Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Stuffed Vegetables (Yemista Lahanika)

This is a very popular Greek dish that my mother made regularly when I was growing up, and continues to do so. I’ve made it a few times over the years and it’s a big hit with the family. Make a big batch and freeze the leftovers for another day. In addition to peppers and tomatoes, you can also stuff eggplant and zucchini, all equally delicious.


Stuffed Vegetables (Yemista Lahanika)
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups chopped onion
5 tablespoons butter (you can use olive or canola oil instead)
2 pounds ground beef
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped mint (optional)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 ¼ cups water
1 cup raw converted rice
6 green peppers (I also use red, yellow and orange peppers)
6 tomatoes
2 potatoes, peeled and sliced (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sauté onions in 3 tablespoons butter. Add beef and brown. Season with salt, pepper, parsley and mint. Combine 1 tablespoon of tomato paste with 1 ½ cups of the water. Add rice and mix. Bring to a boil and cook until liquid has been absorbed by rice.

Cut thin slice from top of each pepper and tomato, scoop out insides and arrange vegetables in greased baking pan. Stuff with meat and rice mixture, and cap with tops of vegetables. Dilute remaining tomato paste in remaining water and add to pan. Sliced potatoes can be placed between vegetables if desired.

Dot with remaining 2 tablespoons butter (optional). Bake for 1 hour, or until vegetables are done, basting with pan sauce often.

Enjoy!

Source: The Complete Book of Greek Cooking

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