My own gemista recipe! Cook with me a popular Greek dish, stuffed peppers and tomatoes. Juicy, healthy and with vibrant colors and the taste of summer!
Gemista means ‘stuffed with’ in Greek and is a very traditional dish. And of course you can fill the vegetables with what you have at home or what you like to eat, but three ingredients must always be included: rice for the filling, tomato sauce that the vegetables should “bathe in” in the oven and, finally, feta cheese to put on the top.
I use peppers and tomatoes (note that you will need 2 molds: one for peppers and another for tomatoes: (cooking time is a little different for each of them) but you can also use zucchini. It’s a bit of a chore with the dish and since I am one of the comfortable ones, I prepare everything the evening before we eat gemista and fry in the oven on the day the food is to be eaten. You need to count about 2 stuffed vegetables per person.
Do not forget to serve good bread with the food: some people think that the bread dipped in the sauce is better than the filling, haha. Personally, I think the vegetables taste better the second day than the first day!
- Half a dl of olive oil
- 2 dl water
- 1 tsp salt
- black pepper
- pepper spice (I like to use smoked peppers)
- tomato puree
- 1-2 tomatoes (chopped and without skin)
- pressed garlic
- little honey
Just mix everything and taste with salt and pepper. If you make a large batch, you may need to double the ingredients.
Gemista: prepare vegetables (peppers, tomatoes, zucchini)
Cut off a lid on the tomatoes and dig out with a spoon. Take advantage of all the juice and pulp that you get from the tomatoes. Place in a bowl and set aside. Divide the zucchini into pieces and dig out with a teaspoon, taking advantage of the ingredients. Cut off a lid on the peppers, discard the core. Place vegetables in the tins and, if necessary, cut off some of the rounded edges on the underside of the peppers so that the peppers will be more stable in the tin.
- 3 dl rice (if you use raw rice. My gemista cooks with already cooked rice and then it will be about 6 dl)
- 2 onions
- 4 garlic cloves
- ingredients from tomatoes and zucchini
- 1 chili fruit
- 5-6 mushrooms
- 1 shredded carrot
- 2 bouillon cube
- 1 dl finely chopped parsley
- 0,5 dl finely chopped dill (can be replaced with 3 tablespoons frozen or dried dill or 2 tablespoons dried oregano)
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped mint (can be excluded or replaced with 1 tablespoon dried mint)
- 2-3 tablespoons tomato puree
- 2 or 1,5 dl olive oil for frying
- salt & pepper
- 6 dl water (exclude if you use cooked rice)
Start by chopping vegetables, spices, garlic and onions. Heat plenty of olive oil in a saucepan. Fry the vegetables until they have a nice frying surface. Add pulp from the tomatoes, peppers and zucchini, spices, bouillon cubes, tomato puree and continue frying. Let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- If you use raw rice: pour in the rice and water, stir and let the sauce simmer slowly under a lid until it has absorbed all the liquid, about 20 min. If necessary, dilute with more water if the rice feels too dry and hard, simmer a little more
- If you use boiled rice: put the rice in the casserole
- Stir and taste
Gemista: la grande finale and kali orexi
Preheat the oven to 200 °. Fill all the vegetables, put a piece of feta cheese in the middle, put on the vegetable lid and remember that the tomatoes should be in a separate form! The filling that is left over, you click in the mold around the vegetables. Pour the sauce into the mold and do not skimp: it should be up to 1/3 of the vegetables! Cover the mold tightly with aluminum foil or put on the lid. Cook in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes for the tomatoes and 50-60 for the peppers and zucchini. Remove from the oven, remove the foil (lid) and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Let rest for 10-15 minutes at room temperature before serving. Enjoy gemista with a good loaf of bread and feel free to squeeze a little lemon over the vegetables and sauce. Kali orexi!