Introduction: Stuffed Tomatoes & Peppers - Gemista

Stuffed tomatoes and peppers, are healthy, can be eaten hot or cold, and are wonderful for an office lunch. They are tastiest the day after they have been made, and can be accompanied with a dollop of greek yogurt.

Step 1: Ingredients:

  • 6 large bell peppers
  • 6 large tomatoes
  • 2 large red onions
  • 2 large garlic cloves,
  • 1/3 cup greek olive oil
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup long grain rice, such as basmati
  • 1 ½ cups plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup crumbled greek feta

Step 2: Procedure:

  • Cut off the tops of the peppers and scoop out and discard the seeds. Reserve the tops.
  • Cut off the caps of the tomatoes and reserve. Using a teaspoon, scoop out the pulp. Remove the seeds. Chop and reserve the pulp and juices.
  • Finely chop the onions.
  • Peel and chop the garlic (or use a garlic press)
  • Lightly toast the pine nuts.
  • Finely chop the herbs

Preheat oven to 375°F

1. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet and cook the onions over low-medium heat until wilted, for about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for a minute.

2. Add the rice and toss to combine in the skillet. Pour in ½ cup of water, lower the temperature, and cook the rice covered, until the liquid is absorbed.

3. Remove from heat. Mix in the tomato pulp and juices, the herbs, raisins and nuts, and adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Lightly oil an ovenproof glass-baking dish. Fill each pepper and tomato loosely with the rice filling. Place upright snugly in the baking dish. Pour 1 ½ cups of water over them.

5. Combine the breadcrumbs and feta and spoon a little of this mixture over each of the vegetables. Cover each with its cap.

6. Cover the dish loosely with aluminum foil and bake for about 1 hour, or until the rice is tender.

*Check occasionally and add more water if necessary to keep the filling moist.

7. Remove, cool slightly, and serve this Mediterranean Food either warm or at room temperature.

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