Gemista (Stuffed Tomatoes & Peppers)

Gemista (Greek stuffed tomatoes and peppers)
Yields: 4
  • 4 juicy beefsteak® tomatoes
  • 4 sweet bells® peppers
  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • Herby Rice Filling
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup rice
  • ½ cup vegetable broth or water
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cups fresh soft herbs (I used parley, dill, mint), finely chopped
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • Tomato puree
  • 1 juicy beefsteak® tomato, chopped
  • ½ cup vegetable stock or water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano
  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.
  2. Slice the tops off the tomatoes (making a note of which top belongs to each vegetable, as this will look neater when you bake them) and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh and seeds, reserving any juice.
  3. Finely chop the flesh and add it back to the seeds and juice; set aside. Remove seeds and membrane from the bell peppers, rinse inside and drain.
  4. Heat a large skillet until hot, and then add ¼ cup olive oil and the onion. Reduce the heat to medium low and sauté the onions for 8-10 minutes until they are soft and golden.
  5. Add the garlic and rice to the pan and stir for 4-5 minutes, until the rice is well coated in the oil and starting to turn translucent. Add the chopped tomato flesh, stock/water, sugar, and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Simmer, covered, for another 5-7 minutes until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid but still has a bite (the rice will continue to cook in the oven). When it’s ready, you want the filling to be juicy and not dry at all. If too much moisture has evaporated, add another few splashes of stock or water to loosen up the rice.
  7. Meanwhile, make the puree by adding the tomatoes, stock, salt, garlic and oregano to a blender or food processor; whizz until smooth.
  8. When the rice is ready, fill your tomatoes and peppers with the rice mixture. Fill it about three-quarters full, to allow the rice to expand further. Cover with their corresponding tops and place them into a tray that fits them snugly.
  9. Peel and slice the potatoes into wedges. Season the potatoes with sea salt and black pepper and place the potatoes in and around the tomatoes and peppers (this helps to keep them upright while in the oven).
  10. Carefully pour the tomato puree over everything, followed by ¾ cup of olive oil. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 45 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender.
  11. Gemista can be enjoyed hot, or at room temperature, and are even better the next day.

Recipes and blog were created by Hetty McKinnon

Read – Finding Comfort in Family and Food