Prep 1 hr
Cook 1 hr 45 mins
Maybe my favourite Greek dish. Yes, my favourite.
Make and share this Yemista (Greek Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers) recipe from Food.com.
- 5 medium perfectly-ripe yummy tomatoes
- 5 medium green peppers
- 3⁄4 cup olive oil
- 13 tablespoons rice (really just a 'heaping' tablespoon per vegetable to be stuffed)
- 1 large onion, chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced very fine
- 1⁄4 cup fresh spearmint, minced (1 1/2 tblsps dried, crumbled)
- 1⁄2 cup parsley, minced
- 1⁄2 cup pine nuts or 1⁄2 cup slivered almonds
- 1⁄2 cup hard mizithra cheese or 1⁄2 cup kefalograviera cheese or 1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese, cut into tiny cubes
- 1⁄2 cup sultana raisin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1⁄2 cups water
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- salt and pepper
- Cut off tops of tomatoes (retain tops) and carefully scoop out flesh (retain this as well).
- Cut off tops of peppers (retain tops) and remove seeds and membrane.
- Place tomatoes and peppers in a pan large enough to hold them comfortably and give each veg a tiny dash of sugar with the tips of your fingertips (I really think this is important!).
- Take tomato flesh and process it until pureed.
- Add olive oil, rice, onion, garlic, mint, parsley, nuts, cheese, sultanas, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper (or season to taste).
- Stuff the vegetables evenly with this mixture.
- Replace tops of tomatoes and peppers.
- Combine 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup olive oil with a scant tablespoonful of tomato paste and a little salt and pepper and pour this around the veg.
- Bake in a preheated 375F oven (180C) for approx 1 3/4 hours (vegetables should pierce easily and be slightly blackened in parts).
- Turn off oven and leave in for another hour to'mellow' before serving.
- This is best served slightly warm or at room temperature.
- It is wonderful eaten along with little bites of feta cheese and a cool glass of white or rose.
- It will also have yummy juices begging to be mopped up with bits of crusty bread.
- In my version, I also take 3-4 medium-sized potatoes, cut them into big wedges, toss in a little olive oil with salt and pepper to taste, and'plant' in the spaces amidst the vegetables.
- That way you can have a couple of wedges of potato too.
Very very nice, I halved the recipe but not the liquid that you add and that turned out good, used only 1 tablespoon of rice per vegetable. It was enough for the size of the tomatoes and the peppers I used. Could not get the cheese you mentioned in the recipe and used grated Halloumi cheese. The raw rice was perfectly cooked by the time we had the dish. The only thing I added was some dried oregano.
FINALLY.. !! My grandmother used to make these and I have been searching the world for the recipe that would capture this uniquely "greek/turkish" taste.
Well folks.. this is it !
Evelyn shows deep understanding of greek cuisine in her quantity of olive oil (don't be alarmed..) and , especially her step 10. ( Leave an hour or two in the oven..) This is very important as it allows a kind of caramelization which is.. everything ! without this last step mine used to taste like a warm pepper salad mixed with rice !
It has now become one of my family's favourites !
Just a tiny detail.. since the rice is not pre-boiled, it will expand.. so don't stuff them all the way to the top or they will overspill..
I also dribbled 1/2 tsp of olive oil on the mixture in each pepper after stuffing ( but then..I'm an olive-oil addict )
GEIA SOU EVELYN.. EISAI ETHNIKOS THISAUROS !!
( Evelyn you are a national treasure !! )
Veggie Dornette #1 was home for the weekend and I thought I would surprise her with something besides lasagne (which she asks for each time she comes home). Peppers are plentiful in the market now, although it's not really tomato season. I did try this with 2 tomatoes, but I have to say that the recipe was 90% peppers. To make up for the missing tomato flesh I used some canned tomatoes, chopped up. Left out the mint, because I knew the kids would never touch it with mint (not very adventurous, my kids). I also left out the raisins, again, because the kids won't eat anything with "bugs" in it. Doubled up on the pine nuts instead, you can never have too many pine nuts (budget permitting). The only other change -- I didn't have (or even look for) mizithra or kefalograviera cheese, so I used a nice Cypriot haloumi instead. Ev, major yummy dish here!