Greek Spinach and Rice
Are you looking for a delicious and nutritious meal that is easy to prepare? Look no further than Greek Spinach and Rice – Spanakorizo! It is a popular dish in Greece and is renown for its unique flavor and health benefits. In this blog, we will take a look at the history of Spanakorizo, its nutritional benefits, tips for preparing it, different ways to enjoy it, delicious recipes, and where to find it. Time to start!
Introduction to Spanakorizo
Greek Spinach and Rice is a traditional dish in Greece, made with spinach, rice, onions, garlic, and a variety of spices. It is a hearty and filling meal packed with nutrients and flavor. It is also incredibly easy to make and can be ready in about 30 minutes. Whether you are a novice or experienced cook, this dish is sure to be a hit with your family and friends.
The History of Greek Spinach and Rice
The history of Spanakorizo dates back to the ancient Greeks. It was a popular dish in the region and was often served at festivals or special occasions. Over the years, it has evolved to become a staple in Greek cuisine and is enjoyed by people all over the world.
The original recipe for Greek Spinach and Rice is thought to have originated in the city of Thessaloniki, where it was served in the home of a wealthy merchant. From there, it spread throughout the country and eventually made its way around the world. As a broader, regional dish, it shares a lot in common with Turkish Pirinçli Ispanak.
Nutritional Benefits of Greek Spinach and Rice
Greek Spinach and Rice is a nutritious and delicious meal. It is full of essential vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Iron. It is also a good source of protein and fiber, which can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied.
In addition to its nutritional benefits, Greek Spinach and Rice is low in calories and fat. This makes it a great dish for those looking to maintain a healthy weight or for those on a calorie-restricted diet.
Tips for Preparing Greek Spinach and Rice
Preparing Greek Spinach and Rice is quick and easy. I’ve tried to keep this quick by simplifying the ingredient list. The rice, onions, tomato, and chopped parsley are all in equal proportions. The spinach is keyed to what a bag of baby spinach is sized at my local trader buddy Joe.
The first step is to rinse and soak the rice for about 20 minutes. While that is going on, rinse the spinach too. If you are using baby spinach, there is no need to chop it. However, if you prefer mature leaf spinach, remove the thick stems and chop what’s left. No need to dry off the spinach. The residual water will help in the wilting.
Vegetables ready? It’s time to start cooking. Begin by adding more extra virgin olive oil than you think necessary to a pan (I used a quarter cup). This will serve for the onions, rice, tomatoes, etc. Saute the brown, or even wild rice.
So Much Spinach!
When the rice is coated with the oil and tomatoes add the spinach. It will look like way to much spinach to begin with. But it WILL wilt down, and in the end, the balance between rice and spinach will be just right.
When the spinach is wilted, add the vegetable stock (or water) and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes, until the rice is tender and fluffy. Once the rice is ready, remove from the heat and add your spices. Popular spices used in Spanakorizo include dill, milt, oregano, thyme, and black pepper. You can also add in some feta cheese or a squeeze of lemon juice for added flavor.
We added dill and mint, but just a bit (we don’t really care for dill). We wished the dish had more herbs, so don’t be afraid to load it up to your taste.
Different Ways to Enjoy Greek Spinach and Rice
Enjoy Spanakorizo in a variety of ways. It is a great side dish to serve alongside roasted or grilled meats. I had mine with Lamb Ribs. You can also serve it as a main dish, topped with a poached egg or grilled fish. Or you can enjoy as a meaty main by adding some grilled lamb or chicken
Spanakorizois something you can also be serve cold, in a salad or wrap. It is a great option for lunch or dinner on the go. You can also use it as a filling for savory pies or turnovers.
Delicious Spanakorizo Recipes
There are so many delicious ways to enjoy Greek Spinach and Rice. Here are some of our favorite recipes:
-Greek Spinach and Rice Stuffed Peppers: These peppers are filled with a flavorful mixture of Spanakorizo, feta cheese, and olives. Bake until the peppers are tender and the cheese is melts.
-Greek Spinach and Rice Frittata: This frittata is a tasty and healthy breakfast option. Use eggs, Spanakorizo, and feta cheese.
-Spanakorizo Salad: This salad is a refreshing and flavorful way to enjoy Greek Spinach and Rice. Make it with spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and feta cheese. Season with a Greek vinaigrette.
-Greek Spinach and Rice Soup: This soup is a comforting and hearty meal. Make it with spinach, rice, onions, garlic, and a variety of spices. Then top with a dollop of Greek yogurt for added creaminess.
Greek Spinach and Rice is a delicious and nutritious meal that is easy to prepare. It has a unique flavor and is dense with essential vitamins and minerals. It is also low in calories and fat, making it a great dish for those looking to maintain a healthy weight. Plus, there are so many different ways to enjoy it, from salads and wraps to frittatas and soups. So, what are you waiting for? Try out this delicious dish and experience the deliciousness of Spanakorizo today
Greek Spinach and Rice – Spanakorizo
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup medium or long grain rice
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 6 oz baby spinach
- 1 cup vegetable stock or water
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1/2 tsp dried mint
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice optional
- 2 TBS crumbled feta cheese optional
- Rinse rice, then soak it for about 20 minutes
- Rinse spinach, removing any yellowed or black leaves. No need to dry
- In large, heavy bottomed skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat
- Add onions and saute until translucent, stirring occasionally
- Add garlic and saute until just fragrant
- Add rice and tomatoes and stir to combine with onions and coat with oil
- Add spinach on top, and allow to sit for several minutes
- As spinach begins to wilt, stir with rice and tomatoes
- When spinach is fully wilted, add 1 cup of vegetable stock or water
- Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce the heat
- Cook for about 20 minutes, until rice is cooked through
- Remove from heat and stir in dill and mint.
- Add kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Transfer to serving bowl and top with crumbled feta or a squeeze of lemon juice