Green Rice

22 Apr 2017

This is another Greek favourite - a classic dish called Spinach Rice (spanakorizo) but taking very well to lots of 'green' substitutions, hence I'll call it Green Rice. (This one too, like Stuffed Cabbage, comes attached with many childhood memories for me.) Basically it's greens cooked with rice (or is it rice cooked with greens?) - it's really that simple, and very easy to make. The more greens the better, so it's a good one to hide a few extra bits of veg in. Quite mellow and soothing at heart it comes alive with a zingy dash of something as a garnish - lemon juice, sauerkraut, feta cheese, capers... whatever you have to hand and like best. My own recipe is below, for 'proper' instructions with measurements check out the versions with spinach & leek, and with chard.

 

What you need

Greens: spinach, chard, leeks, spring greens, kale... (any one or a combination of these will work well).Tomato also works well as an addition or a substitute (will make 'red rice' or tomato rice!).

Fresh herbs & aromatics, the more the better: spring onion (or a small onion instead), a bit of garlic, a big handful of parsley and dill, a bit of mint, a celery stick, some fennel (herb or bulb), or (best of all) wild garlic.

Rice (pretty much any kind of rice will do; if using wholegrain rice parboil for 10 mins first, to avoid overcooking the greens)

Olive oil, black pepper, nutmeg, lemon juice, feta cheese (or any other zingy garnish, see above)

 

How to

Chop the onion, garlic and any fleshy veg you are using (e.g. leeks, celery or fennel) and sauté in a pan with some olive oil until softened. Add the rice and stir until covered in the oil, then add enough water or stock to cook the rice in (usually 2x the volume of the dry rice, you can add a bit more later if necessary but you don't want a watery result). Now add the rest of the greens, some salt & pepper, stir through, cover and leave to simmer. Check there is still enough liquid after 10 mins or so (add more water if dry and sticky) and check if rice has cooked after another 10-15 mins, depending on the type of rice you are using.

Now add the remaining soft herbs and a bit of nutmeg, stir through, switch off the heat and let it sit for a few minutes for the rice to soak up remaining liquid and for the flavours to infuse.

Serve with a generous squeeze of lemon juice, an extra dash olive oil, plenty fresh black pepper and crumbled feta cheese (or other zingy garnish of your choice).

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