Laiik Makes Greek Food: Gemista
For our debut Kalo Mina monthly, we're making one of our favorite, go-to Greek recipes, a summer dish that is fresh, light and delightful. Gemista are stuffed vegetables (usually tomatoes and/or peppers) and in this version we made it lathera, or vegetarian. Clad in our Delphine Greek sandals, we headed to the laiki (farmer's market) to grab fresh peppers, ripe tomatoes and much more!
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