Rice, Vegetables

Amazing Gemista (stuffed tomatoes and peppers with rice and herbs)

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The beginning of sweet Greek summer.. So many vegetables and fruits in variety.. Now you are going to say that there are no seasons. You can have anything you wish throughout the year and you are right. However, the smell of a ripe tomato on its time is something else. The colors are so bright and you can smell it before you even reach the bench. The day before I was in the grocery store and saw some pretty good tomatoes from Crete. I know out of season. Then I stumbled upon a perfect bunch of peppermint and then only word that came in mind was Gemista!!!

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Tomatoes, peppers stuffed with peppermint, parsley, rice and onions. What a beautiful combination with an intoxicating smell. From the moment you start preparing them you anticipate the first bite. Such a humble meal and yet so magnificent.

It’s so funny.. I remember as a child we only ate fruits and vegetables on their season. No tomatoes until summer. Can you imagine? We were all waiting for the first Gemista of the summer.. Now we can make them in winter as well but it’s not the same thing.

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You can make your Gemista with a variety of vegetables. Tomatoes, peppers of all kinds, zucchini and eggplants. Tradition has it that you must use them all. Well, I don’t. Because of my precious time I prefer going the easy way with tomatoes and peppers but feel free to use as many as you want. There is an alternative recipe which contains minced beef mixed with rice. It sounds good, yes and it tastes good too but it’s not the same. It’s something different. Same good old fashioned Gemista with rice can never go wrong!

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I think Gemista is the only meal that gets better after a day in the fridge. Yes, confirmed by many people including me. Cold right from the fridge the next day or in room temperature, smell and taste a whole lot better. With plenty of feta and a slice of fresh baked bread..  Works like magic! Especially on a hot summer day it’s something light, healthy and soo tasty!! Really, how do you prefer yours? Filia!

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