I can’t believe it has taken me so long to put up a recipe for gemista…a classic summer favorite when tomatoes are abundant in August. This is best made early in the day, the way Greek women do. It tastes best at room temp or slightly warmed.
- 12 medium sized tomatoes (vine ripened)
- 1 yellow onion finely diced
- ~1 cup olive oil
- Handful of fresh mint, dill, and parsley. (can also use basil)
- ~12 tablespoons of blue rose rice–medium grain. (goya sells it in the states)
- 4-5 medium potatoes peeled and quartered
- sea salt
- serve with good feta
First, cut the top off of each tomato. Cut around the inside of the tomato and carefully with a teaspoon scoop out
the inside. Put the inside scooping from six tomatoes in a blender and set aside the inside of the remaining six in a bowl. Be sure to keep the top of each tomato with its tomato.
Add 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp sea salt, and the herbs to the tomato scoopings in the blender. Blend in a few pulses so tomato is smooth but herbs are not totally pulverized.
Heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a frying pan over med high heat. Saute the onion until it begins to turn translucent. Add the rice (1 tbsp for each tomato) and saute
2-3 min as if you were making risotto. Add the tomato-oil-herb mixture plus about 1/4 of water (to rinse all of the good stuff out of the blender into the pan) and saute another 2 min.
Spoon the rice mixture into the tomatoes leaving about a cm at the top empty. For medium tomatoes it takes about 1.5-2 tbsp of the mixture. Place the cap on the tomato and invert in baking dish. Surround the tomatoes with the cut up potatoes. in the blender, blend the inside of the six tomatoes that were set aside and pour that plus 1/4 cup of
water over the potatoes. Drizzle 1/2 cup of olive oil over all the tomatoes and potatoes. Sprinkle sea salt over everything.
Bake for about 1 1/2 hour at 350 deg.
Halfway through baking move the potatoes around so they roast evenly. I like it when the tomatoes just start to brown a little and the potatoes are soft to a fork. When you take it out of the oven there will be a lot of liquid in the pan. As it cools the rice will suck up that liquid…yum!!
Gemista is best prepared early and then served at room temp or heated a little. Serve with slices of a good feta to eat on the side. Fresh corn on the cob goes great with it.
Adapted from Andromahi 🙂 who makes the most amazing gemista!