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Friday, June 26, 2009

Greek Stuffed Tomatoes

5 medium perfectly-ripe yummy tomatoes
5 medium green peppers
3/4 cup olive oil
15 tablespoons rice, 1 1/2 tblsps per tomato or pepper, to be stuffed
1 large onion, chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 garlic cloves, minced very fine
1/4 cup fresh spearmint, minced (1 1/2 tblsps dried, crumbled)
1/2 cup parsley, minced (or cilantro)
1/2 cup pine nuts or slivered almond
1/2 cup hard mizithra cheese or kefalograviera cheese or parmesan cheese, cut into tiny cubes
1/2 cup sultana raisin (but I love the slightly sweet contrast they give the savoury ingredients) (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
salt and pepper

Cut off tops of tomatoes (retain tops) and carefully scoop out flesh (retain this as well).
Cut off tops of peppers (retain tops) and remove seeds and membrane.
Place tomatoes and peppers in a pan large enough to hold them comfortably and give each veg a tiny dash of sugar with the tips of your fingertips (I really think this is important!).
Take tomato flesh and process it until pureed.
Add olive oil, rice, onion, garlic, mint, parsley/cilantro, nuts, cheese, sultanas, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper (or season to taste).
Stuff the vegetables evenly with this mixture.
Replace tops of tomatoes and peppers.
Combine 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup olive oil with a scant tablespoonful of tomato paste and a little salt and pepper and pour this around the veg.
Bake in a preheated 375F oven (180C) for approx 1 3/4 hours (vegetables should pierce easily and be slightly blackened in parts).
Turn off oven and leave in for another hour to'mellow' before serving.
This is best served slightly warm or at room temperature.
It is wonderful eaten along with little bites of feta cheese and a cool glass of white or rose.
It will also have yummy juices begging to be mopped up with bits of crusty bread.
In my version, I also take 3-4 medium-sized potatoes, cut them into big wedges, toss in a little olive oil with salt and pepper to taste, and'plant' in the spaces amidst the vegetables.That way you can have a couple of wedges of potato too.

Originally from recipezaar.com
Submitted by Kari Merks

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