Vegetarian Gemista: Greek-Style Stuffed Roasted Vegetables

Vegetarian Gemista: Greek-Style Stuffed Roasted Vegetables

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Serves 3-4:
2 baking potatoes, cut into wedges
2 large tomatoes
2 bell peppers

For the Filling:
• ¼ cup of rice
• ½ onion, finely chopped
• 2 small zucchinis, diced
• Tomato flesh, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, grated
• 6 ounces water or vegetable broth
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
• 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Optional: Kalamata olive slices, sliced mushrooms, chickpeas, chopped spinach

For the Sauce:
• 16 ounces tomatoes, pureed
• ½ onion, finely chopped
• 1 garlic clove, grated
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
• ½-1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 400 °F, 200 °C.

Prepare the vegetables: Begin by peeling the potatoes and cutting into wedges. Soak them in cold water until ready to use to keep them from turning brown. Slice the tops off of the tomatoes and set aside. Using a spoon, carefully remove the flesh of the tomatoes, chop it u and place it in a small bowl. Slice the tops off of the peppers and set aside. Discard the seeds.

Prepare the filling: Cook the chopped onions and olive oil over medium heat until soft and golden. About 10 minutes. Add the grated garlic and heat through a few seconds taking care not to burn it. Add the rice to the pan and cook over medium heat about 8 minutes or until translucent. Add the tomatoes, zucchini, salt, pepper, and water. Cook over medium-high heat or until the liquids are absorbed. About 8-10 minutes. Add the parsley, mint, and oregano along with the crumbled feta cheese. Mix until incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Set aside.

Prepare the sauce: Cook the onions and oil over medium heat until soft and golden. About 10 minutes. Add the garlic and heat through a few seconds. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, sugar, and oregano. Simmer over medium heat until thickened. About 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Assemble the meal:
• Pour the sauce into a baking dish large enough to hold all of the vegetables.
• Drain the water from the potatoes. Season the potatoes with salt, pepper, and oregano.
• You may season the insides of the vegetables with some salt if desired.
• Fill the vegetables to the top with the filling. Cover with the vegetable tops and brush lightly with some olive oil. Place the stuffed vegetables in the baking dish over the sauce and season lightly with some salt.
• Fill in the gaps with the seasoned potatoes.
• Cover the tray with parchment paper and foil.
• Bake them covered for 45 minutes.
• Remove the foil and parchment and bake 35-40 more minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.

Serve with toasted bread and enjoy!
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