This is one of my favourite summer recipes, fresh, comforting and simple. It’s my grandma’s Despina speciality, she makes gemista (stuffed vegetables) with seasonal veg and herbs that she grows herself and I believe that the key ingredient is the right amount of chopped herbs!

Ingredients

For the vegetables:
2 large brown onions
6 red and green bell peppers
300g Cyprus potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes

For the filling:
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 spring onions, washed and finely chopped
1 courgette, finely chopped
200g bulgur wheat
1 tbsp grape molasses
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
Tinned chopped tomatoes 300g
1 tsp tomato puree
1 medium bunch parsley, washed and finely chopped
1 small bunch dill, washed and finely chopped
2 spring of mind, leaves only, finely chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Preheat oven 200°C/ 180°C fan
For the veg:
Cut the potatoes into cubes and place them in the baking tray, drizzle some extra virgin olive, salt and pepper
Cut off the top of the onions. Use a spoon to scoop out the inner layers leaving about 2 outer layers intact, creating a sturdy shell. Keep the onion lid and finely chop all of the inner layers of the onions, put them in a bowl and set aside.
Cut the tops off of the bell peppers, cutting about ½ – 1 mm under the stem. Remove any flesh and seeds.
Arrange all the vegetables nicely in your baking tray.

For the filling:
Place a pan over high-medium heat, add some extra virgin olive oil. Add your chopped onion and cook for 5min, then add garlic and cook for 5min.
Once onion and garlic are cooked, add the chopped courgette and cook for 5min. Now add the grape molasses, paprika and tomato puree and stir well and add the chopped tomatoes. Season well with salt and pepper, add the bulgur wheat and plenty of water (approximately 300ml). Let it simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the fresh chopped herbs and the spring onions.
Add more seasoning and extra virgin olive oil if need.

Stuffing the vegetables:
Drizzle your vegetables with a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle some salt, pepper and paprika.
Use a spoon to help you stuff the vegetables. Once you’ve stuffed all the vegetables, place their lids on them. Spread any leftover filling over the potatoes.
Add 250ml of water into the baking tray and drizzle some extra virgin olive. Cover with foil and bake for 60 minutes.
Remove foil and bake for another 10 more minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the vegetables are cooked.
Serve with feta or Greek yoghurt.