A lot, or most of you probably don’t know this but I am part greek from my fathers side. So you can imagine how much greek food I have eaten in my lifetime so far. A lot!
One thing I have discovered about the greek kitchen since I went vegan is that although they have loads of fish and seafood, it is a very vegan friendly cuisine. With many options pretty much everywhere you go. And if you don’t overdo it on the deep fried stuff also very healthy.
There are loads of dishes that are just naturally vegan. In this small series I’am going to show you three of my favorite greek dishes. The first one is Gemista, which are stuffed peppers and tomatoes. Gemista are traditionally always made without meat. Sometimes you will find them stuffed with minced meat but that is generally not the norm.
My Aunt and Uncle have been making this recipe since I was a little girl, and it has always been my favourite and I was so thrilled the day may Aunt passed her recipe on to me and I got to make it myself or the first time. It took me a few tries to nail it down, but I finally managed to get it to taste like the real deal back in Greece.
We love to make huge batches of it and have them in the fridge for a couple of days. The flavours intensify after a while, making this dish even more yummy.
The second part of the series is a dish called Fasolakia (Φασολάκια), it will come out this Wednesday.
Serves 4 people.
- 4 bell peppers
- 4-6 large tomatoes, depending on their size.
- 1 cup of risotto rice
- 1 large onion
- 1 zucchini
- 1 eggplant
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 bunch of fresh parsley
- 8 stalks of dill
- 6 mint leaves
- 2 large cloves of garlic
- 8 tbsp of olive oil
- salt & pepper
- Finely chop the onion, zucchini, eggplant and the herbs.
- Heat up half of the olive oil in a large skillet on high heat.
- Add the copped vegetables together with the rice and the pine nuts and cook while stirring for 15 mins.
- Later add in the crushed garlic and salt & pepper to taste.
- Cut the top of the peppers and clean them out. Do the same with the tomatoes, carve them out using a spoon. Keep the flesh and juice of the tomatoes and the cut off tops.
- Place the peppers and the tomatoes into a large oven proof dish and fill them up with the rice filling.
- Next whisk the juice from the tomatoes together with the remaining 4 tbsp of olive oil and 4 tbsp of water.
- Add 1 tbsp of the liquid into each of the Gemista, put the top back on and pour the rest of the liquid on top of the Gemista.
- Now loosely cover with some aluminium foil and bake in the oven at 180C for 90 mins.
*My tip for the best possible taste is to make the Gemista and only serve them the next day. As they get even better once they’ve been soaking for a while.