Showing posts with label baby eggplant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label baby eggplant. Show all posts

Traditional stuffed peppers and tomatoes - Gemista

Stuffed peppers and tomatoes is a very traditional and popular summer dish in Greece while the vegetables are in season. This is also one of my favorite Greek dishes. The tomatoes are medium size, firm, ripe and juicy. The peppers are small and so tender that you don’t need to peel the skin when cooked. I have experimented with different type of peppers. There are only two types that can be stuffed; bell peppers and cubanelle peppers. Cubanelle peppers have thinner skin than the regular bell peppers. I find them the closest to the peppers I find in Greece.

My mother used to make mainly peppers and tomatoes, but the peppers were the only ones I would eat. Sometimes she’d stuff eggplants too. The eggplants in Greece are also small; what we call here in the US baby eggplant. When my mother made this dish during the summer, she made it mainly vegetarian. On occasion she’d use ground beef. The vegetarian version is with rice and different vegetables. When I make the vegetarian version, I use chopped carrots, and if I stuff zucchini or eggplant, I will incorporate the flesh in the stuffing along with herbs like parsley and dill.

There are many different versions of gemista – or yemista. My mother in law used raisins and pine nuts in the vegetarian version. The raisins give them a sweeter taste and the pine nuts some crunch.

I often make this delectable stuffed peppers, tomatoes and eggplant dish. Living in the US we can find these vegetables year round, (they are being shipped here from warmer climates). Sometimes I will make them vegetarian style, and other times I will use ground turkey. I usually make enough so that I can give some to my daughters. They also freeze well, especially the peppers. Tomatoes, eggplant and zucchini are best eaten first if you are planning in freezing some. You can place the uncooked stuffed peppers in a separate dish, cover them tightly with saran wrap and aluminum foil and freeze them. When you need them you can take them out, pour some olive oil, a little bit of tomato sauce, season and bake them in the oven. They will taste as good as the day you made them. Another option is to cook all of them, and freeze the stuffed peppers in an airtight container. When you need them, you can take them out of the freezer early in the morning, then warm them up in the oven for about ½ hour till heated through. Now you have dinner ready in minutes.

These will take an hour to prepare and about two hours to cook in the oven. But it’s worth all the effort. Enjoy them with a dollop of Greek yogurt, a slice of feta and some fresh crusty bread on the side. A glass of red wine will also go nicely.

Enjoy!

Stuffed Peppers, Tomatoes and Baby Eggplant

Makes 13 servings about 15 oz each serving

½ cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 lbs ground turkey
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup chopped parsley
½ cup chopped dill
1 cup chopped eggplant (the flesh)
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (the flesh)
½ cup rice
3 large tomatoes
5 cubanelle peppers
5 baby eggplants
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
14 oz diced tomatoes

Directions
Wash, clean and peel the baby eggplant (as you see in the picture).   Hollow out the eggplant and chop the flesh. Set aside. Wash the tomatoes. Hollow out the tomatoes and chop the flesh. Set aside. Wash the cubanelle peppers, cut the top, and remove the seeds. Set aside. Wash, peel and chop the onion. Set aside. Wash, peel and shred the carrots. Set aside. Wash and chop the parsley and the dill. Set aside.

In a large skillet add the 1/2 cup olive oil, and the chopped onions. Sauté till lightly browned. Add the ground turkey. Sauté till cooked through. Add the carrots and the flesh from the eggplant and sauté. Add 1 cup of the diced tomato flesh. Add the 1/2 cup rice and 1/2 cup water and cook till the rice is slightly cooked. Add the salt and pepper. Stir. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large oven proof pan, 13x10 assemble the vegetables. Take one by one and fill with the mixture. When the pan is full and all the vegetables are stuffed, drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper, the remaining cup of the chopped tomatoes and a can of diced tomatoes. Add 1 can (14 oz) of water. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 2 hours, uncovered, till the vegetable are tender and slightly browned on top. Remove from the oven and serve.

Nutrition Facts Serving Size 15.708 oz (445.3g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 272
Calories from Fat 124
Total Fat 13.8g
Saturated Fat 2.1g
Cholesterol 26mg
Sodium 139mg
Total Carbohydrates 27.8g
Dietary Fiber 10.5g
Sugars 9.8g
Protein 13.8g 







Fettuccine with baby eggplant, zucchini in diced tomato sauce

I just love pasta. I could have it every day. As I was shopping through the grocery store the other day, I thought I'd buy some fettuccine and come up with a recipe to use it. I got tired of the same spaghetti and meat sauce dish. I know I have experimented with Shrimp and Artichoke Hearts with Gluten Free Pasta, Pasta with chicken sausage and butternut squash, or my Eggplant and Penne with Bechamel Sauce - Greek Style, but I needed something different and something quick. I already had the baby eggplant and the zucchini in my fridge, so I came back from the grocery store and since it was time for dinner, I began preparing this dish. It was easy, fast, and within an hour I had dinner on the table. My husband and I loved it. For some reason the fettuccine gave it a different texture/flavor if you will, than the same ordinary spaghetti. So go ahead make it for yourselves. You will enjoy every bit of it. (PS--this is also a nice dish for Lent).

Ingredients (Makes 4 servings – appr. 12oz ea)
8 oz. Fettuccine Noodles
4 oz. baby eggplant
8 oz. zucchini
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 tsp. chopped garlic
2 tbsp. tomato sauce
14 1/2 oz. diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Directions
Cook the fettuccine according to the package directions.

Wash and dice the eggplant and the zucchini (please note that the weight is with the vegetables whole not diced). Dice the onion, chop the garlic and the parsley. Set aside.

In a large saute pan, saute the diced onion and garlic. Add the diced vegetables, the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, the water and the chopped parsley. Add the salt and pepper. Lower the heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes till the vegetables are tender but not mushy (they will also cook more when you add the fettuccine noodles. When the pasta is ready drain it and add the pasta to the vegetable sauce. Toss well, sprinkle with pecorino romano cheese and serve. An easy dish that only takes 45 minutes to make. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 11.027 oz (312.6g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 190
Calories from Fat 71
Total Fat 7.9g
Saturated Fat 1.1g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 348mg
Potassium 550mg
Total Carbohydrates 26.9g
Dietary Fiber 3.6g
Sugars 5.5g
Protein 5.2g