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Greek Spinach Risotto (Spanakorizo)🌿🇬🇷-Fresh Connection

Greek Spinach Rice (Spanakorizo)🌿🇬🇷

Spanakorizo is a classic nutritious dish which reminds us that simple, wholesome ingredients can come together to create something incredible.  The name spanakorizo is a composite of the two key ingredients: spanaki meaning spinach and rizi meaning rice. 

There is a lot of washing of a lot of spinach, but the effort is worth it. Apart from the washing, everything else is so simple that it kind of balances out. 

You will need a large pot for this recipe because the uncooked spinach takes up a lot of room, which then wilts down. Be prepared and start your washing earlier in the day, not when you are about to cook 💁🏼‍♀️

There are many variations to this recipe which are all great. I sometimes add chopped carrot, or chilli after the onions. Others add tomatoes or even mushrooms.

This dish is great as a light meal or accompanied with your favourite meat or fish. Tastes great with olives and crusty bread and always some feta cheese. Add toasted pinenuts for a vegetarian option. 

If you have left overs, you can enjoy the next day for lunch too 😋

Ingredients for 5-6 persons 

  • 5 spring onions
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/3-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Approx 1 kg English spinach, including stem weight (wash it well and discard any tough stem) 
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2 cups hot water
  • !/2 -1 bunch dill and/or parsley, chopped 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Add feta to taste 

    Method

    1. Wash the spinach thoroughly, discarding the thick hard stems and any yucky leaves. See note below about washing 
    2. Roughly tear up your spinach leaves and chop your onions.
    3. With a few tablespoons olive oil, sauté the onions in a large saucepan until translucent.
    4. Add the roughly cut spinach and leave it for 5-10 mins until it wilts. It may appear that there is too much spinach for the pot, but as it heats it will wilt and decrease in volume. Putting the lid on will make the spinach wilt faster. 
    5. Add the rice and the chopped herbs on top of the spinach. Salt and pepper to taste. 
    6. Add hot water and bring to the boil.
    7. Stir really well 
    8. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting, cover with lid and let it cook until the rice is cooked and most of the water is absorbed for approximately 20-25 mins, or until the rice is cooked.  If the spanakorizo appears to have too much liquid, be mindful that it will thicken up when removed from the stove. If you want more liquid, you can add some hot water. 
    9. Take the pan off the heat and allow to stand for 15 mins with the lid on.
      1.  Add remaining oil, lemon juice and tease the spinach through the rice.
      2. Taste test to see if you have enough salt and pepper.
      3. Serve at room temperature with feta.

      Note- I fill a very large bowl (or the sink) with water, dunking the spinach in it and swirling it around. This has to be done a few times, with a fresh bowl of water each time, until the water in the bowl is clean and does not have any dirt or grit at the bottom. Remember to take the spinach out of the water filled bowl each time. Do not discard the water first as this will contaminate the spinach again. You may need to do these 3-4 times. Also, be sure to wash you spring onions  thoroughly. A lot of grit can hide in between the leaves. No one likes to eat grit.


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