Stuffed tomatoes

Stuffed tomatoes are another in the delicious line of traditional Greek stuffed vegetables, or gemistes.

Source: Kiki Vagianos

This recipe also features the very Greek use of sweet, dried fruits in savory dishes. Currants, toasted pine nuts, fresh herbs and fluffy rice fill these tomatoes to the brim with so many wonderful flavors – they’re the most perfect meal imaginable! And once you see how simple stuffed tomatoes are to make, they’ll be regulars in your dinner rotation.

 

Ingredients

  • 8 large tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup (uncooked) rice
  • 1⁄2 cup olive oil
  • 1⁄4 cup currants
  • 1⁄4 cup pine nuts
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh mint
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh dill
  • 2 cups water
  • 11⁄2 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of tomato insides, mashed
  • 3⁄4 cup warm water (in addition to 2 cups above)

Instructions

  1. Slice off top of each tomato to make small lids.
  2. Scoop out insides of tomatoes and save 1 cup. Mash tomato insides well and set aside.
  3. Toast pine nuts in pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until very lightly brown. Finely chop and combine fresh herbs. Set aside.
  4. Saute onions until soft then stir in rice and cook on low for 5 minutes. Add pine nuts, currants, herbs, tomato insides and 2 cups water. Bring to simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Allow filling to cool for approx 10 minutes before filling tomatoes. You can make filling up to 5 days ahead of time and keep covered in refrigerator until ready to fill/bake. Remember to bring to room temperature before using.
  6. When ready to bake, fit tomatoes into a pan which holds them snuggly and fill each tomato to the top with rice filling. Cover filled tomatoes with lids and brush tops and sides with olive oil. Add 3⁄4 cup warm water to the bottom of the pan in between stuffed tomatoes and bake for 1 1⁄2 hours in 375° oven.