Traditional Greek Recipes: Gemista (Stuffed Vegetables with rice and ground meat)

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By Victoria Loutas

No matter who you ask, everyone will tell you that “my Yiayia makes the best Gemista!” so we thought to teach you how to make your own Gemista just as good as Yiayia’s!

Gemista is traditionally a vegetarian dish with roasted vegetables stuffed with a rice filling. 

Today, gemista is often filled with rice and ground meat stuffing and is served with roast potatoes, making it a staple meal in most Greek households. 

Ingredients

For the vegetables:

  • 6 tomatoes
  • 4 capcicums
  • 4 eggplants

For the stuffing:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 ½  cups rice
  • ½ bunch mint
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • 500g ground mince beef
  • 400g water
  • Salt & paper
  • Grated tomato and eggplant (from inside of vegetables)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Method

For the vegetables:

  1. Begging by removing the top part of the tomatoes and eggplants. Set aside to use later as the “lid”. Scoop out the flesh from the tomatoes and eggplant and set aside for the filling mixture. 
  2. Cut the tops of the capsicum and set aside to use as a lids. Scoop the inside seed out and throw away.
  3. Place the vegetable onto a baking pan

For the stuffing:

  1. Preheat oven to 180celsius
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan
  3. Finely chop the onion and garlic and add to the pan along with the granulated sugar
  4. Add the ground beef and the eggplant and tomato flesh to the pan. Let the mince brown
  5. Add the rice and water. Season with salt and pepper and lower the heat to let simmer. 
  6. Once the filling is ready, remove from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes

Kali Oreksi! 

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