Gemista with a Twist (Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers)


Gemista.JPG

Do you remember my last trip to Nafplio? You can find more details here! While I was there I visited Mr. Mallios’ shop. He is a former ship captain, who decided to retire and start a brand new career making Chilopites, Trachana and several other delicious Greek products. If you ever visit Nafplio don’t forget to check this shop. It has a huge selection of homemade products.

Chilopites are traditional, Greek pasta made with flour, eggs, milk and salt. All these ingredients are mixed to form a soft dough which is opened to a thin sheet and is cut in strips just like the lasagna or in small squared pieces.

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Now, trachanas is a different thing altogether.  It is a byproduct of wheat and it is made with flour and milk. It looks like grains and its shape is uneven. There are three basic types of Trachana:

1.      Sour Trachanas: it is made with fresh milk that has started to go bad, that is to become sour and flour or semolina. If we use flour the trachana is white. If semolina is used in its preparation, then the color is yellow.

2.     Sweet Trachanas: It is made with fresh milk, not stale and either flour or cracked wheat. The fresh milk gives a sweet flavor to this trachana and that’s why it is considered as sweet one.

3.     For the fastening periods there is the trachanas that is made with vegetable stock, flour and yeast.

Gemista.JPG

During the last stage of its preparation we lay the trachana in large surfaces to dry out. Usually we cook it as a soup either as runny as a consommé or as thick as a chowder. Sometimes we cook it with tomato paste as well.

You can watch this video on You Tube to help you understand how to make Trachana at home. You can do it yourself, it is not difficult.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1cUGtf9fvU

Trachanas is reach in carbohydrates and that’s why it gives energy to our body, in proteins since it is made with milk, natural fibers necessary for the intestine, magnesium and calcium and iron which are highly absorbable especially the the last two and lutein a very strong antioxidant that helps our eyes, skin, heart and reproductive system.

Gemista.JPG

Mr. Mallios was kind enough to give me a whole bunch of his products to try them. I was trying to think a way to make trichina, but not as a soup. I wanted to use it in a whole new way. And the idea came to me when I was working in my office. I was in the middle of a gazillion numbers trying to figure out a mistake that was made and suddenly boom the idea hit me just like Gyro Gearloose in Mickey Mouse. I decided to make Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers, Gemista as we call them in Greece, not with rice as we usually do, but with cracked wheat and trachana. I had some friends coming over, so I decided to make them my judges or Guinea pigs and let them decide if this meal was going to be my new post. They were all gone and everyone said that I should go ahead and post about them.

So, here I am along with these very tasty and out of the ordinary Gemista. I know you will not able to find trachana where you live, but you can easily replace it with cracked wheat or quinoa. It is not going to be the same, but it’s going to be pretty close.

Gemista.JPG

Gemista with a Twist (Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers)

Ingredients

5 tomatoes not ripe we want them somewhat firm

5 peppers any type you like, I used different colors to jazz it up

8 hipping tbsp. cracked wheat

8 hipping tbsp trachana or cracked wheat or quinoa

2 small zucchinis, grated

1/3 cup chopped parsley

1 tbsp fresh spearmint, chopped

1 tsp dry spearmint

2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

Salt and pepper (I added 2 tsp salt and it was fine, but you can add according to your liking)

2 scallions, sliced

1 onion, chopped

¼ cup olive oil

Gemista.JPG  

For the Sauce

The inner parts of the tomatoes

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp sugar

½ cup water

1/3 cup olive oil

Gemista.JPG  

Instructions

Preheat oven to 200° C / 400° F.

Cut the upper part of the tomatoes and with a spoon empty the tomatoes leaving a 1 cm skin around.

Cut the upper part of the peppers, remove the seeds and discard them.

In a bowl mix all the ingredients listed except the ones for the sauce.

Take each one of the tomatoes and peppers and fill them up just a little before the edge.

Place them in a Pyrex or a pan, close together.

Gemista.JPG

For the Sauce

In a blender add the inner parts of the tomatoes and all the sauce ingredients except the water and olive oil and mix.

 

Open the cups of the Gemista and add one tbsp of the sauce into the cracked wheat/ trachana mixture and close it.

Gemista.JPG

Pour the rest of the sauce in the pan, the olive oil and water as well.

Bake for 1 ½ hour or until you try the stuffing and it is soft and chewy.

You can accompany them with homemade bread and feta cheese.

Gemista.JPG

5.0 from 10 reviews

Gemista with a Twist (Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers)
 
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Main Course
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Greek

Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 5 tomatoes not ripe we want them somewhat firm
  • 5 peppers any type you like, I used different colors to jazz it up
  • 8 hipping tbsp. cracked wheat
  • 8 hipping tbsp trachana or again cracked wheat or quinoa
  • 2 small zucchinis,
  • ⅓ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh spearmint, chopped
  • 1 tsp dry spearmint
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper (I added 2 tsp salt and it was fine, but you can add according to your liking)
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
For the Sauce
  • The inner parts of the tomatoes, mashed
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ⅓ cup olive oil

Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Preheat oven to 200° C / 400° F.
  2. Cut the upper part of the tomatoes and with a spoon empty the tomatoes leaving a 1 cm skin around.
  3. Cut the upper part of the peppers, remove the seeds and discard them.
  4. In a bowl mix all the ingredients listed except the ones for the sauce.
  5. Take each one of the tomatoes and peppers and fill them up just a little before the edge.
  6. Place them in a Pyrex or a pan, close together.
  7. For the Sauce
  8. In a blender add the inner parts of the tomatoes and all the sauce ingredients except the water and olive oil and mix.
  9. Open the cups of the Gemista and add one tbsp of the sauce into the cracked wheat/ trachana mixture and close it.
  10. Pour the rest of the sauce in the pan, the olive oil and water as well.
  11. Bake for 1 ½ hour or until you try the stuffing and it is soft and chewy.

5.0 from 10 reviews

Γεμιστά με Τραχανά και Πλιγούρι
 
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Κυρίως Πιάτο
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Ελληνική

Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 5 ντομάτες όχι ώριμες
  • 5 πιπεριές οποιοδήποτε είδος σας αρέσει
  • 8 γεμάτες κ.σ. πλιγούρι
  • 8 γεμάτες κ.σ. γλυκό τραχανά
  • 2 μικρά κολοκυθάκια, τριμμένα
  • ⅓ φλ. ψιλοκομμένο μαϊντανό
  • 1 κ.σ. δυόσμο φρέσκο, ψιλοκομμένο
  • 1 κ.σ. ξερό δυόσμο
  • 2 κ.σ. φρέσκο βασιλικό, ψιλοκομμένο
  • Αλάτι και πιπέρι (πρόσθεσα 2 κ.γ. αλάτι και ήταν μια χαρά)
  • 2 κρεμμυδάκια, κομμένα σε φέτες
  • 1 κρεμμύδι, ψιλοκομμένο
  • ¼ φλ. ελαιόλαδο
Για τη Σάλτσα
  • Τη σάρκα από τις ντομάτες
  • ½ κ.γ. κανέλα
  • ½ κ.γ. μοσχοκάρυδο
  • Αλάτι και πιπέρι
  • 1 κ.σ. ζάχαρη
  • ½ φλ. νερό
  • ⅓ φλ. ελαιόλαδο

Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Προθερμαίνετε το φούρνο στους 200° C.
  2. Κόψτε το πάνω μέρος από τις τομάτες και με ένα κουτάλι αδειάστε τις.
  3. Κόψτε το πάνω μέρος των πιπεριών και αφαιρέστε τους σπόρους.
  4. Σε ένα μπολ ανακατέψτε όλα τα υλικά που αναφέρονται, εκτός από εκείνα για τη σάλτσα.
  5. Πάρτε κάθε μία από τις ντομάτες και τις πιπεριές και γεμίστε τις ακριβώς όπως κάνετε με τα γεμιστά.
  6. Τοποθετήστε τα σε ένα πυρέξ ή πήλινο ή ένα ταψί, κοντά το ένα στο άλλο.
  7. Για τη σάλτσα
  8. Σε ένα μπλέντερ ρίξτε τα εσωτερικά μέρη από τις ντομάτες και όλα τα υλικά της σάλτσας εκτός από το νερό και το ελαιόλαδο και ανακατέψτε.
  9. Ανοίξτε τα γεμιστά και προσθέστε μια κουταλιά της σούπας από τη σάλτσα στο μίγμα πλιγούρι /τραχανά και ξανακλείστε τα.
  10. Ρίξτε την υπόλοιπη σάλτσα στο ταψί καθώς και το ελαιόλαδο και το νερό.
  11. Ψήστε για 1 ½ ώρα ή μέχρι το πλιγούρι και ο τραχανάς να μαλακώσουν και να χυλώσουν.

46 Responses to Gemista with a Twist (Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers)

    1
  1. I would enjoy being you Guinea pig any day. Your stuffed vegetables look delicious.

  2. 2
  3. Diane Balch says:

    Always interesting to learn about Greek Cuisine from your posts. Thanks for coming to foodie friday.

  4. 3
  5. I am co hosting Fluster’s Creative Muster Link Party!! Thanks so much for linking up!

    Hugs,
    Deb

  6. 4
  7. Kathy says:

    Love this post, Katerina! Very interesting! Your vegetables are so vibrant and colorful…so pretty! Great photos!

  8. 5
  9. Susan says:

    I like your ‘twist’, Katerina! And the colorful peppers are so cheerful. What a pretty, delicious and healthy meal.

  10. 6
  11. Cynthia says:

    These look beautiful and delicious! Thanks for linking to the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party. Hope to see you next week.

  12. 7
  13. Thank you so much for linking up this post at The Weekend re-Treat Link Party on The Best Blog Recipes this week! Wanted to stop by and pin your post to our Party Boards :)

    Shauna @ The Best Blog Recipes

  14. 8
  15. Catherine says:

    What a wonderful and healthy recipe. Delicious!
    Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  16. 9
  17. This bright and colorful dish really tickle my taste buds!

  18. 10
  19. G’day! Looks VERY healthy and delish! I could go for one right now!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Viewed as part of the Foodie Friends Friday Peanut Butter Party!
    Cheers! Joanne

  20. 11
  21. Miz Helen says:

    Hi Katrina,
    This will be a great recipe for me to try with my fresh garden vegetables that we will be having in a few months. I will be trying this awesome recipe. Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great weekend!
    Miz Helen

  22. 12
  23. Sissi says:

    I have read your description of trachana with eyes wide open. I have never heard about it, but it sounds delicious and I hope to taste it one day (I’ll have a look at homemaking link too). I wish I could go and shop in this shop too….
    Your stuffed vegetables look gorgeous and the trachana instead of rice makes them very mysterious.

  24. 13
  25. Great hint on using tomatoes not exactly ripe so they maintain their shape. When I make baked tomatoes, they always end up as more of a glaze on the bottom of the baking pan. LOL Beautiful and colourful dish. Take care

  26. 14
  27. Liz says:

    Your gremista look fantastic. And thanks for educating us all about trachana :) Have a wonderful weekend! xo

  28. 15
  29. grace says:

    peppers make a wonderful serving vessel for something like this, and that filling sounds delicious!

  30. 16
  31. Barbara says:

    Those look marvelous, Katerina. Loved this informative post!

  32. 17
  33. Joanne says:

    I’m definitely craving stuffed peppers after seeing these!!

  34. 18
  35. Tempting, delicious and absolutely wonderful.

  36. 19
  37. TaMara says:

    I love how bright and colorful it looks with the different colored peppers. Thanks for sharing at Tales of a Pee Dee Mama.

  38. 20
  39. Wonderful recipe for these stuffed peppers, and loved reading about trachanas, totally unknown to me before this post

  40. 21
  41. Δεν εχω δοκιμάσει αυτη την version… μου φαινεται ιδιαίτερα νόστιμη!

    http://www.beautyfollower.blogspot.gr

  42. 22
  43. Joyti says:

    These look delicious!

  44. 23
  45. I too enjoy stuffed veggies. The cracked wheat filling sounds really tasty.

  46. 24
  47. Λίλα says:

    Με πλιγούρι τα φτιάχνω, με τραχανά ούτε μου είχε περάσει από το μυαλό!!!!! Υπέροχα είναι Κατερίνα μου!!!!!!!

  48. 25
  49. Adoro la verdura farcita! Complimenti per ottima ricetta! Le tue foto sono sempre molto belle! Bravissima Katerina! Un saluto :)

  50. 26
  51. Dorothy Klein says:

    Katerina!!! This looks awesome! Sorry for the exageration exclamation point, but I just love this, I’m not often cook of stuffed peppers because hubby is so picky, and he doesn’t even like to taste it, and I’m still wondering why. Then you post this, and I believe he won’t resist. ;) Thank you so much my friend!

  52. 27
  53. Debra says:

    Beautiful pictures and delicious recipe!

  54. 28
  55. Juliana says:

    So interesting this trachana, I would love to give this a try, but I am afraid that I cannot find anything that resemble its description.
    I love the colors of this dish…indeed the different colors of peppers and tomatoes are awesome.
    Hope you are having a wonderful week Katerina :D

  56. 29
  57. Mm I love peppers which have been stuffed but I definitely need to try these tomatoes as well now :D
    Delicious!

    Cheers
    CCU

  58. 30
  59. I love how colorful these are and open up my appetite!

  60. 31
  61. Katrina, this recipe is awesome! When you call for cracked wheat is it “bulghur”? I think there is no trachana in my country but I will check in specialized shops to see if I find any. Definitely it is a good change from rice!

  62. 33
  63. Nice work young lady.Thank you for sharing.

  64. 34
  65. Louise says:

    I also would be your Guinea pig any ol’ time, Katerina. Your Stuffed Peppers look delicious. Inspiration comes at the most unusual times doesn’t it:)

    Thank you so much for sharing…

  66. 35
  67. I would have gladly been your guinea pig, LOL. These stuffed tomatoes and peppers look wonderful. Thank you for sharing at Simple Supper Tuesday.

  68. 36
  69. Beautiful, Katarina. Heaping tablespoons … I don’t understand the Greek – awesome that you can translate the language for us. I’m trying to learn Spanish and it’s really not easy!

  70. 37
  71. I fell in love with this dish the moment I laid my eyes on the very first pic! Such lovely colors and the recipes sounds delicious.

  72. 38
  73. Xara says:

    Hi Katerina, your gemista are truly so mouthwatering!!! I L-O-V-E trachana!!! Beautiful pictures!!XOXO, have a great week :) )

  74. 39
  75. kiki says:

    Μπήκα να δω με τι τα γέμισες, είδα τραχανά και φεύγω! χαχα! Φιλιά!

  76. 40
  77. El relleno un maridaje perfecto me encanta luce muy bonito,abrazos.

  78. 41
  79. Ξανθή says:

    Πολύ ιδιαίτερο Κατερίνα το φαγητό σου μαζί και τα δύο ζυμαρικά δεν τα έχω χρησιμοποιήσει. Θα δοκιμάσω
    Καλή εβδομάδα

  80. 42
  81. Kate says:

    Bowls you can eat are the best!

  82. 43
  83. Gorgeous treats! So full of color, makes me think of summer :)

  84. 44
  85. What a beautiful recipe! Who can resist deliciously stuffed tomato? Not me. Thanks! :) ela

  86. 45
  87. Beth says:

    So pretty, and it sounds delicious. What a great twist on a classic dish!

  88. 46
  89. Ola says:

    No matter how they are stuffed, I loved stuffed vegetables. For me it’s a kind of autumn dish as there is here the biggest choice of veggies.
    Thank you for another interesting story!

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