Briami inspired by Cat Cora

Last month, my family and I took photos and celebrated my birthday dinner at Cat Cora’s Kouzzina at Disney’s Boardwalk.  I had never even heard of Briami before, but as soon as I read the menu description, I knew I wanted to try it.

Cat Cora inspired Briami recipe from the restaurant Kouzzina.

Traditional Greek Briami is a dish of oven roasted vegetables with cheese.  Chef Cora took it up a notch by serving it over an herbed orzo.  It was fantastic!  I even put a photo of it on Instagram and promised I’d try to replicate the dish for you, so here’s what I came up with!

Lovely vegetarian Briami recipe at Amanda's ApronBriami Recipe as inspired by Cat Cora serves 4
about 1C organic vegetable stock I used low sodium
1C shredded cheese Cat used Mazithra but I had mozzarella and parmesan on hand
3/4C orzo pasta I used whole wheat
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1/2 sweet onion
1/2 yellow bell pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
3-5 garlic cloves
handful fresh parsley
dried oregano to taste
Montreal steak seasoning to taste
salt to taste especially when using low sodium stock
Ingredients for Amanda's version of Greek Briami inspired by Cat Cora's Kouzzina Restaurant in Disney's BoardwalkThe longest part of this dish is the roasting of the vegetables.  Preheat the oven to 450.  The types of vegetables used in this dish require two different roasting times.  I first chopped the bell pepper and onion in large bite size pieces and placed them in a small pan, and just splashed a little bit of vegetable stock in the pan to keep them from sticking to the bottom.  Olive oil could be used instead, but I wanted to try to keep this dish as low fat as possible.

Healthy vegetarian fare at Amanda's Apron

Roast the peppers and onions in the preheated 450 degree oven for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, chop the rest of the veggies, garlic, and parsley, and cook the orzo according to its instructions, but undercook it by about 2 minutes.  Mine required 9 minutes in boiling water (so I boiled it for 7), and it said to simply drain the pasta at the end of cooking, rather than rinse it.  If using white orzo, the instructions may slightly differ.  The draining is a key step to getting rid of excess starch.

Chopping ingredients for a healthy Greek Briami recipe | Amanda's ApronAfter the peppers and onions have roasted for five minutes, add the squash, zucchini, and garlic to the pan, topping with even more vegetable stock.  Stir the vegetables around for even roasting.

Zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, onion, and garlic make this a fresh, delicious Briami | Amanda's Apron

Cover the veggies generously with oregano, steak seasoning (my favorite spice combo for vegetables,) and even salt if you wish.

Oven roasted vegetables Greek Style | Amanda's Apron

Place the vegetable pan back in the oven for 15-20 minutes.  Meanwhile drain the orzo, add in the parsley and at least 1/2 cup of vegetable broth.  I also added a few dashes of salt here since the broth hardly had any in it.  We want the orzo to soak up a bit of the flavor of the broth and parsley, and become very moist.

Vegetable gives whole wheat orzo pasta great flavor | Amanda's ApronContinuously stir the orzo, as if making risotto, to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Once the orzo has soaked up most of the vegetable stock and the veggies are fully roasted, it’s time to assemble the dish.  You know the vegetables are ready when they are all soft.

Healthy Greek Briami recipe that can easily be vegan | Amanda's Apron

At Kouzzina, my meal was served in an individual skillet which was darling presentation.  I didn’t have enough mini skillets, so I combined in one large skillet, serving it family style.

Place the herbed orzo mixture in the bottom of the skillet and top with vegetables.  If the orzo mixture seems to dry, add in a little more vegetable broth.  Top the whole mixture with more herbs and spices if you’d like and finish with cheese.  My veggies and pan were so hot that the cheese started to melt as soon as I dropped it on.

Vegetarian Greek Briami recipe inspired by Cat Cora | Amanda's ApronPlace the skillet in the oven one final time.  I let the cheese melt at the 450 degrees for about 2 minutes, then I broiled the dish (which was on the middle rack) for about 5 minutes to let the cheese and the tops of the veggies slightly brown.  Serve hot!

Delicious Briami and orzo inspired by Cat Cora's Kouzzina RestaurantSo delicious!  Enjoy!

Cat Cora inspired Briami and orzo at Amanda's Apron food blogAnd here is one of our many great family photos taken by Suzi Ibanez Photography – she’s great for all of you who live in Central Florida!

Family photo at Disney's Boardwalk Hotel


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    • Amanda on July 15, 2013 at 2:00 pm said:

      Haha! I’m definitely not Greek, but think I recreated the restaurant dish well. I am planning to go to Greece next year, so I’ll check out the authentic stuff!

  • Robert on January 1, 2014 at 2:27 pm said:

    My wife loved this dish from trying it at the Boardwalk restaurant. I made it last night using your recipe and it as a big hit! I also substituted mozzarella and parmesan, and I added some cooked whitefish – about 1.5 lbs of flounder – to the dish at the end. Worked very well! I know it is probably not so greek, but we loved it. Thanks so much for giving us the re-creation!!!

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