Stuffed vegetables

By Christos Sourligas
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Stuffed vegetables recipes are found in all parts of the world. Considered the symbol of summer because of its vibrant colors, the Greek variation of gemista (“stuffed with”) calls mainly for tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchinis and eggplants. Known as a super healthy and juicy vegan dish, you can always add minced meat into the stuffing should you require a boost of protein. For extra taste, try crumbling feta cheese on top.

SERVES
5
 TO
6

Ingredients

  • 3 medium zucchinis
  • 3 medium eggplants
  • 3 medium green peppers
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 garlic (bulb)
  • 1 cup Italian-style rice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh spearmint
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup tomato juice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon pepper

Directions

  1. Wash the vegetables and carefully cut open the crowns (about 1/4 from the top). Thoroughly scoop out the insides with a spoon, keeping the innards for the stuffing. NOTE: Disregard the green pepper guts, as they’re mainly empty and filled with seeds.
  2. Chop the vegetable innards into one centimeter bits, and toss into a large mixing bowl. Thinly chop the garlic, onion and only one potato for now (the other two potatoes will be used later on), and add into the bowl. Combine the rice, spearmint, olive and vegetable oils, tomato juice, salt and pepper. Mix all by hand.
  3. Preheat the oven to 385 °F (195 °C).
  4. Place the hollowed out vegetables into a large baking dish, and beginning stuffing them with a spoon. Then, cover the vegetables with their pre-cut crowns (tops). Cut the two remaining potatoes into two centimeter wedges, drizzle a touch of tomato juice, and sprinkle salt and pepper on top of them. Arrange the potato wedges in the baking dish. To finish, pour one cup water into the baking dish, and drizzle vegetable oil and tomato juice on the stuffed vegetables with a final dash of salt.
  5. Bake for one hour and 45 minutes. Pour additional hot water into the baking dish from a boiling kettle, if required. Remove from the oven, and let stand for 20 minutes before serving.

ALTERNATIVE BAKING METHOD: For a protein version, add 225 grams of any preferred minced meat in step #2. 

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