Greek Spinach Rice With Feta – Spanakorizo – dish straight from amazing Greek islands.
This is another great Greek recipe that I got from my dear friend Marta, who in turn inherited it from her Greek Family. This Greek Spinach Rice with Feta recipe came straight from Greece and is absolutely delicious. Ever since I made it for the first time, I have to have it at least once a week. It’s really THAT GOOD! Even my husband, who isn’t a spinach fan, likes this dish. Not to mention, my 15 month old son even shovels it down. Every time I make it I always pack it for his daycare lunch, and nothing is left when he returns. It’s also a great way to add some green veggies into your loved ones’ diet. You need to add pretty significant amount of spinach to it, but because it wilts, you cannot really say that there’s too many greens in this rice.
As my friend Marta would tell you, you can’t rush it. It’s not one of those dishes that you just put in a pot and forget about it. Rather, you need to nurture it along the way; but it is totally worth it. It can take about 45 minutes to prepare it from the beginning to the end and it will require some stirring, like with risotto. The concept is actually very similar. The only difference I think that you can use any rice instead of Arborio. I usually have Thai Jasmin rice in my house, but recently I bought Organic Indian Basmati from Trader’s Joe so next time I’ll make it with Basmati.
I bet it doesn’t come as surprise that Chinese eat the most rice in the world – over four pounds of uncooked rice per person each week. It’s a staple in other Asian countries as well; but it may come as a surprise that it is pretty popular in Mediterranean countries too. In Greece the most popular type is long grain rice. It’s used in different kinds of pilafs, like this one with Greek Spinach Rice and Feta. What’s interesting is that brown rice was never dominant in either Asian or Mediterranean cuisines. Meanwhile we have been led to believe that brown rice has superior nutritional values over white rice. In light of recent discoveries of the traces of arsenic in rice however, especially in outer layer that white rice is stripped off, it seems like Asians and people from Mediterranean countries knew all along that white rice is actually the healthier version….go figure. It seems like rice cultivating nations were curious watching us Westerners. How long it will take us to discover it and trust those who’ve been eating rice for centuries?
Anyhow, I’m a huge fan of Mediterranean flavors, and this dish is no exception. After you cook it, and before serving, you’ll need to sprinkle it with lemon juice and olive oils, add feta cheese and serve. It’s heaven in your month.
- 1 medium onion
- 2 small or 1 big leak (only white parts)
- 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme
- 6 oz back of baby spinach
- 1 cup of Jasmin or Basmati rice
- 2 teaspoon of vegetable broth base or 1 broth cube
- 2 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons of fresh dill
- ½ cup of Feta Cheese
- Lemon juice to sprinkle over rice
- 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil, plus more to drizzle over rice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a deep pan heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Add onion and simmer for about 10 minutes on low heat
- Add thyme and leaks and simmer for another 5 minutes
- Add half a cup of water and broth base, then simmer for another 5 minutes
- Add spinach and cook until wilted
- Add rice and let it cook for about 2 minutes
- Add half a cup of water and stir
- Keep adding half a cup of water at the time once the rice absorbs it.
- It can take about 20 minutes until rice is fully cooked
- At the end add dill and mix well
- Take off the burner and cover it up.
- Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes to have all the liquid absorbed
- When serving, sprinkle with lemon juice, olive oil and top it with feta