Stuffed Tomatoes (Yemistes Domates)
This recipe is my the very favorite of one of my brother-in-laws. Tula said that he was waiting for her in the driveway when she told him she was bringing some over. That is serious devotion to a favorite dish.
It is truly best in the summer when the peppers and tomatoes can be plucked from the vegetable garden, but with the produce we have now, you can really make them any time of year. We have gorgeous enormous heirloom tomatoes being flown in from Chile at our local market, as well as beautiful organic hot house beefsteak tomatoes (which is what we used).
The tomatoes (or peppers) are emptied and stuffed with a flavorful combination of lean beef, tomato, garlic, onion and lots of fresh parsley. It is then elevated and made unique with fresh mint.
The rice steams up tender and absorbs all of the flavors of the meat mixture and vegetables. They are really beautiful!
According to Pete and his brothers, these would be a side dish- I however think that this could be an entrée. Served with a beautiful green salad you really have a complete meal.
Again- sorry for the bad pictures during the prep. It was such a dark day when we did this!
Stuffed Tomatoes (Stuffed Peppers), serves 12
12 tomatoes, (or bell peppers)
1lb lean ground beef
1 yellow onion, minced
28oz crushed tomatoes
5 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup dry white wine
½ large onion
4 cloves garlic
2/3 cup parsley
¾ cup mint
1 cup rice
1 cup water
½ cup olive oil
1/8 cup h2o
Kosher salt and pepper
More Olive oil for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Get out a sheet pan or two 9×13” baking dishes.
Take your tomatoes or peppers and slice a hole in the top, and gently set the top aside.
Scoop the insides out well, leaving just the shell. Put onto a greased sheet pan or baking dish.
For the tomatoes, take the core out and squeeze the juice out, reserving the tomato flesh. Chop the tomato flesh up and set aside.
In a large pan, break up the meat into small pieces while cooking it all the way through.
When the meat is cooked through, but not brown, add the onion, garlic and tomato flesh. Also add the crushed tomatoes, olive oil and white wine. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
In the mean time, combine the onion, garlic, parsley and mint in a little bowl.
While the beef is simmering, peel the potatoes and then quarter them. Place them in a bowl with the olive oil and lots of salt and pepper and toss to coat.
Add the rice and the water.
Simmer for about 10 minutes, (this should just soften up the rice a little bit before baking it).
Add the bowl of fresh herbs and onion to the beef.
Remove the beef and rice mixture from the stove and season well with salt and pepper.
Gently scoop the rice mixture into the tomatoes or peppers. Put the tops on the tomatoes or peppers.
Pour the potatoes into the pan and use them to surround the tomatoes and peppers, they will support the vegetables so that they don’t topple over while baking.
Put a little bit of water (about 1/8 cup) in the bottom of the pan to help steam the potatoes.
Drizzle the tops of the tomatoes or peppers with more olive oil.
Bake the tomatoes or peppers about an hour or until potatoes are golden and the rice is tender.
Serve these hot.