Greek Stuffed Vegetables
Stuffed Vegetables is a very popular food in almost all Mediterranean countries. Especially in Greece Stuffed vegetables (called Gemista) is a classic summer food mostly with tomatoes and peppers stuffed with rice and herbs.
To prepare Greek Stuffed Vegetables, this delicious, healthy and colorful Greek food, you will need:
6 medium tomatoes
3 green bell peppers
3 red peppers
For the filling
400 gr. glutinous rice
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1/3 bunch dill, finely chopped
1 bunch fresh mint, finely chopped
Greek olive oil (extra virgin)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
fine sea salt
freshly ground pepper
Finely chop all the onions, put them in a bowl and set aside.
Carefully scoop out the tomato flesh, be sure you do not rip the outer shell.
Mash the tomato flesh in the bowl with your hands and set aside.
Put the flesh in a separate bowl and set aside.
Place the tomato shells in the baking dish stem side down, arranging them nicely.
Slice the tops off of the green and red peppers, cutting about 1 mm under the stem.
Remove any flesh and seeds and arrange them nicely in the baking dish among the rest of the vegetables.
For the filling
Place a pan over heat and add 4 tbs olive oil.
Add your chopped onion. Sauté.
Add the pressed garlic it to the pan. Sauté.
Add 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar. Mix and sauté until the vegetables caramelize.
Add the rice and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until it turns light golden
Add the salt and freshly ground pepper
Add the tomato paste. Sauté.
Add water, about 400ml. and the reserved tomato flesh. Let it simmer for 7 minutes.
Stir and remove from heat.
Add to the pan the finely chopped parsley, dill, and mint. Stir.
Use a spoon to add the filling to the vegetables.
Fill them ¾ of the way because the rice will expand while cooking.
Add 200 ml of water to the baking dish and drizzle with a generous amount of virgin extra olive oil.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 70 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake the stuffed vegetables for another 20 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the stuffed vegetables are well cooked.
To serve the Greek stuffed vegetables, drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil.
note: this tasty vegetarian food is one of those that taste better the day after it has been made!