I enjoyed sharing another family heirloom recipe, this time for “gemista,” with thousands of viewers during my fifth episode of “Live With Gregory Pappas” on Facebook live.
“Gemista,” or “stuffed vegetables,” is one of my favorite traditional dishes that my aunt Maria used to make. It’s full of colorful and healthy vegetables and plenty of wonderful aromas.
This dish has many variations, as some prefer to use ground beef while others use rice. But my aunt’s recipe does not include any animal products which means it is also vegan-friendly!
I’ve included the ingredients and instructions below. But don’t forget to watch the full recording of my live video (see below) featuring my cousin, Chef Akis Tzanakakis, who is originally from Greece but lives in New York City now.
Akis is an executive chef at a New York City restaurant called Elea and offers additional insights on how to make the most of your “gemista.”
Try the recipe for yourself and bring the flavors and aromas of Greece into your own home!
For the stuffing
- 2 large, ripe tomatoes
- 2 zucchini
- 2 eggplant
- 2 onions
- 2 green peppers
- 2 potatoes (as accompaniment)
- Fresh dill, mint and parsley
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 leek
- 1 carrot
- 2 scallions
Clean out all fillings of vegetables. Watch the video below for Chef Akis’ trick to make sure tomatoes are cleaned properly.
Place all of the fillings in a bowl as you clean them out. All of these items are then placed in a blender or food processor and blended. Also add a small red onion.
Into this mix we add chopped fresh mint, dill and parsley to taste. These flavors should be prevalent so don’t be cheap with your fresh herbs! Add the rice.
In Greece they use a type of rice called “glasé” which is comparable to Arborio rice. These are, in essence, medium or short grained rices.
* Tip — to measure your rice, use approximately 1 heaping tablespoon per vegetable.
Also into this mix we added one grated carrot, as well as two scallions and one leek which were chopped into approximately 1/4 inch pieces.
Sprinkle salt and pepper on the inside of each cleaned-out vegetable.
Add a sprinkle of sugar ONLY to the tomatoes and the eggplants.
Don’t forget to sprinkle with olive oil.
When you stuff the vegetables with your mixture, remember to only fill them 3/4 to the top because the rice will expand.
Remember to douse your vegetables with extra virgin olive oil.
Bake in the oven at 350 (f) for 45 minutes covered with aluminum foil, then 45 minutes uncovered.
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