Yemista is a traditional Greek dish of stuffed tomatoes, aubergines, marrows and bell peppers baked in the oven. The stuffing can either be vegetarian with rice and various herbs, or it can contain minced meat. The following recipe is a lighter version of the traditional Greek recipe, which I figured out while experimenting in the kitchen – one of my most favourite hobbies! I decided not to fry the vegetables, use brown rice and minced pork fillet. I asked my butcher to remove the visible fat and mince twice. The result was a great dish, low in calories and just as delicious as the original recipe. I must admit, it's a bit fiddly, but it's just as delicious as the original.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 4 large tomatoes
- 4 bell peppers (yellow, red, orange, green)
- 4 large aubergines
- 4 large marrows
- 12 tbsp brown rice
- 500 g pork fillet, minced
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 2 tea cups olive oil
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tea cups tomato sauce / purée
- 1 tsp parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tsp mint, finely chopped
- 150 ml vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp sugar
- salt and pepper
- Cut the tops of the vegetables to create lids, but do not remove the lid from the tomatoes.
- Scoop out the pepper seeds and discard.
- Scoop out the tomato flesh and seeds and reserve.
- Scoop out the flesh from the aubergines and marrows.
- Add the flesh from the aubergines and marrows to the tomato flesh and seeds and finely chop.
- In a large pan, heat 6 tbsp of the olive oil and fry the onion until soft, then add the chopped vegetable flesh and 1 tea cup of thr tomato sauce or purée . Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- Add the rice, the vegetable stock and 2 cups of hot water, then raise to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the parsley and mint.Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Arrange the vegetable shells on a roasting tin and spoon the stuffing mixture into them. Place the lids .
- In a bowl, mix the remaining olive oil and the remaining tomato sauce and pour over the vegetables. Add two cups of hot water.
- Mix the breadcrumbs with the sugar and sprinkle the Yemista.
- Cover the tin with foil and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 ◦C for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and cook for another 30 minutes.
Let the food rest for about 30 minutes and serve with a Greek village salad and some feta cheese.