Gemista (Greek Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers with Rice)

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Gemista (Greek Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers with Rice)

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6 large tomatoes
6 large bell peppers
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 large onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic finely chopped
350 gr non aromatic rice or 1 1/2 heaped tbsp for each vegetable
1 cup white dry wine about 200 ml)
1 organic vegetable bouillon
1 tbsp Sea Salt
Freshly black pepper
3 tbsp dried mint
2 cups tomato pulp puréed (divided)
½ cup Parsley finely copped
3/4 cup Olive Oil
3 large potatoes cut into thin wedges (about 8 pieces)
Salt and pepper
1 cup Water
  • Medium




Gemista or yemista (which in Greek means ‘filled with’) is a traditional recipe for Greek stuffed tomatoes and/or other vegetables that are baked, until soft and nicely browned.  As with most people’s favorite foods, this is also a comfort food for me, but as opposed to many comfort foods this one is healthy. And is a very traditional Greek dish. I usually make them with either tomatoes and red peppers, but you can use different types of vegetables, such as potatoes or green peppers, instead of tomatoes.

How to Make Gemista:

  1. Wash the tomatoes and peppers and put them in a large baking tin.
  2. Slice off the side of the green peppers, cut around the seeds, which remove, as well any veins.
  3. Cut a horizontal slice off the top or bottom side of the tomato. Use a knife to cut off the larger chunks of their flesh and finish by using a teaspoon to scoop out the tomato flesh.  Put it in a food processor and then purée.
  4. Put them in a large baking pan and season the interior with salt.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and sauté the onion until translucent.  Add the garlic and sauté it for a few seconds.  Add the rice (about 1 1/2 heaped tablespoons for each vegetable) and mix until it is wet.  Add the wine and cook for a few minutes until the alcohol evaporates.
  6. Crush the bouillon with your fingers and add it to the rice, together with the mint, raisins, salt, pepper and oregano and mix.
  7. Add half of the puréed tomato and simmer for five minutes or until the juices are absorbed.  Mix in the parsley and set aside to cool.
  8. Fill the tomatoes and peppers with this mixture, but make sure not to over-stuff them, as the rice will expand while cooking and will break your veggies.
  9. Cut the potatoes in the middle and then into thin wedges and sprinkle some salt, pepper and oregano and toss to coat them well.  Add them between the vegetables.
  10. Cover the vegetables with their lids and add the remaining olive oil, the remaining blended tomatoes and water.
  11. Preheat the oven to180o C or 160o C, if fan forced, and bake for about 45 minutes.
  12. Turn the potatoes on the other side and baste the vegetables at least once, in order to keep them moist on the top.  Bake for another fifteen minutes or until the potatoes are golden on top.


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