Gemista 2.0 - Roasted Tomatoes and Zucchini Stuffed with Herbed Quinoa & Red Rice

This Gemista recipe takes my all time favorite Greek summertime meal and revamps it to next level healthy!  Quinoa and whole grain red rice are both nutritionally dense and offer a rich nutty flavor.  Red rice is packed with flavonoid antioxidants which help fight free radicals.  Both are great sources of fiber and B vitamins.  If you can't easily find red rice, red quinoa makes a good substitution.  Our garden provided the rest of the ingredients, including these beautiful yellow tomatoes!  The key to success with this recipe is to keep the stuffing mixture 'soupy'.  Excess moisture will be absorbed when it is baked.  Also, be generous with garlic and fresh herbs.  Exact measurements aren't necessary.  A pinch of cinnamon and a dash of cumin are the secret ingredients. Final note, omit the Parmesan cheese for a wonderful vegan meal.  I like to top with feta cheese when served.

Ingredients:

  • 8 garden ripe tomatoes
  • 2 large zucchini
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup cooked red rice
  • 1 cup Swiss Chard, chopped.  Spinach or other dark greens work as substitutes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1t Greek mountain oregano
  • 1/4t cinnamon
  • 1/2t cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1t salt
  • 1t pepper
  • 2T  Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3T The Furies EVOO, plus more to drizzle over before baking

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350'
  • Slice tops of tomatoes and save.  Carefully carve out the center of all pulp, juice and seeds and reserve in a bowl (cut pulp into small pieces). Place tomatoes upside down on a parchment covered baking sheet to rest.
  • Cut zucchinis into large hunks.  Using a paring knife, carefully cut out centers.  A serrated grapefruit spoon also works well to remove insides.  Cut pulp into small pieces and add zucchini centers to tomato pulp.
  • Cook quinoa and red rice according to package directions.  I think it's best to under cook slightly as the grains will continue soften as baked. Rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well.
  • Add greens, herbs, shallots, garlic, grains and spices to reserved vegetable pulp and juice.  Mix in EVOO and Parmesan cheese. This mixture was wonderful as is, I ended up adding a few Kalamata olives and eating some for lunch as I was cooking.
  • Coat the bottom of a baking dish with EVOO.  Carefully spoon grain and herb mixture into tomatoes and zucchini and place in baking dish.  Cover tomatoes with their tops.  Drizzle with EVOO.
  • Bake approximately 45 minutes until vegetables soften and tops slightly browned.  
  • Serve with crumbled feta and a green salad. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 


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