Epifania from Captain Dimitri’s, a traditional Greek Taverna serving up sacred family recipes to locals in the South of Santorini island shares her secret to the perfect Greek Stuffed Tomatoes.
5 large, firm, fat and round tomatoes
5 large peppers
1 large red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup each of Italian/continental parsley, mint and dill all roughly chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts of silvered almonds
1 heaped tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup of Mizithra, Kefalograviera or Parmesan cheese cut into very small cubes (optional)
2 cups uncooked rice
refined sugar to sprinkle
4 medium sized potatoes, each cut into 8 wedges (optional)
Tzatziki and bread to serve.
Carefully slice the tops off the tomatoes, leaving the top still attached. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. Reserve the flesh in a bowl.
Cut the tops off the peppers and use your hands to remove the seeds and membrane.
Place tomatoes and peppers in a pan large enough to hold them comfortably and sprinkle a little sugar on the inside of each vegetable.
In a large, heavy based pot, add a good lug of olive oil. Add the onion and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until coloured.
Strain the reserved tomato flesh and blend the solids in a food processor until pureed. Reserve the liquid.
Add the pureed tomato to the pot and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add to the pot the Italian flat-leaf parsley, mint and dill. Add pine nuts or silvered almonds, a good heaped tablespoon of tomato paste and . Stir until well combined. Add 2 cups of rice (we used white short-grain, but you could use whatever rice you prefer or have in your cupboard) and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Stir until well combined and check that you have a nice, thick consistency. Add more rice if needed.
Stuff the tomatoes and peppers 3/4 of the way full with rice mixture. Replace tops. Pour the reserved liquid from the tomatoes over the vegetables into the baking pan.
Toss the potato wedges in a little olive oil with salt and pepper to taste and then wedge in-between the tomatoes and peppers.
Bake in a preheated 180C oven for approx 1 3/4 hours. The vegetables should pierce and be slightly blacked in parts.
Allow the vegetables to sit for about 30 mins – 1 hour to firm before serving.
Serve with Tzatziki and a loaf of crusty bread to soak up all the yummy juices.