Not just for fasting, this dish is a year-round favorite for most Greeks. Legend has it that stuffed vegetables are tastier if eaten the next day; I can assure you that this rumor is true. Also, never eat them – especially the fasting variety – while piping hot.
Cooks In20' preparation | 1 hour & 15' cooking
5 red tomatoes, ripe and firm
5 bell peppers
1 zucchini, grated
1 eggplant, grated
2 onions, diced
1 cup Carolina rice
1 ½ cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1 bunch fresh spearmint, chopped
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup black raisins
Salt, freshly ground pepper
3 tomatoes, grated
Cut a slice off the top of the tomatoes (to use as a lid) and spoon the flesh into a bowl, making sure to leave enough flesh along the sides to prevent the tomato from cracking open in the oven.
Put the tomato flesh in a food processor and pulse.
Slice off the top end of the peppers and remove the seeds and fibers.
Heat ½ cup olive oil in a deep skillet and sauté the onion over medium heat for a few minutes, until transparent.
Stir in the grated zucchini and eggplant.
Bubble away for a few minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
Add the rice, tomato flesh and season.
Pour 1 cup water and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
The stuffing should be fairly juicy (runny).
Finish with the pine nuts, raisins, and chopped herbs.
Fill the tomatoes and peppers with the juicy stuffing, about ¾ full.
Cover with the lids and transfer to a baking dish, placing one close to the other.
Mix the 3 grated tomatoes and remaining olive oil (1 cup) in a bowl.
Season and pour over the food.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven at 360°F for 1 hour and 15 minutes.