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Meat Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers(Gemista)

Serves 6
Preparation time 1 hour and 30 minutes
Baking time 1 hour and 30 minutes

  • 6 large tomatoes
  • 6 large green bell peppers
  • 1 cup olive oil Spitiko
  • 1 ˝ lbs ground lean meat (beef or veal)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Kyknos tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup short-grain rice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint (optional)
  • 4 large potatoes
  • 1 cup kyknos tomato juice
  • 1/4 cup butter
Wash and wipe dry the tomatoes and pepper. Slice off peppers tops and discard the seeds. Slice off the tops of tomatoes, and carefully scoop out most of the pulp, leaving only a thin layer next to the skin. Reverse the sliced-off tops. Pure the tomato pulp and mix with the sugar and tomato paste. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the ground meat and the onion, sauté for 10-15 minutes. Pour in the tomato juice and seasonings, and cook over medium heat, until the sauce becomes very thick, approximately 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the rice, parsley, and mint, and stir well. Transfer to a strainer and reserve the juice. Stuff the peppers and tomatoes 2/3 full with the meat mixture and pack them closely in a shallow baking pan. Replace the sliced-off tops on the stuffed vegetables. Peel and cut the potatoes into eighths. Place them around and between the tomatoes and peppers. Spoon the reserved juice and tomato juice over the potatoes and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Brush the vegetable cases with a little olive oil, and dot the potatoes with butter. Preheat oven to 350 F and bake for about 1 hour and 30 minutes until done and tops are brown. Add some hot water during the baking if necessary. Serve hot.

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