Looking for a traditional Greek Gemista/ Yemista recipe (stuffed tomatoes and peppers with rice)? Find out how to bake them to perfection with this locally sourced recipe and secret hints and tips!
- 8 tomatoes
- 4 green bell peppers (or orange, red or yellow if you prefer them sweet)
- 1–2 eggplants
- 5–6 potatoes, cut into wedges
- 2 red onions, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 500g/ 18 oz. rice (for risotto)
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- a small bunch of parsley, chopped
- a small bunch of fresh mint, chopped
- 2 tbsps tomato paste
- 2 tsps sugar
- 2 tbsps of butter
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- olive oil
- 250 grams (8.8oz) beef mince (optional)
- To prepare this delicious Greek stuffed tomatoes recipe, start by preparing your vegetables. Slice off the top of the tomatoes. Using a spoon remove the flesh of the tomatoes and keep it in a bowl. (The flesh of the tomatoes will be the base for the tomato sauce for the Gemista.) Slice off the top of the eggplants and remove the flesh, using a spoon. Cut the flesh of the eggplants in small cubes and set aside, as you will use them later for the filling of the Gemista. Slice off the top of the peppers and remove the seeds and white parts from the inside.
- Place the empty vegetables on a large baking tray. Try to leave the vegetables with as little flesh as possible, but be careful not to poke through their skin. Season the empty vegetables with a pinch of salt and sugar and add a little butter on the bottom of each one.
- Prepare the sauce for the Gemista. In a blender add the flesh of the tomatoes, 5-6 tbsps olive oil, the tomato paste, sugar, season with salt and pepper and mix to combine. Set aside.
- Prepare the filling for the Gemista. In a saucepan add some olive oil and sauté the onions, until translucent. Chop the zucchini in small cubes, add in the saucepan and sauté for one more minute. At the end add the flesh of the eggplants (chopped) and the chopped garlic and sauté, until softened. Add the rice and continue sautéing, unit it becomes transculent. Pour in 1 tin chopped tomatoes, 2 cups of water and season with salt and pepper. Let the filling come to a boil. After 5 minutes the stuffing is ready. It doesn’t need to cook throughout as it will continue cooking in the oven. Remove the pan from the stove and stir in the fresh herbs and taste and season with some more salt and pepper if needed.
- Meat Variation: If you prefer your gemista spiced up with some meat, try sizzling 250grams (8.8oz) of ground beef with the onions in the step above. Once the beef juices have been absorbed and the meat is done, chop the zucchini in small cubes, add in the saucepan and sauté for one more minute. At the end add the flesh of the eggplants (chopped) and the chopped garlic and sauté, until softened. Add the rice and continue sautéing, until it becomes transculent. Pour in 1 tin chopped tomatoes, 2 cups of water and season with salt and pepper. Let the filling come to a boil. After 5 minutes the stuffing is ready. Remove the pan from the stove and stir in the fresh herbs and taste and season with some more salt and pepper if needed.
- Peel and chop your potatoes in bite-sized chunks.
- Assemble the Gemista. Spoon the filling inside the empty vegetables, filling them up by about 2/3rds of the way up. The filling will expand a bit when cooking! Add your potatoes, spreading them out in between the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Finally spoon the filling liquids from step 4 and your sauce from step 3 inside the vegetables until full and pour the remaining in the baking tray. Cover the vegetables with their lids and add 3 cups of water in your baking tray
- Cover the Gemista with aluminium foil and bake in preheated oven at 180C / 350F for 60-75 minutes. Halfway through cooking time, remove the aluminium foil and bake until nicely coloured.
- The Gemista are equally delicious, served either warm or even straight out of the fridge. Just pair them with some salty feta cheese and enjoy!
- Serving Size: 2 pieces
- Calories: 493kcal
- Sugar: 19.6g
- Sodium: 481.7mg
- Fat: 20.6g
- Saturated Fat: 4.6g
- Unsaturated Fat: 15g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 73.8g
- Fiber: 13.8g
- Protein: 9.7g
- Cholesterol: 8.7mg
Keywords: Gemista recipe, Greek stuffed Tomatoes with rice, Greek Yemista