This simple yet enticing dish is a Greek national favourite and my little boys absolutely love it! This rice with spinach can be enjoyed as a side dish or as a main course on its own. I’m vegan so omit the cheese.
Papa G says it makes for an attractive accompaniment to tomato based casseroles and to roast and grilled meats or a vegan/vegetarian main meal like falafel.
Here we’ve taken out the gold antique dinner set usually reserved for Christmas, to really show the rice off!
1 kg fresh spinach
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 leeks (with as much as of the green as possible), finely chopped.
4 tablespoons virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
500 ml vegetable stock or water
175g short grain rice, washed and drained
1 small handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 small handful of fresh dill finely chopped
25g kefalotyri or parmesan cheese grated (optional), finely grated
zest of lemon plus 1 tablespoon juice
Wash the spinach thoroughly in cold water and drain. Remove tough stalks and chop it coursely. In a large saucepan, fry the onion and leeks in the olive oil over medium heat until lightly golden. Add the spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes until it wilts.
Add the seasoning and continue cooking until the mixture is soft. Add the stock or water, bring this to the boil, then add the rice, parsley, dill and lemon zest.
Cover and cook gently until the rice is tender but has not absorbed the liquid completely. Remove the pan from the heat, place a tea towel or cheesecloth over the top and leave on the side for 10-15 minutes. Stir, squeeze lemon juice over the top and serve. Sprinkle with the grated cheese if you prefer.
Let me know if you make it!