GEMISTA (Rice Stuffed Tomatoes)
Autumn is here and we are seeing the last of the seasonal tomatoes at the grocery stores. Even though tomatoes are a summer fruit, I absolutely love to create a warm hearty meal with them. What better way to celebrate this colourful summer fruit than to make a meal like GEMISTA! These Rice Stuffed Tomatoes are a traditional Greek recipe. Depending on what part of Greece you are from, will depend on what ingredients are used for the stuffing. Some regions add pork or beef mince, feta, cheese, sultanas or nuts to the rice mixture depending again on the region of Greece but I have created a light, delicious, nut free, dairy free, vegan version of this recipe that will keep the whole family happy. I hope you enjoy the light, aromatic and healthy flavours of Gemista. For me, there are so many childhood memories associated with this meal that I am especially excited to share it with you. Enjoy.
8 large tomatoes
3/4 cup long grain / basmati rice
4 tsp + 2 tbs ORGRAN Corn Breadcrumbs
1 medium onion, diced
3 stalks spring / green onions, chopped finely
4 garlic gloves, crushed
1 small zucchini, finely diced
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup dill, finely chopped
2 tsp dried oregano + extra for potatoes
1 tbs tomato paste
2 large potatoes diced 3cm cubes
sea salt / pepper
2 cups boiling water
Preheat the oven 180C.
Peel and dice potatoes. Season with sea salt, pepper, oregano and olive oil.
Slice off the tops of the tomatoes and scoop out the pulp with a spoon. Discard the liquid and seeds and only keep the firm pulp which you need to dice up into small pieces. Place tomatoes in a baking dish big enough to fit tomatoes and spread the potatoes amongst them.
In a frying pan add 2 tbs olive oil, onions, garlic and zucchini and sauté on medium heat for 3 minutes.
Add the rice and sauté for a further minute then add spring onions, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, seasoning, herbs and boiling water. Bring to boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed but not to the point where it has all absorbed. Take off heat. Add 2 tbs @orgran_nutrition corn breadcrumbs into mixture and combine well.
Before spooning rice mixture into tomatoes, add into each tomato 1/2 teaspoon @orgran_nutrition corn breadcrumbs. This adds flavour, texture and absorbs any excess liquid the tomatoes may release whilst cooking.
Spoon and fill the tomatoes with the rice mixture and replace the tops.
Spread the potatoes around the backing dish and add in between any leftover rice mixture (the leftover rice cooks amongst the potatoes and is eaten straight from the dish like you would a paella). Drizzle tomatoes and potatoes with olive oil and add 1/4 cup of water to the dish.
Cover dish with baking paper cut to fit inside the dish allowing steam to escape whilst cooking. Bake for 40 minutes then take off baking paper, reduce heat to 160C and further bake for 20 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature. Either way, they are delicious!