Stuffed tomatoes with quinoa and buckwheat. While making this dish and now as I am writing this text I have the following thought: how to describe the deliciousness that a traditional and so Greek-related dish can have even though made in a somewhat different way.
Stuffed tomatoes are “registered” in the Greek mind with rice, and sometimes with minced meat, plenty of onion, peppermint, oil, fresh bread and Greek feta of course! So what is quinoa and this … buckwheat doing in our stuffed tomatoes? Believe me, they both fit into this dish.
A few months ago we had to put limits to our daily diet, which meant less rice, potatoes and pasta. Then I realized how constrained I was. These three types of food are so intertwined with our diet that when you need to remove them you, things become difficult.
So in order not to end up eating salad and meat, you have to be inventive. This is how these “different” stuffed tomatoes or otherwise known as “gemista” came into our kitchen … and stayed there.
Quinoa and buckwheat have been extremely popular in recent years, almost fashionable, but behind the “excitement wave”, these two materials are real treasures, according to nutrition experts. High in protein, amino acids and fiber, they contain no gluten and are suitable for people with diabetes since they control blood sugar levels effectively.
But apart from their “super food” character, they are also extremely tasty, especially when cooked, the way we do it here. In fact, we do not subtract anything from the classic and favorite stuffed tomatoes, in fact we add. We are reducing the amount of rice and top it with quinoa and buckwheat. The mix of buckwheat, quinoa and rice along with so many vegetables gives a delicious, sweet filling that will surprise you! If you want, put some sliced potatoes between the tomatoes, they will become delicious as they will suck up the fluids.
A test will convince you for sure …
INGREDIENTS (10 medium sized tomatoes)
- 10 ripe and tight tomatoes, moderate size
- 5 tablespoons quinoa
- 5 tablespoons buckwheat
- 5 tablespoons Basmati or brown rice
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 bunch green onions
- ½ bunch peppermint (or half – half peppermint and marjoram)
- 1 small green zucchini grated (optional)
- ½ Florina peppers minced (optional)
- inside part of the crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
Cut their tops and remove their inner contents with a small spoon. This crumb of tomato that we’ll need to cook food gives a very nice sauce. Hold the crumb of tomatoes in a bowl and mash it well.
Place the tomatoes in a pan and salt them lightly.
If the tomatoes aren’t too sweet or if we don’t like the alkalinity of the tomato, this sour taste, we pour a little crystalline sugar, a pinch, to sweeten it a bit.
In a large frying pan pour half of the olive oil, allow to warm and add the onion, fresh and dried, together with the garlic. Allow 3-4 minutes to wither, not fry.
Add buckwheat, quinoa and rice and mix well. Pour in the mixture about ¾ of the tomato juice, finely chop the peppermint, add salt and pepper, stir for 1-2 minutes and remove the pan from the heat.
We are ready to fill the tomatoes but it is a good idea before we do this, to carve the bottom of each tomato so that it can absorb liquids from the pan when baking and make the stuffing more juicy.
This is why some people turn the tomatoes upside down on the pan, that is to say, cook it with the tops downwards.
Fill the tomatoes halfway up or a little more than that, so that there is room for the stuffing to rise and not overflow.
When all the tomatoes are filled, pour over them the rest of the tomato juice.
Place tops back to the tomatoes, cover with the remaining oil and sprinkle with grated rusks if desired.
Bake in preheated oven for about 1 hour at 180 degrees Celsius.
Stuffed tomatoes, as you may know, are eaten wonderfully hot or cold, same day or even a little later, with feta cheece or yogurt. Enjoy your meal !