18 November 2010

Recipe 3 - Stuffed Tomatoes (Ντομάτες Γεμιστές)

This is one of the signature dishes of Greek cuisine. A delicious dish, full of flavours, which is suitable to vegetarians and meat eaters.

It tastes as good when re-heated, so you can make loads of it and store it in the fridge for later.

Note: The ingredients below are for 4 stuffed tomatoes. If you plan to make more, then increase the ingredients accordingly:

4 large beef tomatoes
2 small courgettes
1 carrot, grated
1 large onion, grated
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch of parsley, thinly chopped
2 gloves of garlic, thinly chopped
4 tbsp rice (basically use 1 tbsp per tomato)
Pinch cumin
Salt/pepper to taste
Pinch sugar

1.    Cut a thin round slice off the top of the tomatoes and scoop all of their pulp out with a teaspoon. Be very careful not to cut the walls of the tomato when doing this.

2.    Scoop the pulp of the two courgettes.

3.    Shred the pulps in a large bowl and add all the other ingredients, apart from the sugar. Stir the mixture well.

4.    Rub the outside of the tomatoes with a bit of sugar (not too much).

5.    Stuff the tomatoes with the mix and cover them with the sliced tops.

6.    Place the tomatoes in an over proof dish and pour over them some olive oil mixed with a grated tomato.Add a bit of water and olive oil until it reaches about a quarter of the height of the tomatoes (in the picture below I have not added the water in the over proof dish yet).

7.    Cover the dish and cook in 250C until the rice is cooked. Uncover the dish and cook for a further 10min. (in the picture below I have not used much water/olive oil as the people I cooked for did not want too many calories lol…usually there is a lovely sauce left over in the dish, which demands some bread to go with it!)


•    Although normally without meat, you can add mince to the mix if you like. Just make sure you have cooked the mince properly first, before adding it to the mix.

•    If the tomatoes are cooked but the rice inside is still crunchy, pour some of the water in the dish over the rice mix and let it cook for a while longer.

•    Sometimes, you will find that there is leftover mix after you have stuffed the tomatoes. DO NOT THROW IT AWAY! Add a bit more rice in the mix, place it in another over proof dish, cover it just about with enough water and cook it in the oven. You will have yourselves a rice dish full of flavours to go as a side with your tomatoes.

•    In the last 10min of cooking you can sprinkle some grated parmesan on top of the tomatoes for added taste.

•    Apart from tomatoes, Greeks also use large green peppers and large courgettes to stuff. Follow the same process as above for them too.

•    You can also cut potatoes in medium size chunks and place them sparingly amongst the tomatoes in the oven dish (make sure you add a little bit more water). You will have some really tasty potatoes to go with your stuffed tomatoes!

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