If you’ve ever been to Greece, you’ve probably tried some variation of today’s recipe for ‘Yemista’ – a classic Greek dish, consisting of stuffed vegetables such as ripe tomatoes, courgette, aubergine, or bell peppers like in this recipe.
The stuffing includes quinoa, pine nuts, onions and chopped tomatoes, as well as fresh herbs: parsley and mint. Try eating it at room temperature the following day (rather than steaming hot) as the flavours will have enhanced and it tastes even better! Feel free to play around with the veggies, and don’t forget to serve with a side of crusty bread – I enjoyed this with some gluten-free seeded sourdough!
This variation on Yemista is a recipe by Marialena, a London-based food blogger. Being Greek, she loves Mediterranean/Greek cuisine with a nutritious twist. Marialena’s blog, ‘My Nutri Calendar’, expresses her love for healthy food by sharing her homemade recipes, with an emphasis on Greek food! Find her on Instagram @mynutricalendar or visit her blog online at mynutricalendar.com and get inspired!
- 4 peppers (2 red & 2 yellow)
- 70g quinoa
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 handfuls parsley, chopped
- 1 handful mint, chopped
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 200g tinned chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 250ml water + 1 more cup of water
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt, pepper
- Optional: fresh bread to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200°.
- Wash and dry peppers, remove the top of the peppers making little “caps”. Remove any seeds and put them into a baking tray. Leave the tray aside while you prepare the stuffing.
- Preheat a non-stick frying pan, add some olive oil and stir-fry chopped onion. Reduce the heat to medium to low and put a lid to the pan. Cook the onion for 4-5 minutes until soft.
- Remove the lid, add pine nuts and stir-fry for 1 minute.
- Rinse and dry quinoa, add it to the pan and stir-fry for a few seconds (add more oil if needed).
- Add chopped tomatoes, water, salt and pepper and put the lid on the pan. Cook the stuffing for 20 minutes (low heat). Then remove the lid so most of the liquids (if any left) can evaporate.
- Remove the pan from heat and stir in the chopped parsley and mint.
- Add salt and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to each pepper. Stuff the peppers about 3/4 full. Add another drizzle of olive oil to each pepper. Place the pepper “caps” on top.
- Dissolve 1 tablespoon of tomato puree in a cup of water and pour over the vegetables.
- Season the peppers with salt, pepper and another drizzle of olive oil.
- Bake for about 60-80 minutes or until the vegetables have become tender and cooked through.