This very delicious rustic vegetarian dish takes advantage of in-season vegetables (all year round). The vegetable filling mixture comprises of rice and fresh herbs. The vegetables are baked for up to 1 hour and are ready when the vegetable stuffing mixture is soft in texture. A very comforting and healthy dish.
Served with a nice garden salad and feta cheese either crumbed and spread over the top of the vegetables or cut into cubes and served on the side. This dish is best accompanied by a glass of Shiraz (red wine).
Greek stuffed vegetables (Gemista recipe)Course: Main, VegeterianCuisine: GreekDifficulty: Medium
variety of vegetables such as eggplants, zucchinis and tomatoes, enough to fill a baking tray
5 – 6 onions (finely chopped)
2 – 3 garlic cloves (finely grated – optional)
leek – bunch (finely chopped)
olive oil (as required)
red wine (quarter cup)
salt & pepper (to taste)
white rice – 3 cups (medium grain)
spring onions – bunch (finely chopped)
parsley – bunch (finely chopped)
mint – bunch (finely chopped)
mild chilli – small (finely chopped)
4 tomatoes (finely grated)
1 cup of tomato puree
lemons (juice of 3 lemons)
2 cups of water
- Wash vegetables thoroughly and slice off the tops.
- Using a spoon or knife remove inner flesh of vegetables in a separate bowl – inner flesh will be finely blended and added into the vegetable stuffing mixture in a later step.
- Make tiny slits on the sides of vegetables and set aside, setting aside tops of vegetables also.
- For eggplant add salt to the inner side and spread evenly, setting aside for up to 10 minutes – turn eggplant upside down and discard salt juices – washing eggplant thoroughly and setting aside.
- Using a vegetable peeler, half peel zucchini and eggplant skin.
- Add olive oil (approx. 2 tablespoons) to a hot pan.
- Once the oil starts to sizzle add onions and garlic (garlic optional), mixing ingredient until soft.
- Add leek and combine by mixing for a further few minutes before adding red wine.
- Mix ingredients allowing red wine to reduce slightly before adding rice and continuing to blend into the mixture for approximately 5 minutes.
- Add vegetable flesh mixture (blended inner vegetable flesh) and mix into the mixture before adding spring onions, parsley, mint and chilli.
- Combine all ingredients, adding tomatoes combining into the mixture.
- Add Salt (approx. 2 tablespoons) and pepper (approx. 1 tablespoon) combining into the mixture before adding tomato puree and lemon juice (half of the juice of 3 lemons).
- Remove pan from heat.
- Fill vegetables with the mixture, all the way to the top and place in a deep baking dish and cover vegetables with their lids.
- Add 2 cups of tap water to the base of the baking dish, applying extra olive oil on top of vegetables (light drizzle).
- Cover baking dish with baking paper and aluminium foil, baking @ 180 C for 30 minutes.
- Uncover baking dish and apply the rest of the lemon juice over all the vegetables.
- Cook uncovered for a further 20 minutes or until rice mixture is soft in texture.
- Set aside for 10 minutes before serving.
Did you know that the Greek word Gemista “gemizo” means stuffing?