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Pikilia gemista


You'll need

4 truss vine-ripened tomatoes, separated 2 heirloom zucchini, halved lengthways, ends trimmed (see note) 2 Japanese eggplant, halved diagonally 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling   Eggplant stuffing 2 red capsicum 2 tbsp olive oil ½ onion, finely chopped 50 gm brown sugar 50 gm small green lentils ½ golden shallot ¼ each carrot and celery stalk ½ garlic clove 3 sprigs thyme   Vegetable nage ½ each onion, carrot and celery stalk 1 garlic clove 1 fresh bay leaf ¼ bunch of thyme 5 white peppercorns 250 ml white wine   Tomato stuffing 2 tbsp olive oil ¼ onion, finely chopped 50 gm arborio rice 75 gm canned crushed tomatoes 5 each dill and flat-leaf parsley sprigs, coarsely chopped 1 lemon, finely grated rind only   Zucchini stuffing 50 gm canned chickpeas, drained ¼ Spanish onion, finely chopped 1 tomato, seeds removed, diced   Tomato dressing 100 gm canned crushed tomatoes 10 basil leaves ¼ Spanish onion

Method

  • 01
  • Cut tomatoes horizontally 1cm from tops (reserve tops). Hollow out with a spoon (reserve tomato membrane), turn upside down on absorbent paper and refrigerate until required. Lightly score zucchini and eggplant, season with sea salt, refrigerate until required.
  • 02
  • For eggplant stuffing, preheat oven to 200C. Roast capsicum in a roasting tray until skins blister (25-30 minutes). When cool enough to handle, peel (discard skin and seeds) and finely chop. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add onion and sauté until transparent (5-10 minutes). Add capsicum and brown sugar and stir until caramelised (10-15 minutes). Meanwhile, combine lentils, shallot, carrot, celery, garlic and thyme in a saucepan, cover completely with cold water and cook over medium heat until lentils are tender (35-45 minutes). Strain, discard vegetables and herbs, then combine lentils with capsicum mixture and season to taste. Scrape out insides of eggplant with a spoon (discard flesh) then fill eggplant with lentil mix and set aside. Reduce oven to 180C.
  • 03
  • For vegetable nage, combine all ingredients except wine in a saucepan, add 1 litre of water and bring to boil over medium heat. Remove from heat, cool slightly, then add wine. Strain and set aside.
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, for tomato stuffing, heat olive oil in a saucepan. Add onion and cook over medium heat until translucent (5-10 minutes). Add rice, stirring to coat, and 280ml vegetable nage, cover and cook until rice is al dente (20-25 minutes). Add crushed tomato, herbs and lemon rind and season to taste. Cool, divide among prepared tomatoes and replace tomato tops. Set aside.
  • 05
  • Meanwhile, for zucchini stuffing, pulse chickpeas in a food processor until coarsely chopped and transfer to a bowl. Add onion and tomato and season to taste. Scrape out insides of prepared zucchini with a spoon and fill with chickpea mixture.
  • 06
  • For tomato dressing, combine reserved tomato membrane, crushed tomatoes, basil and onion in a blender and blend until smooth. Season to taste and set aside.
  • 07
  • Place all stuffed vegetables in a deep roasting pan, fill to 1cm deep with vegetable nage, drizzle with olive oil, cover with foil and roast until tender (15-20 minutes). Serve immediately, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil, and tomato dressing spooned around.
Note If unavailable, you can substitute heirloom zucchini with small zucchini.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

A leafy xinomavro, such as the 2006 Kir-Yianni Akakies from Naoussa.

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