Calliope's Real Greek Food

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 Stuffed vegetables
{Anna's Gemista}

#Vegetarian #Vegan #GlutenFree

'This is my mom’s flagship dish. Vegetables’ stuffing can vary depending on the region.  Anna’s gemista have the aromas of the Smyrna cuisine, which is more elaborate and sophisticated than the traditional Greek one. Serve Anna’s gemista at room temperature with feta cheese or Greek yoghurt; it tastes even better the day after!

Ingredients

- 5 large ripe beef tomatoes
- 5 mixed vegetables (bell peppers or Italian zucchini)
- 2 onions, chopped
10 tbsp. Arborio rice 
- ½ bunch mint, chopped
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ pine nuts 
- salt & freshly ground pepper 
- pinch of sugar
- 3-4 potatoes & breadcrumbs (optional)

Preparation Method for the vegetables

1. Use a sharp knife to cut the cap off the top of vegetables 
2. Scoop out the tomato pulp and keep it in a bowl 
3. Scoop out seeds from peppers and throw them away. For the zucchini, use a sharp European vegetable peeler or a corer to remove filling and throw it away

 Preparation Method for the stuffing

1. Preheat the oven to 360F 
2. Put the tomato pulp in a blender; pour it in a large bowl where you will prepare your stuffing
3. Finely chop the onions and add them in the stuffing.
4. Add the rice;  (as many tbsp. as the vegetables)
5. Add the salt & pepper, mint, raisins & pine nuts and ¾ of the olive oil
6. Mix well (optionally, cook the stuffing in a large saucepan for a few minutes; it reduces baking time as it softens the rice)

 Stuffing the vegetables

1. Put a pinch of sugar on the bottom of each vegetable before you fill them with stuffing (my mom’s secret)
2. Use a teaspoon to fill the vegetables with the stuffing, leaving some space for the rice to expand
3. Cover with the vegetable caps
4. Salt & pepper, add the remaining olive oil and 1 cup of water
5. Optionally, add breadcrumbs on top of the vegetables and cut potatoes in your tray if you like
6. Bake for about 1.5 hours at 360F

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 90 minutes
Serves: 5