Friday, March 21, 2008


I love Greek food, I really do. I've often said that my idea of a perfect vacation would be to eat my way through Greece!

Last Sunday, my church worshipped together with the local Greek Orthodox Church for the Sunday of Orthodoxy, which got me thinking this week about Greek food I have known and loved. The best - the most fun, with the best dancing and best food and best stuff to buy - Greek Festival I've ever attended was in San Francisco, CA, but my sentimental favorite, of course, is St. Nicholas in San Jose. Oooooh..... I'm salivating just thinking about it! And the Greek restaurants! Oh yeah....

Anyway, I was thinking about cooking something Greek this week, and I had some perfect, tender, organic spinach so it was a no-brainer to make spanikorizo, or Greek-style spinach rice. In many ways, Greek food is like Italian food - rather simple, depending on perfectly fresh, high quality ingredients. Here in America, we just don't understand the concept of fresh, high quality ingredients. But my spinach fit the bill. I had already eaten half of it as a salad and wanted to cook the rest.

This was absolutely delicious! When Lent is over, Iwould serve this garnished with a little bit of crumbled feta cheese, but its still delicious without it. To make this a one pot meal, add in some chickpeas or a large white bean such as canellini.

2 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 3/4 C chicken or vegetable broth
1 heaping Tbs dried dill, or 1/4 minced fresh dill
1/2 C dry white wine
1 15 oz can of petite diced tomatoes with their juice
1 scant tsp salt
a couple of pinches of cayenne (add less or more depending on your taste)
1 1/4 C long-grain white rice
1 or more lbs fresh baby spinach (you can use up a lot of spinach in this dish)
1/4 C pitted and sliced kalamata olives

In a large saute pan, heat the oil to medium high and saute the onions and garlic till translucent. Add the dill, rice, tomatoes with their juice,white wine, salt and pepper and spinach and stir till the spinach is wilted. Add the broth, stir well so that the rice is well distributed among the other ingredients, bring to a simmer, cover tightly and cook rice for the amount of time on the bag of rice - I cook my rice for 20 minutes and taste to see if it needs more time. When rice is cooked, stir in the olives and serve mounded on a plate. Sprinkle with some crumbled feta when its not Lent!

This recipe made three large main-dish servings, so it would probably feed 6 - 8 as a side dish.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1/4 large pot

Amount per Serving

Calories 180
Calories from Fat 46.5

% Daily Value *

Total Fat 5.17g 7%
Saturated Fat 0.64g 3%
Cholesterol 1.67mg %
Sodium 1908.49mg 79%
Total Carbohydrate 25.14g 78%
Dietary Fiber 3.63g 14%
Sugars 5.08g
Protein 4.87g 9%

Est. Percent of Calories from:

Fat 25%
Carbs 55%
Protein 10%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calories needs.


Mimi said...

Ooooh, yum. I could join you eating my way through Greece.

Elizabeth said...

Me, too! I'm gonna show this to the Ol' Curmudgeon and put in a plaintive request for this for supper one weekend night. I love Greek food - almost any cuisine food, actually! This looks just totally Yummm!

missingbecheery said...

Hi Mimi and Elizabeth! There was a little bit left over, so I took it to work for lunch. When I heated it up in the microwave, I guess the aroma really spread throughout the building, and by the time I made it back to my little office, tupperware in hand, I had a crowd of cops salivating and watching me eat! It was hilarious! I promised them that I'd make it for the next potluck. It was either that, or let them dig into my lunch, and dang it, I was *hungry*!

I might just make this again for tonight's dinner - its my nameday and I get to eat whatever I want, right? This would be tasty with some shrimp stirred in, in honor of the Annunciation. Hm....... I think we have a winner!

snowy said...

Denise, this was delicious, I made it for friends...he's allergic to cow's milk and eggs and I don't eat meat so this was a perfect solution. They voted it an absolute winner, so I promised to leave you positive feedback!

missingbecheery said...

Thanks Snowy! I'm so happy that it turned out well for you!

This one is definitely going to be made over and over again in my house. We really loved it.

Next time, I might try it with another type of dark leafy green, like kale, which is a nutritional powerhouse.

Nicholas said...

Trying out my first lent. We're making this tonight. I am a foodie but a meat lover. I'm also finding it difficult since American's don't tend to eat beans without meat and, when meat is gone, dairy is *THE* source of protein. Thanks so much for the help.