Home » Traditional Recipes » Gemista Me Kima: Greek Meat Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers

Gemista Me Kima: Greek Meat Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers

Every recipe is like a journey! It brings back memories and emotions. Just like Greek gemista me kima which always brings summer memories. Every time I eat this traditional dish, I remember my childhood with nostalgia. When I was a kid, my father used to take us every day to the sea. Although the sea was not so far away from my village, it was taking us around thirty minutes to get there. On our return, being exhausted and hungry, there was only one thing in my mind. What did my mother cook? I still remember how happy I was every time my mother had made for us this authentic Greek stuffed peppers and tomatoes dish! If you have a favorite dish from your childhood, you understand what I mean.

Gemista me kima literally means ‘stuffed with ground beef’! Gemista or yemista (γεμιστά in Greek) is baked stuffed vegetables hollowed out and baked with rice, aromatic herb and minced meat filling. You can try this flavorsome recipe with any vegetable that you can stuff. Tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini or even potatoes. Each vegetable adds its flavor to the rice and ground beef. For instance, the tomato adds a sweet flavor to the filling while the peppers add a spicier one. It is like having, depending on the number of vegetables you stuff, several different meals baked as one! As olive oil is one of the basic ingredients, this Greek food falls under the ladera dishes.

To create this heavenly mouth watering dish, you need tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, ground beef, rice, onions, parsley, Greek olive oil, mint, bread crumbs, and potatoes.

Full of beautiful summer vegetable colors, this authentic Greek gemista me kima recipe takes around one hour and a half to prepare and one hour to cook. Although it takes some time to make it, it is totally worth it. As your family will ask for more than just one plate, be aware as this recipe serves 6 to 8 persons!

This meat stuffed tomatoes and peppers dish is a popular summer traditional Greek food!

Now that summer is here, this is the right time to learn how to make gemista. So, time to bring summer to our table (and always in our hearts)! After all, what is summer without gemista me kima?

Gemista me kima

Gemista Me Kima – Ingredients

  • 6 tomatoes
  • 6 green  peppers
  • 2-3 eggplants
  • 1 k of ground beef
  • ½ teacup of rice
  • 2 red onions, finely chopped
  • A bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • A bunch of fresh mint, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 3-4 potatoes, cut into wedges

Gemista Me Kima – Instructions

  1. Start making gemista me kima by washing well the vegetables under fresh water. Cut off tomatoes’ tops and retain them. Scoop out the flesh from the tomatoes.
  2. Cut off peppers’ tops and retain them. Carefully, remove the seeds and membrane from the peppers.
  3. Do the same with the eggplants and keep their flesh.
  4. Add the vegetables’ flesh in a mixer bowl and mix well.
  5. Take a pot. Add some oil. When oil is lightly boiled, add onions. Saute them.
  6. Add the ground beef and saute by stirring with a wooden spoon.
  7. Once the ground beef changes its color, add the vegetable mix.
  8. Add the rice, salt, and pepper and allow simmering until rice is ready. Taste to see if additional salt is needed. You may need to add some hot water.
  9. When ready, remove from heat and add the parsley and the mint. Mix well and allow cooling down.
  10. Take a large baking pan and place the vegetables. Fill them with the mixture and place their tops.
  11. Place the potatoes between the stuffed vegetables.
  12. Add some water and olive oil.
  13. Sprinkle them with the bread crumbs.
  14. Place pan into the oven and cook at 356°F for around one hour until almost all liquids are evaporated.
  15. Serve

Hope you enjoy gemista me kima. If you really like to stuff your vegetables, then you should try kolokithakia gemista me kima (Greek stuffed zucchini recipe). Stay tuned for more traditional Greek recipes!

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