Stuffed Peppers with mince meat and rice, aka Yemista, is a very popular dish in Greece, and I advise you to try it unreservedly, you will love it.
Ingredients: 6 green or red peppers 1 ½ cup olive oil 250 gr. Minced meat 6 heaped tablespoonfuls rice 1 chopped onion 1 eggplant grated 1 zucchini grated ½ cup white wine 2 large tomatoes chopped or grated Allspice at the tip of the spoon 1/2 cup chopped parsley 1/3 cup bread crumbs Salt, pepper 3 – 4 Potatoes Salt, pepper
Use peppers that are neither too small nor too large. They should be similar in size, so they will cook at the same time. Wash and dry them. With a sharp knife cut off the top. Scoop out the seeds. Do not throw away the top, because you will need it to cover the filling.
Put ½ of the olive oil in a pan and sauté the minced meat with the onions, grated eggplant and zucchini, stirring and breaking up the lumps of meat. When they have browned lightly, add the rice and let it sauté for 4 minutes. Add the wine and let it simmer until it evaporates. Then add about ¾ of the pulp of the tomatoes, a glass of water, the parsley, salt and pepper and let the mixture simmer gently for about 10 – 15 minutes. Make sure that the mixture is not too dry at the end of the cooking time. There must be about 2 cups of liquid, so that the stuffing in the peppers will have enough liquid to cook nicely. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasonings.
Fill each pepper with the mixture, place the tops over the filling and arrange them in a baking pan. Peel the potatoes, wash them and cut then in quarters. Sprinkle salt and pepper over them and place them among the peppers. Sprinkle a bit of salt over the peppers, drizzle the rest of the oil over the vegetables and spoon the rest of the tomato pulp over everything. You shouldn’t need to add any more water, as the liquid from the rice mixture is adequate and the peppers and the potatoes release quite a lot of liquid while cooking. There should be a little sauce left in the pan.
Place the pan in a preheated oven at 180 C (350 F) for about one hour and a half, until the potatoes are soft.
1. Instead of minced meat you can use soya mince, or half meat and half soya.
2. You can also use wholegrain rice which is more wholesome. I also add cracked wheat, barley and/or buckwheat. A little bit of each adds its special flavor and its nutrients.
3. Adding as many vegetables as possible is another of my pet ‘projects.’ I grate a small eggplant and a zucchini and I add them to the minced meat and sauté them together. You can’t imagine the taste the eggplant adds to the dish. Furthermore, you add more vitamins and of course more fiber in your diet. It is also a fantastic way to disguise vegetables from picky children. In any case, veggies are good for you and all the members of your family.
Serving suggestion: They are ideally accompanied by feta cheese, some black Kalamata olives, and fresh crusty bread. You can also make a nice green salad.