A perennial favourite for visitors to Greece and a dish that everyone seems to love is Yemista – Greek stuffed vegetables.
There are many variations of this dish and it is one of the best Greek dishes for vegetarians and vegans as it can easily be made without mince.
Yemista actually originates from the Dolma family, the same group of recipes that includes stuffed vine leaves or ‘Dolmades’.
There are also variations found throughout the Balkans and the Middle East and even other parts of the world such as Spain and Mexico. It is believed they were introduced to Greece through Asia-minor like so many other dishes.
In Greece tomatoes and bell peppers ( or capsicum) are probably the most commonly used although it is not unusual to see eggplant, zucchini, and squash used as well.
The verb ‘gemizo’ or ‘yemizo’ literally means stuffed. They are typically stuffed with a rice and herb mixture but this can vary from place to place and kitchen to kitchen.
To make them suitable for vegetarians and vegans simply omit the minced meat.
Our favourite Greek Stuffed Vegetables recipe
A classic dish using summer vegetables stuffed with a rice mixture and baked in the oven. Usually made with tomatoes and peppers ( capsicum) but also eggplant and zucchini. Leave the meat out for a perfect vegetarian/vegan option.
Usually served at room temperature rather than straight out of the oven and even better the day after they are made.
- 4 large tomatoes
- 4 large red peppers ( with flat bottoms preferably)
- 1/2 cup lean mince
- 1 medium onion
- 1/4 cup fresh mint
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup parsley
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon of allspice or cinnamon
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 4 potatoes cut in wedges
- 1/3 cup toasted breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees
- Cut the tops off the peppers and tomatoes about 1-2 cms from the top
- remove the pulp from the tomatoes and peppers
- chop the onion
- finely chop the garlic and saute with onion in a pan
- add the mince and brown off
- add the pulp from the tomatoes and the other herbs and spices
- add the tomato paste
- fill the vegetables with the mixture and replace the tops
- surround the vegetables with the potato wedges
- drizzle generously with oil
- finish with salt and pepper and sprinkle with breadcrumbs
- bake in the oven for 1 hour
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 527Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 209mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 10gSugar: 15gProtein: 17g