Greek Spinach Rice: Spanakorizo

12 Mar

I have a friend from my MBA studies who makes her life in the hospitality industry. She’s Canadian, born of Hungarian parents and lives on the Greek island of Crete. When I planned to take a stab at making a Greek-style rice dish (to enjoy with Greek-Style Roasted Chicken), I had the brilliant idea of writing to Agnes.

“What type of rice is most commonly used in Greek cooking?” Her answer — ‘Karolina’ brand or Arborio used for making risotto — was the critical element in making this recipe a big success. I have scaled down The Ultimate Guide to Greek Food‘s recipe for Spinach Rice for the Savvy Single kitchen.

Greek Spinach Rice --- Spanaorizo

Greek Spinach Rice — Spanakorizo

The creamy-tasting rice cooks up quickly and is nutritionally enhanced by the power of spinach. A squirt of fresh lemon juice and a slice of Feta cheese on top make this a dish that sparkles beside the roast chicken.

Chopped onion & garlic, olive oil, fresh lemons, spinach

Chopped onion & garlic, olive oil, fresh lemons, spinach

GREEK SPINACH RICE — SPANAKORIZO                      Serves : 2 – 3 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/6 cup (37 mL)                       olive oil
  • 1/2 large                                     leek, sliced (or 1/2 small yellow onion, diced)
  • 1 clove                                         garlic, chopped
  • 5 – 6 oz ~ 3/4 cup (188 mL)   Arborio (risotto) rice or Greek brand ‘Karolina’
  • 1.5 cups (375 mL)                     water
  • 1 large                                          bunch spinach, washed, rinsed & de-stemmed
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL)                           fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL)                            flat-leafed parsley, chopped
  •                                       Lemon wedges and slices of Feta cheese for serving

Instructions:

1.     In a deep, wide skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and leek slices (or diced onion) and fry until soft, about 5 minutes.

"Cook" Arboria rice for 2 - 3 minutes in olive oil, fried onions and garlic.

“Cook” Arborio rice for 2 – 3 minutes in olive oil, fried onions and garlic.

2.     Add the rice and cook in the oil for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring frequently. The rice should be well coated with oil. Add the water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Do keep an eye on the pan, as the rice may cook dry before 15 minutes.

Bring rice and water to a boil before covering and simmering over low heat -- 15 minutes.

Bring rice and water to a boil before covering and simmering over low heat — 15 minutes.

3.     Meanwhile, set a pot of water on to boil. Roughly slice the cleaned spinach. Cook the spinach in the boiling water for 1 – 2 minutes, just until the spinach wilts. Drain well, squeeze lightly to release as much water as possible.

Wilt a bunch of spinach leaves in boiling water. Drain well.

Wilt a bunch of spinach leaves in boiling water. Drain well.

4.     When rice is cooked, remove the skillet from the heat and allow it to rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in the drained spinach, chopped parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

5.     The rice is perfectly balanced when served with more lemon wedges and topped with slices of Feta cheese. The perfect complement to Greek-style Roasted Chicken. “Kali Orexi!”

! Kali Orexi !

! Kali Orexi !

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4 Responses to “Greek Spinach Rice: Spanakorizo”

  1. Agnes Weninger March 12, 2013 at 1:40 am #

    Thanks for the credit Susan! Kali Orexi! (Bon Appetit!)

    • Susan at Savvy Single Suppers March 12, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

      You deserve it! Now . . . if I can ever think of a reason that divine, whole cheesecakes constitute Savvy Single status YOU, my friend, will be the guest blogger. Best cheesecakes in the world come from your kitchen, Agnes. Next time I make the Spanakorizo I’ll go looking for the wine you suggested.

  2. bus płock warszawa March 27, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I don’t know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

    • Susan at Savvy Single Suppers April 1, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

      Flattery is good for the soul (and the blogging cook). Happy you visited and liked what you saw. Please come again.

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