eastern aegean yemista

Filled 6 small eggplant halves (making a lid for each half out of slices from a 4th eggplant, brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with pepper) and 4 shepherd peppers (placing them on their sides, and cutting a lid out of the top 1/3 of pepper) with this filling: 1/5 cups arborio rice, 1 tbsp olive oil, 8 chopped roma tomatoes, eggplant innards (cubed, salted, drained for 15 minutes, then pressed to remove liquid), about 1 tsp cinnamon, about 1 tbsp cumin, about 1 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, 3 tbsp chopped fresh dill, 3 tbsp chopped parsley, 1 sauteed onion, 1/4 cup chopped pistachios and 1/3 cup currants. I parcooked the rice with the tomatoes, onion, white wine some water and spices for about 15 minutes, before stirring in the other ingredients, and stuffing the vegetables.

Poured some water over rice mixture inside the vegetables, to ensure there was enough liquid for the rice to finish cooking. Added some extra chopped tomatoes to the pan, wherever there was some extra space between vegetables. Baked at 325 convection on for just under an hour, basting with pan juices occasionally.

Best Eastern Aegean-style vegetarian stuffed vegetables I’ve made to date!

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