Gemista – A Beloved Summer Dish

  • by XpatAthens
  • Tuesday, 08 June 2021
Gemista – A Beloved Summer Dish

Gemista or stuffed tomatoes is a beloved vegetarian summer dish and one of the most famous Greek specialties in the world.

Even though making gemista might seem a bit complicated at first, it is pretty easy to make, and once you've learned the steps, you can get playful and improvise. There are many variations for this recipe across the country; some include ground beef, some contain raisins and pine tree nuts, while others include grated zucchini. Here's a simple yet flavorful recipe to introduce you to this delightful Greek dish! 

Serves: 5
Difficulty: Moderate
Cooks in: 1 hour 20 min


• 10 tomatoes (large, ripe, and plump)
• 2-3 potatoes cut into wedges
• 2 onions finely diced
• 2 large garlic cloves finely chopped
• 1 tablespoon tomato puree
• 1+1/2 cups rice
• 1/2 bunch parsley
• 1/2 bunch mint
• 1 cup olive oil
• salt and pepper

Cooking Instructions

1. Wash the tomatoes thoroughly and cut a 2cm slice off the top of each one, next scoop out the pulp with a teaspoon into a bowl and set aside.

2. Add the grated onions, garlic, herbs, rice, and tomato puree to the bowl.

3. Add salt, pepper, 3/4 cup olive oil, and mix to make the stuffing.

4. Stuff each tomato with the rice mixture, being careful not to overfill as the rice expands when it boils.

5. Arrange the stuffed tomatoes in a baking dish, add the potatoes, some olive oil, and a bit of water.

6. Add some salt to the potatoes, cover the baking dish with aluminum foil, preheat the oven to 180 c and cook for about an hour.

Add water as needed so that the rice doesn't dry out and take off the foil half an hour before taking the food out of the oven.