCARO-RICISAK August 20, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

    OMG, THIS WAS TO DIE FOR…….MADE IT TWO NIGHTS AGO AND AGAIN THIS EVENING…..THANK YOU!!!!

    • Kiki August 20, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

      I know!! Isn’t it amazing?? So so glad you enjoyed it as much as we do, Kiki 🙂

    • Barb krak October 12, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

      Can you add feta to the recipe?

      • Kiki October 12, 2015 at 7:58 pm #

        not too sure, as I never have myself, but Greeks traditionally add feta to many vegetable dishes so it just might work! Kiki 🙂

      • Tommy November 14, 2016 at 7:07 pm #

        Serving the finished dish with a large piece of feta on top is quite traditional.

  2. Birgitte September 12, 2014 at 12:46 am #

    We love your recipes at THEIA cph. They are a big inspiration ! Will try your version of Tourlou Tourlou tonight 🙂

    • Kiki September 12, 2014 at 8:23 am #

      So glad you found us, please let me know how you like it! And love your blog 🙂 Kiki xx

      • Birgitte September 17, 2014 at 2:17 am #

        Hi Kiki
        I googled Tourlou Tourlou and found you 🙂 and realized I had found a wonderful blog – a big inspiration for me since my Cypriot boyfriend and I are vegetarians 5 days af week ! 🙂
        Please, follow Pernille and I at http://www.theia-cph.dk. We will launch a webshop within soon !

  3. Xenia February 1, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

    I’ve been looking for a briam recipe that would please my Greek husband for a looong time. It’s hard to find recipes that yield authentic results, but this one is AMAZING! Can’t wait to try your other recipes. You have a new fan!

  4. Arleen Winegar May 17, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

    i made something similar to this but sautéed them all in a huge electric skillet. I used a bit of cocoanut oil and a little veggie broth. It was delicious, but am dying to try your baked version .. It looks so good !!!

  5. machi August 28, 2015 at 12:07 am #

    Hello, I cooked this today and my 3year old ate the whole thing. However to make it more childfriendly I also added red peppers, green beans, corn and peas. It is like a rainbow!

  6. Melissa August 31, 2015 at 12:33 am #

    I love briam but get home from work too late to cook it on weeknights. Can you make this in a crock pot??

    • Kiki August 31, 2015 at 8:32 pm #

      Someone did tell me once how they cooked this in a crock pot and with good success! Let me hunt down the email and I’ll get back to you 🙂

  7. Eleutheria September 9, 2015 at 6:39 am #

    I love all your recipes. I have health issues and need to cut the oil-sugars and replace processed flours. (I’m unable to have sweets!) Begeno etsi!

    Efxaristo Para Pano

    • Ann January 25, 2016 at 8:08 am #

      I make it in a crockpot and it is delicious.

      • Joshua February 12, 2017 at 12:10 pm #

        how long in a crock pot?
        \

  8. Maria September 9, 2015 at 3:48 pm #

    This was delicious. It was very easy to make and my family loved it! Thank you!!

  9. Sia September 10, 2015 at 10:58 am #

    Loved it!!!!! Can’t get enough 🙂

  10. Mila September 10, 2015 at 11:25 am #

    Yes yes yes! This looks so fantastic! I love a good veggie stew!!! And this looks right up my alley!

  11. gregoria pichardo July 8, 2016 at 7:35 pm #

    I’m from a Greek family and my mom and dad used to cook this a lot.. I thank you for these wonderful recipes, and there are a few that even I as a Greek never heard of but look similar to the parts of Greece that they were from..I really am enjoying your site and will definitely try out the ones I haven’t heard of which look splendid.. so thank you and I will be sharing my experiences with you. If I have an authentic Greek recipe that you don’t have I will send to you as well… thanks…

  12. Sophia August 13, 2016 at 10:40 am #

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! It brought back fond memories of when my Yiayia would arrive at our house after a day of cooking with tourlou and rizogalo in tow on a summer day. After making this the delicious smell of roasted veggie goodness wafted through the air and I had to smile, smells just like Yiayia’s house always used to smell. The veggies were so good, as a child I would eat them straight out of the refrigerator, cold. I made mine with potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, onions, carrots, and green beans…just like Yiayia used to make. 🙂

  13. Joyce (Zoe) August 14, 2016 at 11:53 am #

    I had forgotten about tourlou. My mother (her parents were from Istanbul and Aretsou in Turkey) used to make this – or something similar. At any rate. I am going to give it a shot tonight and plan to be wowed. Thank you so much for publishing these wonderful recipes that remind me so much of my family Kiki.

  14. Casey February 26, 2017 at 6:34 pm #

    Made this except with grape tomatoes and fingerling potatoes because it was all I had… still turned out soooooo delicious. I also made your stewed artichokes. Love these recipes!

  15. Alexandra April 13, 2017 at 10:06 pm #

    I made this for dinner tonight. Delicious! I had to cook it for an hour and 45 minutes — maybe due to the size of my vegetable slices. I love your recipes. One of the greatest regrets of my life is that I never learned how to cook Greek food from my Yia Yia. She was a fabulous cook. I am trying to make up for that by teaching myself through you and others who are kind enough to post your family recipes. Thank you!

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