Yes, it’s spring! After our weeks of asparagus love (did you make our asparagus frittata? How about the bulgur wheat salad?) we were very tempted to cook again with asparagus. But you know, spring has so many other beautiful vegetables. So this week we decided to make a delicious spinach and rice stew! Spanakoryzo, as we call it in Greece, is the simplest yet the most delicious dish. I think the reason is that, as with most Greek recipes, very few ingredients come together, and each shines.
In spanakoryzo, you can taste how the lightly metallic taste of spinach mellows in slow cooking. We paired it with sweet spring onions and leeks (yes, we love it when spring vegetables all come together). In the end, we put loads of dill and squeezed plenty of lemon juice. The aniseed and lemon notes of dill pair perfectly with the warm stew and the lemon brings the sun into your dish.
We used our carolina rice. This is the one we use for our rice puddings. As the rice absorbs all the fragrant juices from the vegetables, its high starch content gives the spanakoryzo a creamier texture.
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
5 spring onions
1 medium leek
1 large onion
1 kilo fresh spinach
200g Carolina rice
1 large bunch of dill, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon, plus more for serving
Finely chop the spring onions, leek and onion. Finely chop your spinach.
In a large shallow pot, pour the olive oil and over medium low heat gently fry the spring onions, leek and onion until translucent.
Add the spinach and stir until half in volume.
Add the rice and stir until it’s well mixed in. Soon after pour in the water. Stir and season with salt.
Let your stew simmer for 20-30min or until the rice is cooked through.
Turn off the heat, add the dill and lemon juice. Serve with more lemon juice and a generous drizzle of olive oil.