Now I know many of you are wondering if there is some sort of typo in the title of today’s post and what on earth I’m talking about. No typo – it’s Greek and a recipe for a delicious dish that fits nicely with my quest to fly the flag for Greek cooking.
So, quick Greek lesson: “Yemista” literally means “stuffed”. It’s also the name for a dish of stuffed peppers, tomatoes, and courgettes. “Stuffed peppers” just don’t sound as appetising as “yemista”!
I think the stuffing is traditionally vegetarian, consisting of only rice, tomatoes and herbs, but there is also a minced beef variety. My recipe is the latter as I think that’s the tastiest. I’ve also only used peppers as it’s tricky to get tasty large tomatoes in the UK and courgettes can be a little watery.
This really is such a delicious recipe and definitely worth a try. The yemista look great when they come out of the oven and there’s something rather fun about using a vegetable as a container for your food!
Καλή όρεξη! (bon appetit!)
Serves 4-6 (depending how greedy you are!)
10g parmesan, finely sliced/shaved
2 tablespoons olive oil plus a little extra
1 clove garlic, crushed or finely chopped500g beef mince
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Large handful flat leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped
1 cup (185g) white long grain rice, rinsed
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
500g new potatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
- Preheat the oven to 190°c/170°c fan.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the onion and cook gently until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute then add the mince and cook until brown.
- Add the oregano, parsley, rice, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, and passata. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes over a low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Meanwhile prepare the peppers. Slice the tops off the peppers and put to one side – these will be the lids of your yemista. Scoop out the seeds and membrane of each and discard. Place the peppers in a deep roasting tray/dish and scatter the potatoes between them.
- Fill each of your peppers with the meat and rice mixture. Top each one with parmesan shavings before putting the lid back on. If you have any sauce remaining, pour it over the potatoes.
- Drizzle everything with a little olive oil then cover the dish in foil. Bake in the oven for 1 hour until both the peppers and potatoes are tender. After 30 minutes, stir the potatoes to prevent them sticking and after 45 minutes remove the foil to allow the potatoes to brown slightly.
These are best eaten immediately but will happily keep in the fridge for a couple of days.