THE BEST MEAL BY OUR GREEK FRIEND
Do you wonder what Greek people say about the best meal in their country. Here you will find the answer!!
Firstly what is Gemista ?
Gamista it is a basic dish that is mostly served in the summer because the vegetables are the freshest this time of the year. They are basically bell peppers and big mature tomatoes filled with the mix you cook separately. The mix inside the vegetables is mostly rice that is cooked with tomatoes juice and other ingredients to make it more tasteful.
History of gemista…
It is an old recipe from the middle of Macedonia. It is really beloved by the most Greeks despite their age. It is simple and doesn’t require too much time to make, but it is still very nutritious dish than can fill you up and even bring you joy after you’re done ( speaking from experience).
4 green bell peppers
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 puree
2 tbsps sugar
2 tbsps of butter
salt and freshly ground pepper
250 grams beef mince (optional)
SECRET OF PREPARE
- To prepare this delicious Greek stuffed tomatoes recipe, start by washing thoroughly 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 as thin as possible, leaving just a little of the flesh, 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 puree, 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 translucent. Pour in a tin chopped tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. As soon as the liquid has been absorbed, the stuffing is ready. Remove the pan from the stove and stir in the fresh herbs.
- 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 translucent. Pour in 1 tin chopped tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. As soon as the liquid has been absorbed, the stuffing is ready. Remove the pan from the stove and stir in the fresh herbs.
- Assemble the Gemista. Put the filling inside the peppers and add the potatoes (cut into pieces) between the rest of vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and pour the tomato juice (sauce) over the vegetables and in the baking tray. Cover the vegetables with their lids and add 2-3 glasses of water.
- Cover the Gemista with aluminium foil and bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius 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 salty feta cheese and enjoy the meal!