BM# 76: Week 1/ Day 2 Theme: Flavors of Greece Dish: Spanakorizo
Today I have a simple and delicious Greek dish called ‘Spanakorizo’ or Spinach rice. This dish is traditionally made during winter and is served as a side dish to fish or meatballs. I served it with some raita (yogurt sauce) for a simple and filling meal. This Greek Spanakorizo is very similar to Indian palak rice (spinach rice) but with less spices and more herbs. The Greeks love their herbs like mint, dill and oregano. These give the dish a nice fresh taste to the dish. Adjust the amount of herbs to your preference.
I used basmati rice in this dish, but any medium or long grain rice can be used. Also I used frozen chopped spinach because that is what I had on hand. Fresh baby spinach would taste even better here. I think next time I make this dish, I will probably add some chickpeas or tofu or even paneer (to give an Indian twist to the dish) to make it more protein rich and substantial. This is a quick and easy dish to make on a weekday. If you add the protein right to the rice, then you have an amazing one pot dish that is great to pack for lunch the next day too.This Greek rice an be served as is but some Kalamata olives and feta/ Greek cheese will not be out of place. I loved the salty olives and the creamy tangy cheese with the rice. Do give this a try, I’m sure you will keep making it often.
2cupsFrozen chopped Spinach (or use a 8oz. bag of baby spinach chopped)
1SmallYellow Onion, chopped
1tbspFresh Mint, chopped (or use 1tsp dry mint)
¼tspRed Pepper flakes (optional)
To tasteSalt Pepper
2Garlic cloves, finely minced
Wash and rinse rice. Soak in water for about 30 minutes.
Heat 2tbsp olive oil in a pan, add the red pepper flakes, onion and crushed garlic. Cook for 3~4 minutes until the onions turn translucent.
Add the spinach and cook for 3~4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the dry mint and dill. Cook for 1 more minute.
Drain the rice and stir into the pan. Add 1¾cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook till the water evaporates from the surface. Reduce the flame to low and cook covered till all of the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 5~6 minutes.
Set the pan aside covered for 5 minutes before fluffing and serving.