How to make it: Thomas Douzis’ gemista recipe

This Greek classic will have guests fighting over the leftovers. 

By Thomas Douzis
photographs by David Charbit
Published 3 Apr 2020, 07:34 BST
Peppers for the Gemista.
Peppers stuffed with rice.
Photograph by David Charbit

Serves: 8   
Takes: 2 hrs 


6 beef tomatoes, tops sliced off
3 green peppers, tops sliced off and de-seeded
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
8 tbsp olive oil 
2 tsp sugar
500g beef mince (optional)
300g risotto rice
2 tsp tomato paste
1 carrot, grated
1 courgette, grated
bunches of parsley, dill and mint, chopped
5 potatoes, peeled and cubed


1 Heat oven to 180C, fan 160C, gas 4. Scoop out the insides of the tomatoes and transfer to a bowl, keeping the skins whole. Blend the insides to a juice. 
2 Sauté the onions and garlic in a large pan with a little olive oil and the sugar; add the beef, if using. Stir in the rice and cook for 5 mins. 
3 Stir the blended tomatoes, the tomato paste, carrot and courgette into the pan. Simmer for 5 mins, then remove from the heat. Season and add the herbs.
Grease a large oven dish, about 10cm deep, with olive oil, then pour in 600ml water. Stuff the tomatoes and peppers with the rice mix, then place their tops back on and set in the dish; fill the spaces with the potato. Drizzle with olive oil, cover with foil and roast for 90 mins.

Read our feature on Thessaloniki here

Published in issue 8 of National Geographic Traveller Food

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