One of my favorite dishes in Greece are Yemista. Yemista means “stuffed” in Greek — and you can get stuffed tomatoes, peppers, eggplant.
The insides vary widely. Some have meat, and some are vegetarian…and there are even different flavor profiles.
This is my vegetarian version, heavy on the tomato flavor. The fresh parsley and dill really add a fresh dimension to the dish!
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil (more to drizzle)
- 6 large tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup water, more for pan.
- 1 red potato, cubed, cut into ½ “ slices
- (Optional: 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes)
- Pinch of granulated sugar
- Cut tops off tomatoes with a serrated knife (1/2” from top).
- Run knife delicately around inside of rim of tomato.
- Use a large spoon to carefully scoop out flesh. Save flesh.
- Put tomato flesh in food processor to roughly chop.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Arrange tomatoes in 9”x13” dish. Place potatoes and smashed garlic around tomatoes (can strategically place them to support tomatoes / keep upright).
- Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes.
- Add rice, tomato guts, water. Stir in parsley and mint. Season with salt and pepper. If you want a more tomato-y mixture, add the can of diced tomatoes.
- Cook on medium/low until liquid is absorbed (around 20-30 min) and rice is almost cooked through. (Note: not cooked through all the way, rice will get mushy in the tomatoes if you overcook).
- Sprinkle sugar into empty tomato shells.
- Take spoon and fill tomatoes with mixture. Note: don’t pack it in too tightly.
- Drizzle entire dish with olive oil. Season entire dish with salt and pepper.
- Put on tomato lids.
- Pour water around tomatoes, until dish is filled with 1” of water.
- Cover dish with foil.
- Cook for 30 min. remove foil and cook uncovered for another 15 minutes. Check to see if rice is cooked through.