Smoky Tunisian Oven-Roasted Vegetables with Tabil (Τυνησιακό Μπριάμ)

It’s no secret to my regular readers that I favor oven-roasted vegetables.

Roasting vegetables in a hot oven concentrates and develops subtle vegetable flavors that are lost when the same vegetables are boiled, stewed, or fried. Briam (Μπριάμ), a classic Greek medley of roasted vegetables, is one of my favorite ways to serve an abundance of vegetables. (My Briam recipe is in Tastes Like Home: Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska.)

While Briam is what I make most often, grilled and roasted vegetable combinations are popular throughout the Mediterranean region; I like them all. For example, in Tunisia, tomatoes, onions, and peppers are grilled and mixed with Tabil (pronounced “table”), a spice mix containing coriander seeds, caraway seeds, garlic, and dried red peppers, to make a refreshing cold salad called Mechouia.

This weekend I needed a main course, not a salad, but really had a taste for Mechouia. Inspired by a Paul Gayler recipe in A Passion for Vegetables, I decided to combine Tunisian Mechouia with Greek Briam. I used a vegetable combination typical of Briam and, as for Briam, oven-roasted the vegetables. However, instead of the herbs used in Briam, I seasoned the vegetables with Tabil and quickly charred them, two essential elements of Mechouia.

The vegetables can be completely cooked on a grill, in which case, the oven-roasting step is unnecessary. However, when I’m cooking on a stovetop grill pan (as I was yesterday due to the snow), it’s much easier to quickly char the vegetables on the grill pan and then finish cooking them in the oven.

A benefit to pre-cooking the vegetables on the grill is this step can be done well ahead. Although you can skip charring them and completely cook the vegetables in the oven, I don’t recommend it because you lose the smokiness, an important flavor element in this dish.

Be sure to check out the recipes mentioned in this post:


22 Responses to Smoky Tunisian Oven-Roasted Vegetables with Tabil (Τυνησιακό Μπριάμ)

  1. I love Briam Laurie and I like how you have combined it with Mechouia (something I learnt on your blog today). The smoky and spicy combination of these vegetables sound delicious.

  2. That is a sure way to bring vegetables to an elevated form!
    Delicious. I can taste them now.
    I can’t wait to get outside and grill again. Very very soon now 🙂

  3. They really would make a stunning lunch, Laurie. Beautiful sandwiched between that toasted tortilla.

    Haven’t make Tabil for years! Must get back to it – another lovely piece.

  4. Peter M says:

    Sympatico indeed, Laurie! A testament to how popular and far reaching Briam is…all around the Mediterranean. I guess you got the BBQ going, no Alaskan weather’s gonna stop Laurie!

  5. Mike of Mike's Table says:

    Funny, I only just happened to learn of Briam at Peter’s blog and found it delicious, and now I get a double dose! This also looks incredible and like just the kind of thing I need to try as veggie dishes are a weak area for me.

  6. Another Briam today. Both versions sound delicious.

  7. Love the sound of this tabil to spice up roasted vegetables! I’m looking forward to trying this.

  8. winedeb says:

    Wow Laurie, I was just over at Peter’s site reading about his Briam and now come upon your recipe! Your grilled veggies look supreme! But best of all is finding your spice mixture to add to the veggie’s. Going to try this one!

  9. Roasting vegetables is my favorite way to prepare them as well. That meal looks pretty tasty.

  10. Maria V says:

    absolutely beautiful to look at laurie – if we manage to grow vegetables in the garden this year (my husband is still planning on where the hoses are going to go…) i will definitely be trying this one!

  11. Is this the World Wide Weggetables day or what? He, he, I’m seeing veggies everywhere, so I took some small chickens today and stuffed them with veggies 😀

    I love the way you do them in the oven and agree with you… the flavours stay there 😀

  12. I love how you manage to bring flavors of the grill to the table when you’re still surrounded by so much snow! A lovely meal and harbinger of spring.

  13. Hi Laurie! This recipe looks very good. I love my vegetables and I’m always trying to find new and tasty ways to prepare them. And celery root as a skordalia…how genius!

  14. Love this tabil, great way to make roasted vegetables a little different

    Thanks for sharing

    I hope you don’t mind, I’ve tagged you for a meme


  15. All of your recent fabulous veggie posts have made my mouth water, really! I love checking in and it reminds me how much I loved grilled veggies!

  16. nice
    happy weekend

  17. Susan from Food Blogga says:

    I feel like summer is here with that beautiful plate of grilled vegetables. I hadn’t thought to add caraway seeds, so thanks for the deliciously savory idea!

  18. These vegetables look superb Laurie – enough to convert the most hardened carnivore.

  19. Bellini Valli says:

    When I first arrived on the island of Kea in Greece I walked to the top of a hill in the Hora and sat at a small taverna and had their versdion of this dish. Perfect:D

  20. Hi Laurie,

    Every time I visit here, it’s more wonderful! I haven’t been motivated to cook much for months, but you are inspiring! So happy for you with this blog, you’ve taken to it like a duck to water and it seems to be flourishing!

    Think of you often, especially now, as it’s one year since I was in Greece. Sending warm thoughts for a happy and healthy spring!

  21. your twist on roasted vegetables are great. will add this to my dinner repertoire. thanks laurie.

  22. I’m back from my birthday break to find a wonderful assortment of comments – thank you all!

    Peter G, I pretty much love smoky vegetables any way I can have them, don’t you?

    Maryann – if you don’t have a cast iron grill pan, you should buy one ASAP! I use mine all the time.

    Lucy, it’s hard to go wrong with any of the Middle Eastern/North African spice mixes.

    Peter M, sadly, no BBQ yet. But soon….

    Mike, yes, Peter and I are definitely on the same track. I can’t wait to start reading about your veggie experiments.

    Ivy, funny how it turned out that way – a testament to how good Briam can be.

    Rosa, I hope you like it!

    Winedeb, caraway has never been one of my favorite spices, but in Tabil, it is really delicious.

    Kevin, thank you!

    Maria, you WILL have a garden this year, I’m sure of it.

    Nuria, WWW – HA! Your stuffed chicken sounds wonderful.

    Manju – one thing about living in a cold climate is that you can’t let it hold you back – and I need my grilled food no matter what the weather is last night.

    Bijoux, that celery root skordalia is really good – and very very healthy. Then again, I pretty much love skordalia, no matter what it is made with.

    Joanna, thanks for thinking of me. I’ve already done that meme. Well, at least I answered one of the questions — turned out that was enough!

    Lannae, if I’ve inspired you to grill some veggies, that makes me very happy!

    Carmen, thanks!

    Susan, it really is a surprising use of caraway seeds, but one that works very well.

    Cakelaw, just think of it as omnivore training!

    Val, you’ve just described the very best way to enjoy Briam. Lucky you!

    Tay, we recently planted some corn poppy seeds and I thought of you when I planted them. A happy and healthy spring to us all and, hopefully, you’ll get back to Greece very soon.

    Maybahay, hope you like it!

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