Gemista (Stuffed vegetables)

An iconic Greek, vegan, seasonal dish!

Gemista is one of the “ladera” dishes which means that is cooked with a lot of olive oil.

Choose the seasonal vegetables of your preference (tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplants, zucchinis) and turn them to a delicious and nutritious dish full of aromas from the fresh herbs and the olive oil!

Tip 1: In “ladera” dishes, olive oil is a main ingredient. Choose a very good quality extra virgin olive oil, from a Greek variety, with fruity and herbal aromas and low to medium pungency (ex Athenoelia or Koroneiki) . DO NOT experiment the other vegetable oils, neither with a very pungent and spicy variety.

Tip 2: Gemista are even better the day after and they don’t even need to be reheated! So do not hesitate to load a big tray!

Total time: 1h 30m         Cooking time:  2h         Servings: 6

Ingredients


  • 4 big ripe tomatoes
  • 4 green bell peppers
  • 4 eggplants
  • 4 zucchinis
  • 4-5 potatoes
  • 2 big onions roughly chopped
  • 18 tbsp Carolina rice (1½ tbsp. per vegetable)
  • 4 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • 4 tbsp fresh peppermint chopped
  • 400 gr tomato juice (fresh or canned)
  • 2 cups  Eumelia Athinoelia Monocultivar – Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions


Preheat the oven in 180 °C.

Wash all the vegetables and place them in a big tray. Slice off the top of the tomatoes and remove the flesh using a spoon (always keep and put back the tops of all the vegetables). Turn the tomato flesh to juice in your blender and set aside to use in the rice filling. Slice off the top of the peppers and remove the seeds and white parts from the inside. Slice off the top of the eggplants and zucchinis and remove the flesh, using a sharp and long tool. Chop the flesh of the eggplants and zucchinis in small cubes and set aside, as you will use them later for the filling of the Gemista. Place all the empty vegetables in a large tray.

In a pot, heat 4 tbsp of olive oil and saute the onions until tender and transparent. Add the chopped zucchinis and eggplants and saute until soft. Low the heat and add the rice and stir well to mix it with the vegetables, add more olive oil if needed. Add all the chopped herbs and the tomato juice that you made from the tomato flesh. Season generously with salt and pepper (add some extra salt that will be absorbed by the veggies).  Stir well and cook with closed lid for 5 minutes in very low heat.

Fill up the vegetables with the rice up to ¾ of each vegetable (the rice will increase in volume). Cut the potatoes in big cubes and place them in between the vegetables into the pan.

In the rice pan add the extra 400gr tomato juice, the rest of the olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. If there is any rice filling left use it also in this sauce (Otherwise you can add two extra tbsp of rice. It makes the sauce thicker). Stir well and pour over the vegetables and potatoes.

Cover with baking sheet and then with tin foil and cook in the oven for an hour. After the first hour, remove the tin foil and baking sheet and cook for one more hour.

Enjoy your gemista with feta and dare to dip your bread to the sauce!