Yemista / Stuffed Vegetables …
… the word yemista in Greek literally means ‘stuffed’ and there are many versions from many different countries of essentially the same dish , though each one has its own take or twist on it.
Even in Greece there are a lot of variations depending on the origin of the recipe . You can have stuffed peppers , tomatoes , aubergines , courgettes & courgette flowers , potatoes , even onions . You can also stuff vine leaves , lettuce or cabbage leaves as well as squid and mussels shells. The actual stuffing can consist of rice ( we call it ‘orphaned yemista’) or a mix of rice and minced meat ( called ‘married’) . In some areas rice is switched for bulgur wheat and in others there is the use of pine nuts , raisins and cinnamon.
My version is the one made by my mother : peppers and tomatoes stuffed with rice, grated carrots and courgettes , sautéed onions , tomato juice and lots of herbs such us mint and dill .
I just love how different the stuffing tastes depending on which veg encases it ! When I was little ,I would only eat the tomatoes, having a sweeter taste, but now I am definitely on team peppers , and it is funny to see that my kids preferences are changing in the same manner .😊
Top Tip: make sure you make enough for two days , because they taste so much better on the second day !