Gemista greek food

Stuffed Tomatoes (Gemista) – Greek Recipe for Families

    Stuffed Tomatoes (Gemista)

    Irini from Paxxi
    Prep Time 50 minutes
    Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
    Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
    Course Main Course
    Cuisine Greek
    Servings 6
    Calories 376 kcal


    • Bowl
    • Baking tray
    • Pot
    • baking pan


    • 10 zucchini straight or round
    • 6 tomatoes
    • 2 green round peppers
    • 2 ripe tomatoes scraped
    • ½ tbsp tomato paste
    • 1 dry onion
    • 1 bunch of spring onions
    • some olive oil
    • 300g minced beef (optional) (10.5 oz)
    • ¾ cup parboiled rice
    • ¾ cup carolina rice
    • 2 potatoes cut into slices
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 1,5 tsp. fresh or dried mint
    • 1 tsp basil fresh or dried
    • 1 bunch of fresh parsley finely chopped
    • salt
    • pepper
    • Sugar
    • ½ teaspoon of breadcrumbs


    • Cut off the largest end of the zucchini, keep it and use the special tool to empty the inside into a bowl. Cut the tomato from the bottom (not the stem) and use a teaspoon to empty the crumbs and their juices into another bowl. Then remove the stem on the peppers, continue by cutting the top off where the stem is and remove the seeds with a knife. Repeat the process similarly for the other vegetables. Place the vegetables on the baking tray with the opening facing down so that the liquid drains out.
    • Finely chop the parsley with its stems, the dried and spring onions. Grate the two tomatoes. Chop the insides of the zucchini into smaller pieces and the large pieces of the tomato crumbs.
    • In a pot of boiling water with a teaspoon of salt, add as many pumpkins as you can fit at a time, including their lids. Press them with a spoon to submerge them whole in the water, half cover the pot and once they start to boil, let them boil for 5 minutes. Remove them after draining all the water from the inside and place them on the baking tray.
    • Put the two types of rice in the colander and rinse them with plenty of cold water.
    • In a large pot with ½ cup of olive oil, once it is hot, add the dry onion and sauté for 2 minutes, then add the spring onions and sauté for another 2 minutes, stirring. Add the minced meat, pressing with a spoon to make it as pithy as possible. Sprinkle with 3 pinches of salt and 2 pinches of pepper. After most of the water that the onions and ground beef have evaporated, add the insides of the zucchini. Stir and once it starts to boil again, add the crumbs from the tomatoes and the zest from the other two. Continue with the rice, ½ cup of water, tomato paste, cumin, mint, basil and parsley. Mix all the ingredients in the pot thoroughly with a spoon.
    • Once the filling has come to a boil, turn off the heat and leave the pot on top of the filling for 3 – 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover the pot with the lid.
    • Turn all the vegetables in the baking pan with the opening upwards and sprinkle the tomatoes inside with a little salt and sugar. Use a teaspoon to fill the vegetables with the filling, which you stir to bring some of the liquid together. Don’t fill them all the way up but leave half a centimetre free because when they are cooked in the oven the rice will puff up. Cover with their lids.
    • Cut the potatoes into thin slices, salt and oil them and place them in the baking pan between the vegetables.
    • Drizzle all the fillings with olive oil and sprinkle the tops of the tomatoes with a little breadcrumbs. Pour 1/3 cup of water into the baking pan.
    • Place the leftover filling in an ovenproof dish with a little olive oil on top and bake it in the oven with the baking pan.
    • Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius (392°F) for about 1h and 30 min.
    • Serve with feta cheese.



      Gemista (stuffed tomatoes) are excellent with Tzatziki. You can also add more seasonal vegetables into the pan with the potatoes. You can put some feta cheese on the top of your gemista for more flavor once they are fully baked.

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      Kids will love

      • The fresh ingredients
      • Helping the parents making gemista

      Parents will love

      • Tasting a traditional Greek dish
      • Vegetarian version

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