This spinach and rice dish has become one my favourite dishes to have when I feel the need to satisfy my rice cravings. I tasted this mostly vegetable dish for the first time at the age of 19, cooked by Elena (the same one who introduced me to Tzatziki) – she made hers with no tomato, lots and lots of lemon and garlic. Pictured above is the one where I added tomatoes in it (because George loves it with tomatoes and loathes the lemony kind). I usually make both, but the recipe here is the one I was given to by George’s grandmother about a decade ago. I have adapted to make it my own (by using basmati rice so its less soggy and a dash of Worcestershire sauce to the mix.). Adding the Worcestershire sauce doesn’t make it vegetarian anymore – it contains fish sauce, so its optional!
1 kg of spinach, cleaned and roughly chopped. (Or 1 bag of frozen spinach, thawed and drained.)
1 cup of olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
a handful of spring onions (2-3). sliced thinly.
a big handful of fresh dill, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup of basmati rice, rinsed clean.
2 cups of water (1 use 1 3/4 to 2 cups of water per cup of rice)
1 can of chopped tomatoes
A bit of Worcestershire sauce. (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste.
1. In a big pot (that has a lid), heat half of the olive oil on medium heat. When hot (but not sizzling or the oil will burn) sauté the onions until translucent.
2. Add in the garlic and spring onions and cook until soft.
3. Add in the washed rice and fry it until all the grains of rice is coated in oil. Care to scrape the rice of the bottom of the pan – if it’s too difficult add in more oil.
4. Add in the chopped tomatoes and stir evenly. If you want, add in a splash or 2 of Worcestershire sauce and stir.
5. Add in the spinach, bit by bit until it all can be stirred in the pot.
6. Add in the water (preferably hot water from the kettle) with the rest of the olive oil and stir to mix evenly.
7. Cook on low heat, uncovered until you see the small crater holes at the top of the rice mixture.
8. Cover with lid, and turn of the heat. Let the rice steam in the pot for 10-15 minutes.
9. Serve. With or without the big chunk of feta cheese on top.