Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr 25 mins
A variation on the classic greek recipe for Yemista (which I have already posted). I like this one because I really like barley. This really tastes best at room temperature, or close to it, so take that into consideration if making to allow time to cool.
- 12 medium tomatoes, perfectly round for easy stuffing
- 1 cup olive oil
- 3 cups minced onions (3 large)
- 1 cup pearl barley, plus
- 2 tablespoons pearl barley
- 1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped unskinned almonds
- 1 cup minced cilantro
- 1 cup minced parsley
- 1⁄2 cup minced dill
- 1⁄2 cup minced spearmint
- 1 -2 large potato, peeled and cut into wedges
- Cut a lid off the top of the tomatoes and empty tomatoes of their pulp.
- Keep 2 ½ cups of the tomato flesh and pulp it (you may freeze the rest for future use, or puree to use in a sauce in the next day or two).
- Preheat oven to 360 degrees F.
- In a deep frying-pan, heat half the oil and saute the onion until soft, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add cilantro and pearl barley and saute, stirring occasionally for 1 minute.
- Add 2 cups of the tomato pulp and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in almonds and herbs.
- Season to taste, and stuff tomatoes with this mixture, distributing equally.
- Replace lids on tomatoes.
- Put tomatoes in a baking pan large enough to contain them all fairly snugly and fill the gaps with wedges of potato.
- Puree remaining tomato with ½ cup oil and ½ cup water.
- Season to taste.
- Pour this over the tomatoes.
- Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
- Turn off oven and leave tomatoes in oven 15 minutes longer.
- Remove from oven and allow to come to room temperature before serving (they are best that way).
- Serve with feta cheese and crusty bread.
I check, wash, and cook up a kilo of barley at at time for easy use in recipes, freezing 2 cup baggies. My kids generally love any barley based soup, but I wanted to try some other dishes with barley. This one looked great. I was out of fresh dill, spearmint, and parsely, so I used dried at about 1/4 the amount. I used fresh cilantro as in the recipe. I had a little extra room in the baking pan, so I added some whole potatoes (also since I wasn't sure the kids would like the tomatoes). Everything came out very tasty, but indeed the kids didn't like the stuffed tomatoes. More for hubby and me! I used the extra sauce on freshly steamed brown rice for the kids instead. Someday they'll grow up and like this recipe, too.