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RICE STUFFED VEGETABLES (GEMISTA)

These Greek stuffed vegetables are baked in the oven with potatoes with plenty of extra virgin olive oil. The stuffing is made with rice, herbs, and finely chopped vegetables which makes it a tasty, healthy, juicy, and flavourful summer meal that is easily loved by all.



Yemista

Serves 4

Prep 30 minutes

Cook 1 hour 15 minutes


Potatoes:

2 large white potatoes, washed and diced (leave the skin on)

2 tbs olive oil

sea salt / pepper

Vegetables:

4 ripe tomatoes

1 medium eggplant, cut in half

2 smaller green capsicums

Stuffing:

2 tbs olive oil + extra 3 tbs to drizzle over the top

1 brown onion, peeled and diced

4 green onions/scallions

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

½ cup parsley, finely chopped

½ cup dill, finely chopped

1 carrot, grated

1/4 cup basmati rice

1/2 cup medium grain rice

generous amount of sea salt/pepper

2 cups boiling water + 1/2 cup for tray

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven 180°C fan forced / 200°C conventional oven / 400°F.

  2. Prepare the vegetables. Slice off the top of all the tomatoes and capsicum. For the capsicum, scoop out the seeds and discard them. For the tomatoes, scoop out most of the flesh leaving the outer layer intact and creating a sturdy shell. Finely chop the tomato flesh and set it aside in a bowl.

  3. Prepare the eggplant by cutting it half and then cutting the two ends so the eggplant can stand nicely in the tray. Scoop out the insides of the eggplant, leaving enough on one side so the mixture can sit in, then finely chop the flesh removed and set aside in a bowl.

  4. Place all hollowed vegetables in a baking tray.

  5. To make the stuffing, place a large pan over high heat with the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, green onions, parsley, dill and carrot and salt and pepper and sauté for 2 minutes.

  6. Add to the tomato flesh and eggplant flesh and fry off well for a further 4 minutes, and then add to the pan the rice and boiling water. Let it simmer for 4 minutes stirring occasionally.

  7. Remove from heat and begin assembling by using a spoon to fill the vegetables. Fill them to the top.

  8. In a bowl, add the potatoes and season with sea salt, pepper, and olive oil. Toss. Add them to the baking dish with the stuffed vegetables by spreading them throughout the tray and in between the vegetables. If there is any leftover rice filling, spread it in between the potatoes.

  9. Drizzle over the top of everything with 3-4 tablespoons of all olive oil. Add 1/4 -1/2 cup water to the tray to help the potatoes to cook and cover with a sheet of baking paper and then with a sheet of foil but do not fold in all the sides to allow steam to evaporate (as shown in the photo below).

  10. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  11. Serve with olives and feta.


Step-by-step photos below

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