Gemista is a traditional Greek dish, in Greek the word Gemista means stuffed, which is exactly what this dish is. The main vegetables in this dish are tomato, zucchini, eggplant, capsicums. But you can also stuff onions and potatoes. Depending on how many servings or what vegetables you prefer you can modify this recipe as you like. The following recipe is for one tray of Gemista. While making this recipe it is best to use larger veggies so they are easier to stuff. When I make this at home, I double this recipe.
Gemista - Greek Stuffed Vegetables
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 eggplants
- 2 capsicums
- 2 zucchinis
- 4 potaotes
- 1 red onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- salt & pepper
- 1 cup rice for risotto
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup current optional
- Set the oven to 200c fan.
- Cut the zucchinis and eggplant in half lengthways and cut the top off the capsicums and the tomatoes. Make sure to keep the top bits, we will use them as lids.
- Once cut, get a spoon and start to scrape out the inside of the veggies to hollow them out. Make sure to keep all the scrapes as we will use this in the filling. Remove seeds from capsicums and discard.
- Grate the insides of the vegetables so they become fine. If you are in a rush, you can add them to a food processor.
- Add all the grated vegetables into a large pot and season with salt and pepper. Add in a finely diced onion and minced garlic. Then add in all the fresh herbs, parsley, basil, mint, dill, tomato paste, currents and olive oil. Mix until combined. Finally add the rice and cook on the stove for 5 minutes.
- Take the filling off the heat and put to the side.
- In a tray place all you vegetables down, one by one we will start to stuff the veggies. Make sure you place the veggies up right so the filling doesn't fall out. Then stuff with the rice filling.
- Peel your potatoes and cut into wedges. Before adding the potatoes to the tray make sure to season them with salt and pepper (for crispier potatoes deep fry them until they are a little under half cooked). Add potatoes to the tray.
- Drizzle some more olive oil on the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Cover with some foil then cook in the oven.
- Cook for about about an hr until the rice has cooked and the vegetables have softened.
This recipe uses a bunch of fresh vegetables, when my Giagia makes this dish, she normally uses 4 types of vegetables, tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, and capsicums. Though, you can also stuff onions and potatoes. When picking your vegetables, make sure to pick out the biggest tomatoes and zucchinis, you can find. When I made this at home, I couldn’t find big zucchinis, so I hollowed out my zucchini length ways. As stated in my recipe, make sure to keep the tops, we will use them as lids.
When scraping out the insides of the vegetables (besides the capsicums) make sure to put everything in a bowl. We will use the insides for the filling. If you have time, you can grate them, if you’re short for time or just a bit lazy like me, you can add all the filling ingredients (excluding the rice) into into a food processor. Making sure not to over process. Then add the rice. Cook on the stove for about 5 minutes, until the mixture starts to slightly bubble/cook. Time to stuff, when stuffing the vegetables, there is no need to fill right to the top, as the rice will soak up all the moisture and double in size. Before cooking drizzle with some more olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Cook for 1 hour. The vegetables will release their own juices, which will help the rice cook and become super delicious. Wow, just looking at these photos are making me drool. This dish goes perfect with Greek Feta cheese and some fresh bread to soak up all the juices. In my household, the more popular vegetables are the zucchinis and the tomatoes. Personally my favourites to eat are the zucchinis, so I make sure to always add extra.
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