Honoring mothers’ palates

by Oracle Oil Admin


Tomatoes, eggplant, rice, pine nuts and herbs…what more could you want on a breezy spring afternoon? A recipe passed down from my grandmother to my mother and then on to me, Gemista is a classic Greek stuffed vegetable dish that uses the best of early summer produce for a satisfying light meal or refreshing side dish that does justice to Mother Nature in all her glory.

Give the recipe a try and share it with the Mom or Mom-figures in your life. And for some mama-inspired reading, check out this article by Emily Torres on the concept of the divine feminine.

Makes 6-12 servings

• 6 large firm but ripe tomatoes (you can use red, yellow and orange if available)
• 6 medium firm eggplants or round zucchini
• ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 large onions, finely chopped
• 5-6 scallions, finely chopped
• 1 cup medium-grain white rice
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• ⅓ cup lightly toasted pine nuts
• ¾ cup water, or more if needed
• Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
• ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
• ½ cup chopped mint
• pinch of dried oregano
• ½ cup chopped dill
• ½ tsp ground nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.

  2. Wash the vegetables. Take a very sharp knife and slice off the top of each tomato, eggplant and zucchini, and set aside to reserve.

  3. With a sharp teaspoon, gently scoop out the pulp of each vegetable, being careful not to tear the outer skin and leaving a shell about ½ inch thick. Remove any seeds, chop, and then place the pulp and juices in a large bowl.

  4. In a large, heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sauté the onions and scallions over medium heat until translucent and soft, about 10 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes.

  5. Add the chopped vegetable pulp with juices, garlic, pine nuts, and water, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, until rice has started to soften and most of the liquid has been absorbed (the mixture should still be moist). Season with salt and pepper, stir in the herbs, and remove from the heat.

  6. Stuff the vegetable shells with the rice filling and crown with their caps. Place in a baking pan. Add about ¼ cup water to the pan and drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over the vegetables. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the vegetables are soft and blistery and the rice is tender. Baste with the pan juices during baking if necessary. Serve hot or chilled.