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Yemista (Greek Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers)
Maybe my favourite Greek dish. Yes, my favourite.
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medium perfectly-ripe yummy
tablespoons uncooked rice (really just a 'heaping' tablespoon per vegetable to be stuffed)
, chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
, minced very fine
, minced (1 1/2 tblsps dried, crumbled)
or 1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup kefalograviera cheese or 1/2 cup
, cut into tiny cubes
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.
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