Following on from last week’s edition featuring Chef Nektaria from Karma Minoan resort, we’re thrilled to share another one of her authentic Greek recipes – baked tomatoes stuffed with delicious Mediterranean veggies, herbs, and flavour!
Gemista is a traditional Greek dish that can be served vegetarian or with meat. Chef Nektaria explains that the secret of this traditional dish is the rice that should be juicy with lots of onions and fresh herbs.
Don’t just take our word for it. As one recent guest said: ‘Could never believe that a healthy meal could be this tasty.’
Make sure you try this dish on your next vision to Karma Group’s boutique Greek island resort.
To prepare this delicious Greek stuffed tomatoes recipe, start by washing thoroughly your vegetables. Slice off the top of the tomatoes; using a spoon remove the flesh of the tomatoes and keep it in a bowl. (The flesh of the tomatoes will be the base for the tomato sauce for the Gemista.) Slice off the top of the eggplants and remove the flesh, using a spoon. Cut the flesh of the eggplants in small cubes and set aside, as you will use them later for the filling of the Gemista. Slice off the top of the peppers and remove the seeds and white parts from the inside. Place the empty vegetables on a large baking tray. Try to leave the vegetables as thin as possible, leaving just a little of the flesh, but be careful not to poke through their skin. Season the empty vegetables with a pinch of salt and sugar and add a little butter on the bottom of each one.
Prepare the sauce for the Gemista. In a blender add the flesh of the tomatoes, 5-6 tbsps olive oil, the tomato paste, sugar, season with salt and pepper and mix to combine. Set aside.
Prepare the filling for the Gemista. In a saucepan add some olive oil and sauté the onions, until translucent. Chop the zucchini in small cubes, add in the saucepan and sauté for one more minute. At the end add the flesh of the eggplants (chopped) and the chopped garlic and sauté, until softened. Add the rice and continue sautéing, unit it becomes transculent. Pour in 1 tin chopped tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. As soon as the liquid has been absorbed, the stuffing is ready. Remove the pan from the stove and stir in the fresh herbs.
Meat Variation: If you prefer your gemista spiced up with some meat, try sizzling 250grams (8.8oz) of ground beef with the onions in the step above. Once the beef juices have been absorbed and the meat is done, chop the zucchini in small cubes, add in the saucepan and sauté for one more minute. At the end add the flesh of the eggplants (chopped) and the chopped garlic and sauté, until softened. Add the rice and continue sautéing, until it becomes transculent. Pour in 1 tin chopped tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. As soon as the liquid has been absorbed, the stuffing is ready. Remove the pan from the stove and stir in the fresh herbs
Assemble the Gemista. Spoon the filling inside the empty vegetables and place the potatoes, cut into pieces, in between the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and pour the tomato juice (sauce) over the vegetables and in the baking tray. Cover the vegetables with their lids and add 2-3 glasses of water.
Cover the Gemista with aluminium foil and bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 60-75 minutes. Halfway through cooking time remove the aluminium foil and bake, until nicely coloured.
The Gemista are equally delicious, served either warm or even straight out of the fridge. Just pair them with some salty feta cheese and enjoy!
Serving Size: 2 pieces
Saturated Fat: 4.6g
Unsaturated Fat: 15g
Trans Fat: 0g