Our go-to Greek summer dish is fresh, light and delicious. Gemista are stuffed vegetables (usually tomatoes and/or peppers) and in this version we made it lathera, or vegetarian.
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 1 hour
Half a kilo of potatoes
6 green peppers
4 tablespoons olive oil
350 grams Glase or short-grain rice
400 ml water
1 Vegetable stock cube
2 garlic cloves
1 large spoon tomato paste
1 table spoon sugar
Salt - generous
Pepper - generous
Bunch of fresh parsley
Bunch of fresh mint
⅓ bunch of Dill
We preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C
For the potatoes
- Cut the potato into wedges, leaving the skin on for extra flavour
- Place your pan on high heat.
- Add 2 tbsp of olive oil, and when hot, add the potato wedges.
- Add salt, pepper and sauté for 4-5 minutes, giving color but not cooking them through.
- Place in a roasting pan
For the vegetables
- With a sharp knife, cut a cap off a tomato approximately 0.5-1cm from the bottom side (It can be cut off at the top side, however this way fits more stuffing)
- Using a spoon, scoop out the contents of the tomato, taking care not to damage the structure so that the filling does not subsequently fall out.
- Empty the tomato flesh into a bowl, and gently break using your hands in order to release the juices.
- Place the tomatoes in the roasting pan with the open side facing upward.
- Cut a cap approximately 0.5-1cm off the top of the peppers
- Remove the inside of the peppers whilst maintaining the outside structure intact.
- Place the peppers in the roasting pan
For the filling
- Finely chop two onions and place in a bowl.
- Heat up two tbsp of olive oil, high heat on a non-stick frying pan
- Sauté the onions.
- Finely chop the garlic, carrot, zucchini and add to the frying pan
- Add a tbsp of sugar and mix 4-5 minutes with a wooden spoon until the vegetables start to caramelize.
- Add a generous amount of salt and pepper
- Add the rice and sauté for 3-4 minutes
- Add 1 tbsp of tomato paste, and sauté
- Mix 400ml water and the vegetable stock cube until fully disintegrated, and then add to the pan
- Straight after, add the tomato juice from the emptied tomatoes
- Turn down the heat as you do not want it to cook here
- Chop the parsley, mint and dill, and add to the mix, taking care to mix well
Putting it all together
- Add olive oil, salt and pepper all over the hollow vegetables in the roasting pan
- Using a spoon, fill in the hollow vegetables just a bit under the top, and cover with their caps
- Place any remaining filling in the spaces between the stuffed vegetables
- Add 200 ml water to the roasting pan
- Add some more olive oil on top of the vegetables, and cover in aluminium foil
- Bake for 1 hour, and then another 20-30 mins without the foil
- Add the required vegetables and potatoes to a plate
- Add some olive oil on top and mint
- Serve with feta cheese, olive oil and oregano on the side