SPANAKORIZO (GREEK RISOTTO)
Spanakorizo is by far one of the easiest Greek dishes you could make. It is healthy, simple, delicious and combines the best staple ingredients of Greek cuisine. The onion and leek add a beautiful aroma to the meal whilst cooking the rice slowly brings out the starch in the rice making it creamy similar to a risotto (minus the constant stirring that the risotto requires). If you are not vegan, this dish goes perfectly with a feta cheese crumbled over the top which adds a sharp bite! Yum! Similarly, I have seen this served with a dollop of Greek Yogurt on top however the spanakorizo must be at room temperature (not hot) for it to be served this way.
All over the world, on every Greek dining table, this dish is cooked during Lent, when people are fasting from meat. In this household, we have it either on a meat free Monday or during any day of the week that I am running short on time because from start to finish it takes about 30 minutes.
In saying all these wonderful things about Spanakorizo, I must admit that as a child it was not my favourite dish. In fact when mum used to mention that it was being served for dinner I would grab a banana to fill me up before I sat at the table. On the other hand, as an adult, I crave it. I guess you could say the relationship with Spanakorizo over the years has been “complicated”. I hope you all enjoy it and appreciate the deliciousness in its simplicity. Enjoy x
1 large brown onion, diced
1 small leek, quartered and finely chopped
2 bunches English spinach, washed and cut into chunks
3 tbs olive oil
1 cup basmati rice
3 cups boiling water (optional to swap for vegetable stock)
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
Over medium heat add olive oil, onion and leek to deep pot and sauté until softened.
Add spinach until softened (takes a couple of minutes) stir and combine with onion and leek.
Add the rice, seasoning and boiling water. Stir and combine well.
Reduce heat to low and DO NOT STIR AGAIN. Allow to simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until majority of the water has been absorbed.
Turn off heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve warm with a drizzle of olive oil (a squeeze of lemon juice- optional) along side any meal or as a main dish on its own.