Evie's Gemista - Stuffed Vegetables

Gemista is one of my favourite Greek dishes. Gemista translates as “filled with”. The vegetables we usually stuff are tomatoes, capsicum, zucchini and eggplant filled with rice (and with mince) and baked in the oven. There’s a lot of variations to Gemista, I hope you enjoy my recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 2-3 green capsicums 
  • 2 -3 zucchini’s 
  • 2 red onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 10-12 tablespoons uncooked short grain rice (for risotto)
  • Small bunch of parsley, chopped
  • Small bunch of fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste 
  • 250 grams beef mince (optional)
  • 2-3 potatoes cut in wedges (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
Method:
  1. To prepare, start by washing thoroughly your vegetables. Slice off the top of the tomatoes; using a spoon remove the flesh of the tomatoes and keep it in a bowl. Slice off the the top of the zucchinis and scoop the flesh in a separate bowl. Slice off the top of the capsicums and remove the seeds.
  2. Place the empty vegetables on a large baking tray. Try to leave the vegetables as thin as possible, leaving just a little of the flesh, but be careful not to poke through their skin. 
  3. Prepare the filling for the Gemista by pouring a little olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the onions, until translucent. (Add the mince if you’re using meat and let it cook for 5-7 min). Add the tomato puree from the fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, zucchini flesh, rice, salt and pepper. Continue cooking for another 5 min. Don’t overcook it. The rice should not be soft, because it will soften later during the baking time.
  4. Remove the pan from the stove and stir in the fresh herbs. 
  5. Assemble the Gemista by spooning the filling inside the empty vegetables. (If you want to add potatoes, cut into pieces and place in between the vegetables). Season with salt and pepper. 
  6. Cover the vegetables with their lids, any left over filling you can pour over the vegetables in tray. 
  7. Add 1 cup of water and cover the Gemista with aluminium foil, bake in the oven at 180°C  
    for 60-75 minutes. Halfway through cooking time remove the aluminium foil and bake until nicely coloured.
  8. The Gemista are equally delicious, served either warm or straight out of the fridge. Enjoy!
Serves 8-10

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