Helen’s Home cooking

This is an easy to make light meal which when tomatoes are in season (now) offers a great value for money tasty treat.


Stuffed Tomatoes, (Gemista)

Serves 4


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  • Using 6-8 ripe large or beef tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped finely
  • 1/4 tsp all spice or a mixture of nutmeg and cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 150g beef mince (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed or 2 tsps garlic granules
  • 1 cup long grain/basmati rice
  • handful chopped parsley fresh or 1/2 tsp dried
  • handful chopped mint fresh or 1/4 tsp dried
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Cut through the tomatoes 2/3 of the way and place in a large dish
  2. Carefully remove the pulp mash and retain in a separate jug
  3. Heat 4 tbls of the 1/2 cup olive oil in a saucepan
  4. Add the onions and fry for 5 mins
  5. Add the mince and garlic and fry until the mice has browned
  6. Add the all spice and chilli powder and stir until well coated
  7. Add the rice,mint, parsley,  and half of the tomato pulp and mix well
  8. Salt and pepper to taste
  9. Stuff the mixture into the emptied tomatoes and close over the lid.
  10. Do not over stuff as the rice will expand
  11. Add the remaining olive oil to the remaining tomato pulp, salt and pepper
  12. Pour the tomato mixture over the top of the tomatoes
  13. If you feel the dish looks dry add a little water to steam
  14. Put in a hot oven 200’c 400’F or gas mark 5 and cook for 1-1 1/2 hours
  15. Serve with a fresh salad or some crusty bread.

Living in Orkney you don’t always eat with the seasons and because of the change in this weeks weather I have decided for next weeks recipe we shall go back to winter and make a traditional Scotch Broth, for this you shall need Broth  mix, a large leek and for easiness a stew pack of vegetables, I prefer lamb stock cubes for Broth but that choice I shall leave up to you.


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