Tuesday 2 August 2011

Gemista, Stuffed tomatoes, peppers, aubergines (Γεμιστά)

This is one of the most summery foods and that’s mainly as the vegetables and mainly the tomatoes are in season now. It is also a vegetarian option, but ever so tasty. Recipe for 4 servings


6 big tomatoes
2 aubergines
4 peppers
100gr parsley (roughly 2 handfuls), chopped
13 spoonfuls of soup rice
1 Onion, grated
1 potato
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper


You need to start with emptying the tomatoes. You cut one thin slice at the top, where the stem is and that becomes the lid. Then the rest of the tomato you empty it either with a teaspoon or there is a specific tool you can do this with. All the ingredients from the inside you keep in a ball, ensuring they are mashed up. Then empty the peppers in the same way, opening them from the top where the stem is and discarding the seeds. Finally the aubergines, check the photo to understand how you open it. With the aubergines you open them so they become like little shoes, horizontally. You keep the inside and mix it with the tomatoes.
In the ball, you also add the rice (the rule is one spoonful of rice for each piece you are filling plus 2-3 spoonfuls extra), the parsley, the onion, 1 ½ ladle of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. You stir the ingredients and then you are ready to fill your vegetables.
You usually need about 2 spoonfuls per tomato and 3 for each pepper and each aubergine. Fill it just before the top, so there is space for the rice to expand without overfilling.
Cut your potato in chunks and drop it in the tray around the veg. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt on top of all and then add 1 ladle of oil and the 2 chopped tomatoes (or a tin of them). Add half a cup of water in the tray.
You should have preheated your oven at 220 degrees and it usually needs 2 hours of baking. After 1 hour and a half, either cover the tray with foil so they don’t burn or turn all the heat at the bottom of the oven.  Once all the water is disappeared and you are only left with the oil in the tray, the food is ready.
Tip: for those of you that can get hold of frumenty (trahanas, τραχανάς), then add 2 spoonfuls of that as well in the mix. It gives the food that extra edge!


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