13 November 2007

Yemista (Greek Stuffed Tomatoes & Peppers) with More Potatoes on the Side....

Yemista (Greek Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers)
I was browsing over the internet on the weekend searching for a vegetarian stuffed pepper recipe. What I came across cried out for me to prepare right away. I have tried this recipe in the past and really enjoyed the delicate flavours of this particularly satisfying Greek dish. I can recall sitting at a beach side tavern and watching the world go by; having a lunch of baked tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. I had ridden a donkey down to the shore and this comforting dish did just that...comfort me!!

During the summer months when we have ripe, juicy tomatoes in our gardens and in the markets I also make the stuffed tomatoes . The hard little tasteless knobs I have in the refrigerator at the moment just would not have cut it I'm afraid in the stuffed tomato department. Therefore I chose to make only the stuffed peppers this time around. They shared a pan with large chunks of potato as the recipe suggests...once again I can't leave out the potatoes! This recipe is one I will prepare over and over again!!! It brings back such wonderful memories and duplicates the dish I had in Greece to the letter. What would make the dish better is to have the azure Agean sea as a backdrop and a bottle of Mythos. One thing though I did cut back on the amount of olive oil used in the original recipe only because that is my preference. As you can also see by the photograph I prepared them a little differently as well by cutting the peppers in half, stuffing them and then topping them with a slice of tomato to keep in and add moisture to the rice mixture. I learned this method of preparing them from Burcu at Almost Turkish

Yemista (Greek Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers)

5 medium perfectly-ripe yummy tomatoes
5 medium green peppers
3/4 cup olive oil (I used 1/4 cup)
15 T rice, (1-1/2 tablespoons per tomato or pepper, 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 T dried, crumbled)
1/2 cup parsley, minced (or cilantro)
1/2 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds
1/2 cup hard mizithra cheese or kefalograviera cheese or parmesan cheese, cut into tiny cubes
 1/2 cup sultana raisins (but I love the slightly sweet contrast they give the savoury ingredients) (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup olive oil ( I used 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoons 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 vegetable 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/cilantro, 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 vegetables.

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 another version, they 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.

Serves 8 - 10

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. Val, are you sure you're not Greek?

    They look wonderful and the veg. version is just as tasty as the meat version.

    Aglaia taught you well!

  2. I have always thought I must have been Greek in a past life Peter.I think I prefer the vegetarian version myself.

  3. fresh mint! raisins! Sounds so good valli! I'll have to look for that cheese around here, never tried that before.

  4. Thank you for visiting my blog, that showed me the way to yours and through yours many others.
    I love your blog, there are so many recipes I want to try here.
    Yemista looks out of this world.

  5. I love stuffed peppers! This is a different take on them that I'd love to try. Yum!

  6. These look yum. My husband doesn't like stuffed peppers, but that's no reason I can't make them for lunch for myself. Peter's right; you have a way with quite a few lovely Greek recipes.

  7. Those look yummy! I made those once, added few Olives too. I prefer vegetarian any day although I do eat non-veg!:

  8. Stuffed peppers are always good. This recipe sounds really good!!

  9. Thanks! Even though I´m a couple of years late... Perfect dish for myself and my lovely girlfriend coming to visit tonight. Greetings from Sweden.


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