Closet Cooking Logo

Gemista (Greek Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers)

Gemista (Greek Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers)


There are so many great vegetables at the farmers market these days and with the temperatures cooling down I am no longer as hesitant about having the oven going for long periods of time. Being able to have the oven on opens up the possibility of slowly roasting those vegetables from the farmers market to bring out their full flavour. One of the roasted vegetable dishes on my to do list was gemista/yemista or Greek stuffed vegetables. When I visited Greece on vacation last year I had the opportunity to sample both stuffed tomatoes and stuffed peppers and I enjoyed them so much that I wanted to try making them at home. What surprised me about the gemista was how simple they seemed ingredient wise and yet they were so full of flavour! My feeling was that using high quality ingredients and slowly roasting them into caramelized perfection was what made them so good. I decided to wait until it was tomato and red pepper season to try making the gemista so that I would be starting with perfectly ripe specimens.

The gemista that I had in Greece were vegetarian but I wanted to try a meat version and I was thinking about using lamb but since I had just had lamb recently I decided to go with beef. From there I went with some standard Greek ingredients including some oregano and a bunch of fresh herbs. I used a simple tomato sauce in the filling and I roasted the tomatoes in the sauce to give it even more flavour. The stuffed peppers and tomatoes were pretty easy to make, you pretty much just mix the filling ingredients, stuff the tomatoes and peppers and slowly roast them in the oven. The hardest part about the recipe was waiting for them to slowly roast while they were filling my place with an amazing aroma. When I pulled the gemista out of the oven the tomatoes and peppers were roasted to perfection and they were so soft and tender that you could easily cut through them with a fork. The filling was nice and moist and juicy and just it was just packed with flavour. I served the gemista with a slab of feta which made for a really tasty meal.

Gemista (Greek Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers)

(makes 8 servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
8 peppers and/or tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion (diced)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 cup tomato sauce (I used a simple roasted tomato sauce)
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup herbs such as parsley, dill and mint (chopped)
1/4 cup arborio rice
1 pound ground beef
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:
1. Cut the tops off of the peppers and tomatoes and remove the seeds from the peppers and the insides of the tomatoes reserving them.
2. Heat the oil in a pan.
3. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
5. Add the reserved tomato guts, tomato sauce and oregano and simmer until it thickens and remove from the heat.
6. Mix the tomato sauce, herbs, rice, ground beef, salt and pepper.
7. Stuff the mixture into the peppers and tomatoes and place them in a baking dish.
8. Pour the water and olive oil into the baking dish.
9. Bake in a preheated 375F oven until the liquid has evaporated and the peppers and tomatoes are roasted until slightly caramelized, about 1-2 hours.

Similar Recipes:
Kolokithakia Gemista (Stuffed Courgettes) with Avgolemono Sauce
Chili Rellenos
Eggplant Wrapped Kebabs Baked in Tomato Sauce
Melitzanes Papoutsakia (Stuffed Eggplant)
Moussaka
Imam Baildi
Gigantes Plaki (Greek Baked Beans)
Mini Pepper Nachos with Corn, Black Beans and Avocado

35 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

There's DEFINITELY an abundance of fabulous produce to take advantage of this season - love it!! And I love that stuffed dish :)

Anh said...

This is going to be my dinner tonight!

Lady P said...

yummers yet again! can't believe you have so little time before your Thanksgiving! i am just begin

Queen B. said...

ohhhhhh my goodness.........ok..i'll be right over :)

Amy said...

I love stuffing food with other food. It makes for the perfect edible container - like soup inside a bread bowl.

Love stuffed peppers. This sounds great.

GarlicBOSS said...

Kevin, great flavors in this dish...thanks

Jenn said...

Yum!!I love stuffed peppers and tomatoes. That looks really good.

Christina said...

Oh, we LOVE stuffed peppers around here! I'll have to give this one a try! Beautiful presentation! :)

Natalie said...

Wow this looks so delicious and perfectly charred on all sides. I would love to make this with a quinoa filling for me, and the beef filling for my boyfriend!

I can not wait until the rain stops in Dallas and I can finally make it to the market for some great Fall produce.

Lynda said...

These are fantastic looking stuffed peppers, and delicious comfort food!

Deborah said...

Now I'm wishing for the garden back!

♥peachkins♥ said...

This is very beautiful,Kevin!

Nina Timm said...

Here in SA we are in the middle of a huge battle over the price of electricity so we are trying to avoid keeping the oven on for too long. I will most definitely risk the possibility of blowing my budget for this delicacy!!!!

Dominique said...

Do you know the recipe of Santorini tomatoes? http://devousamoi-dominique.blogspot.com/2009/08/tomates-cerises-de-santorin.html .If you like greek recipes, it's for you! and thanks for yours...

Amanda said...

This looks delish Kevin. I'm so jealous of your trip to Greece!

Cucinista said...

Those roasted peppers look incredible. And yes, the bounty of early Fall is wonderful but a bit daunting -- have somehow ended up with 3 squash on my counter and not enough recipes for them.

angela@spinachtiger said...

Gorgeous
Stuffed tomatoes are a favorite in this house.

Joanne said...

You are so smart to use these veggies while they are at their prime. Nothing beats slow roasted peppers and tomatoes, especially not when they are stuffed to perfection and then accompanied with some feta. yum!

teresa said...

all of your greek dishes really make me want to go traveling, so delicious!

Kerstin said...

I agree, it's so nice being able to turn on the oven again! Love your stuffed peppers, they look delicious.

mycookinghut said...

I definitely love this!

Simply Life said...

Yum! Looks like a great meal!

nooschi said...

It is definitely a great time of year for good produce at the markets. Your stuffed peppers look great and the red pepper looks nicely charred.

Jeanne said...

Mmm, I love stuffed peppers (although I don't do stuffed tomatoes often enough!) - these look perfectly charred too. Gorgeous!

Jan said...

I LOVE Greek stuffed peppers and tomatoes - you've done a great job there as always Kevin!

Anonymous said...

Thank you sooo much for the stuffed red pepper. I made it last night and it was perfect. The light balance of fresh herbs was just perfect.

Pam said...

I was looking for another stuffing recipe to try for peppers. This one sounds good!

Zoe said...

My grandmother is famous for her stuffed peppers. It's my favorite comfort food.

TheRoosterChick said...

Mmmm... so rustic and yummy.

Efi said...

wonderful recipe... cooked them tonight! so much flavor with the herbs. the inside was so moist and tasty!

qwes said...

yummy. the traditional ones is way too oily. I avoid eating meat though. Thanks for the recipe!

Jaya said...

This looks great! Do you use uncooked rice or do you cook it first?

Kevin Lynch said...

Jaya: The rice is mixed in raw and it cooks as the entire dish bakes.

Corrie said...

Is the ground beef raw or cooked before stuffing?

Kevin Lynch said...

Gemista: Yes, the beef goes in raw and it will cook in the 1-2 hours of baking.

Post a Comment