Stuffed peppers & tomatoes – Greek Yemista

roast peppers and tomatoes

Surely you have seen this recipe in cooking magazines or on the menu at Greek restaurants. Stuffed peppers and tomatoes, looking all colourful and mouthwatering, yet appearing so complicated you think it is out of your league? Well, think again!

This traditional Greek recipe is nothing more than a Greek-style risotto. As long as you pick the right seasonal vegetables, you have nothing to fear. The red, yellow and orange peppers will add a great level of sweetness to the dish. The green peppers and courgettes (think of the large ones that are in season in August in the UK) will add a vibrant contrast to the sweetness of the rice. And the large onions will give a mellow, almost marshmallow-like, feel to the risotto. And let’s not forget the beef tomatoes which are wonderfully juicy as of May.

Ingredients

Your choice of seasonal vegetables; we suggest:
3 large cooking onions
3 beef tomatoes
2 red bell peppers
2 green bell peppers
2 orange bell peppers
500g potatoes in chunks or new potatoes, if in season
For the rice stuffing:
6 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions chopped
350g basmati rice
100ml tipped water
2 tblsp tomato paste
1 tblsp granulated sugar
salt & ground white pepper – generous amount
handful of fresh chopped parsley
handful of fresh chopped mint
a pinch of dry dill

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180C, gas mark 4.
  • Start with the vegetables: slice off the top of the tomatoes with a sharp knife, cutting about 2-3cm down from the top. Use a table spoon to carefully scoop out the tomato flesh, making sure you do not rip the outer shell. Preserve the flesh in a multi mixer and set aside to use for cooking the rice later. Place the beef tomatoes in a baking dish, stem side up.
  • Slice off the top of the peppers with a knife, cutting about 5cm down the edge, making sure the whole top of the pepper is taken off. Remove the seeds and arrange in the baking dish.
  • Cut off the top of your onions, scooping out most of the inner layers, leaving about 3-4 outer layers intact, thus creating a little container for the rice to go in. Finely chop the flesh of the onions and keep for later. Place the onion shells in the baking dish. Arrange the potatoes in between the vegetable to help prop them upright.
  • Now for the rice stuffing: whizz the flesh of the tomatoes in the multi mixer and set aside. Heat up the olive oil in a wide frying pan. Fry the chopped onions until soft but not brown. Add the sugar and continue to fry the onions until caramelised. Add the tomato paste and fry for a few more minutes, then add the rice. Continue cooking for 5 minutes, until the rice turns a light golden colour. Pour the Boosh Rosemary & Thyme Organic Chicken Bone Broth together with a bit of water and let it become absorbed by the rice. Add the reserved tomato flesh, the finely chopped parsley, mint and dry dill and let everything simmer for 5-7 minutes. Stir and remove from the heat. The rest of the cooking will take place in the oven.
  • Before filling the vegetables with the rice, drizzle a generous amount of olive oil onto them and season with salt and pepper.  Using a table spoon, start filling the vegetables with the rice, making sure you leave about 5cm space from the top, as the rice will expand while cooking.
  • Deglaze your frying pan with 100ml of water to extract as much of the lovely left-over juices as possible, then pour it over the rice inside the vegetables. Put the top ‘lid’ on each vegetable, drizzle with olive oil and bake for around 60 minutes, until the vegetables looks golden brown.
  • To serve, sprinkle some fresh chopped parsley, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and add a few chunks of feta cheese. Kali orexi!