For the vegetables
- Slice off the top of 3 onions.
- Scoop out most of the inner layers leaving about 3-4 outer layers intact, creating a sturdy shell.
- Place them in the baking dish with the baby potatoes.
- Finely chop all of the inner layers you removed. Put them in a bowl and set aside until needed.
- Slice off the bottom side of the tomatoes with a sharp knife, cutting about ½ – 1 mm from the edge. This way they can hold more of the filling.
- Carefully scoop out the flesh, making sure you do not rip the outer shell.
- Put the flesh in a separate bowl and set aside until needed.
- Place the tomato shells in the baking dish stem side down, arranging them nicely in the dish.
- Mash the tomato flesh in the bowl with your hands and set aside until needed.
- Slice the tops off of the bell peppers, cutting about ½ – 1 mm under the stem and just a little off the bottom to help them stand better.
- Remove any flesh and seeds and arrange them nicely in the baking dish among the rest of the vegetables and potatoes.
For the filling
- Place a pan over high heat and add 4 tablespoons olive oil.
- Add your chopped onion and sauté. Thinly slice the garlic and add it to the pan. Sauté.
- Add 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar. Mix and sauté until the vegetables caramelize nicely.
- Add a generous amount of salt and freshly ground pepper, since you will be adding the rice also and it needs a good amount of seasoning.
- Add the rice and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until it turns light golden.
- Sautéing the rice “seals” it, so it doesn’t let it get mushy when cooking.
- Add the tomato paste and sauté.
- Add the 400 ml of water and the reserved tomato flesh.
- Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Stir and remove from heat.
- The rest of the cooking will take place in the oven.
- Finely chop the parsley, dill and mint leaves and add them to the pan. Stir.
- Drizzle vegetables in pan with a generous amount of olive oil, both inside and out and season with salt and pepper.
- Use a spoon to help you add the filling to the vegetables.
- Fill them ¾ of the way because the rice will expand while cooking.
- Add any of the leftover filling over the potatoes to add even more flavor.
- Add the 200 ml of water to the pan and drizzle with olive oil.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 60 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake for another 10-20 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the stuffed vegetables are cooked and golden.
- To serve, drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil, add a few mint leaves and enjoy!