Gemista, the most popular summer vegetarian entrée

Baked Vegetable Stuffed with Rice and Herbs

 “Gemista” (Γεμιστά), pronounced “Iemista” and meaning “stuffed” in Greek, is a dish that cannot be missing from the menu of any traditional Cretan restaurant. This popular and delicious rustic dish, consisting of tomatoes and peppers stuffed with rice and spices, baked on a platter in a tomato sauce with slices of potatoes, is the perfect choice for a light appetizer on summer days.

 For Gemista, mainly green and red bell peppers are used, hollowed out of the core, but other vegetables such as pumpkin or eggplant can also be filled. There are several versions, but the most common is Vegetarian Gem, in which the filling is made from a mixture of rice, onion, zucchini, garlic, broth, and herbs such as oregano, basil, parsley, and fresh mint. Optionally, you can add crushed Feta cheese, slices of Kalamata olives, sliced ​​mushrooms, chickpeas, or chopped spinach. For the meat version, chopped red meat is used.

 After filling, place the vegetables in a deep pan and pour over them a sauce made from olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper, and the core of the peeled tomatoes. Bake in the oven and are ready in 30-45 minutes, but their taste is even better the next day. It can be served with a salad, feta cheese, or the well-known tzatziki.

Kali Orexi! Bon Apetite!

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