Aliki’s Stuffed Tomatoes or Peppers (Yemesta)

yemesta

Courtesy of The Greek Gourmet, Arthur Nahatis
During the summer months throughout the Mediterranean, stuffed vegetables are a several times a week delight that is shared by people of many cultures. Using fresh herbs and vegetables brings out a dimension of flavors that will astound even the fussiest palates.
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 6 -8 large tomatoes and/or bell peppers (red or green)
  • 1 lb. Ground meat (beef, pork, veal or lamb or any combination)
  • 1 large onion diced med.
  • 1/3-cup rice
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp each fresh Basil leaves, Italian parsley, & Mint leaves
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • Louisiana-style red-hot sauce
  • Grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 2-8 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 3-4 tbsp toasted pine nuts (optional)

Directions:

Brown and partially cook ground meat in your Platinum large gourmet skillet on med heat or for a practically “Fat free” method, steam ground meat over 1” of water using steamer strainer with 4 qt. First, then begin browning. When almost “browned,” add rice, onion, garlic, herbs, hot sauce & 1 tomato sauce.

Stir, cover and cook for a total of 12 min. reducing heat after 6 min. While ground meat is cooking remove tops from tomatoes or peppers and save, Remove membrane from peppers or pulp from tomatoes. If using tomato add pulp to ground beef mixture. When done, fill peppers or tomatoes with meat mixture. Rinse out skillet and dry. Place stuffed items back into skillet and pour remaining can of tomato sauce over and around them. Sprinkle with cheese and place tops back on vegetables. Cover and set on med. Heat until heat indicator reaches 35 C. Reduce to simmer and cook for additional 10-15 min.

Serve with sliced tomato and cucumber salad, hard bread and red wine or your favorite beverage.