Domates Gemistes- Stuffed Tomato
Last week has been so busy that I haven’t had the time to cook. Last Wednesday I came back from the airport quite late , I knew I missed the weekly market. But I was hoping the fishmonger would still have fish. I was planning to cook mackarel the way Iska did on her Lasang Pinoy post. I was starving when I passed this place just a block before the fishmongers called “Ta tria Adelfia”,meaning the three brothers.
Many years ago when we first came here and chicken rotisserie was still a novelty we would treat ourselves for a great chicken take away. I remember the queue way back then but now it seems every corner in Athens has all kinds of chicken sold.
This place however sells wonderful ladera, common dishes cooked in olive oil. These kind of food are normally eaten with cheese and crusty bread in which you dip into the oil or sauce.
I bought 2 pieces of gemista (the verb gemiso means to fill). Gemista normally are either stuffed pepper or tomato or even courgettes thus if you hear GEMISTA its normally meant STUFFED VEGETABLES.
I chose tomato and the man gave me extra roast potatoes. I normally prefer domates gemistes (stuffed tomato) on hot summer days, when tomatoes are big plump and juicy. Greek cooking is pretty much tied up with the changes of the season but these days you can buy big tomatoes all year round.
I do not have my own recipe for this but I will share you from one of my favourite cookbook titled A TASTE OF THE AEGEAN.
salt & freshly ground pepper
6 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp pine nuts (optional)
2tbsp tomato paste dissolved in 2/3 cups water
1) Preheat oven at 180C
2) Sliced off the tops (reserve them)
3) Scoop out the flesh and be careful not to break the skins.
4) Set the flesh on one side
5) Sprinkle the inside with salt and sugar – set aside
6)Heat olive oil and saute the onions
7) Then add the tomato pulp, herbs and seasonings and nuts if using them.
8) Cook for further 10 mins and add the rice and cook for 5 more mins.
9) Rinse the tomatoes , then fill the rice mixture
10)Cover with tomato tops.
11)Place in baking tin.
12)Pour remaining olive oil and paste mixture around the tomatoes.
13) Bake for 40 mins.
I have to admit that typing this recipe from a book made me feel so guilty. Because the best greek cook I ever know is my sister’s mother in law, Kiria Sevasti. I could have rang her up and asked for her recipe since I love the one she makes. Maybe I should call her tomorrow and let them know am back.