Mediterranean cuisine for every day

Stuffed tomatoes – Γεμιστά

4 comments Nov 26th, 2009 | By | Category: Recipes

I am late with posting this which is a traditional Greek summer dish. The quality of “Gemista” – stuffed tomatoes – is fully depending on the quality of the tomatoes used. They have to be ripe and juicy and soft. I was lucky and found some great deep red tomatoes from Crete at my greengrocers.
There are many ways of making these stuffed tomatoes but I like the vegetarian ones the best. I add some raisins and pine nuts to them which gives them an interesting flavour.  You often find them served with potatoes but I decided to post the most simplistic verison of the stuffed tomatoes here.

preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 60 minutes
Very simple recipe


  • 6 ripe tomatoes
  • 1,5 coffee cups of rice
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 1 tea spoon of dried mint
  • 2 soup spoons of chopped parsley
  • 1 hand full of raisins
  • 1hand full of pine nuts
  • 1 spoon of tomato paste
  • some olive oil
  • Salt and fresh pepper


Wash the tomatoes well and cut them open around the top where the stem is located. You can cut a big round piece; it will be used as a lid later on.
Take out all the inside with a spoon, leaving the walls and skin intact though. Pace the tomatoes in a pan, so they can be baked in the oven.
All you scoop out, put into a blender. Add some tomato paste and blend.
Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and brown the onions. Add the rice and season it with salt and pepper. Stir and fry for a few minutes. Add the parsley, the mint, salt and pepper and the tomato sauce from the blender. Let it boil for a few minutes.

Now add the mixture to the tomatoes. Fill them entirely, then place the lid on top of them.
If you have some of the rice mixture left over, just put it into the pan around the tomatoes. Put a few drops of oil over the tomatoes.
Place the pan into the oven and bake for 1 hour at 200 degrees centigrade.

TIP: Breadcrumbs are a nice addition on top of the tomatoes before they are put into the oven.  Adding potatoes to the dish is nice too. Just peel and dice them (large pieces) and add them to the pan before placing it in the oven.

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  1. This to me is comfort food at its best!

  2. Those looks so scrumptious! Great filling!



  3. Gemista are my favourite and thanks to the greenhouses tomatoes are now available year round. I love raisins in gemista although I don’t use it as my daughter doesn’t like raisins and I prefer to use the pulp of the tomatoes scooped out instead of using tomato paste.

  4. Tobias, I agree with you. Gemista are best when the vegetables are at their peak and the herbs are fresh. I can still get some Florinis peppers which are wonderful for stuffing.

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