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Turkish Rice and Spinach: Pirinçli Ispanak,

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Turkish
Keyword: onion, rice, spinach
Servings: 4
  • 80 g long grain rice about ⅓ cup
  • ½ cuo onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • ½ tsp kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 1 bunch spinach stems removed, washed, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 TBS tomato paste
  • ¾ tsp smoked paprika or sweet paprika
  • 1 large tomato seeded and chopped
  • 1 ¼ cup vegetable stock warmed
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste


  • Rinse the rice in three changes of cold water, and then set aside to soak for about 30 minutes
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat
  • Add spinach to skillet and saute, turning occasionally until spinach has wilted to about ⅓ its original volume
    Remove from pan and set aside
  • Place chopped onion in a small bowl and sprinkle ½ tsp of kosher salt over the onion. Stir to combine and let sit for about 30 minutes
  • Return the skillet to the heat, and add olive oil
  • Add onion to pan and cook slowly until just softened and translucent. Do not allow to brown, about 8 - 10 minutes
  • Add garlic and cook until just softened and fragrant, 2 - 3 minutes
  • Add tomato paste and paprika and stir well to fully coat onions and garlic. Allow to cook until color just begins to darken, 2 - 3 minutes
  • Add chopped tomato and stir to fully incorporate and cook for 2 -3 minutes
  • Add any accumulated liquid from the bowl of wilted spinach to the vegetable stock
  • Add the rice and stir with other ingredients to fully coat rice with color
  • Pour about ½ of the vegetable stock into the skillet, stir and bring to a simmer
  • Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed by the rice
  • Pour about ½ of the remaining vegetable stock to the skillet, stir, and bring to a simmer
  • Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed by the rice. At this point, sample the rice for doneness. If necessary, continue adding vegetable stock about 1 TBS at a time and repeat until rice is fully cooked. Total time for rice will be about 20 - 25 minutes. You may not use all of the vegetable stock
  • Remove rice from heat and add the spinach. Stir well to fully incorporate spinach with the rice
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!