Spinach with rice! A humble dish but so tasty and full of goodness. As a child it was the only dish I plainly refused to eat – I hated it! When I grew up and had children of my own, I thought that I should cook it for them. Of course I had to taste it for salt – and what a revelation! It was divine! I just couldn’t figure out why I had such an aversion to it. Not any more! It is one of my favorite dishes and when I find nice, fresh spinach in the market, I always cook it. For more taste, I add other greens as well and plenty of herbs. Try it, you won’t regret it.
Ingredients 800 gr. spinach fresh or frozen ½ kilo swiss chards 1 cup brown rice (or any rice you like) 1 onion 2 – 3 spring onions 1 leek 1 cup parsley ½ cup dill 1 cup olive oil Juice of 1 or two lemons, according to their size Salt, pepper
If you use fresh spinach, cut off the roots from the leaves. Trim the swiss chards. Wash everything thoroughly. Place in a colander and let them drain while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Chop the onion. Trim and wash the spring onions and the leeks. Chop them up. Wash well the parsley and the dill. Chop them as well.
Wash the brown rice, place it in a pot with cold water and cook it according to the instructions. Add some salt.
Put the oil in a pot. When it is hot, sauté the onion, spring onions and leek. Add about half a cup of water and simmer, so that the onions and leek soften up. Chop the spinach and swiss chard roughly and start adding them to the pot. At the beginning they may not all fit in the pot, but soon they will start wilting and you can add more. With a long fork, mix the greens, so that the new ones go to the bottom of the pot and the wilted ones come on top. Add more greens and mix, until you have put them all in the pot. You don’t need to add any water, as there will be enough from the greens. Add the parsley and sauté them for 8 – 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
Check the rice, and when it is done and the water is absorbed, take it off the fire. Shortly before the spinach is ready, add the rice and the dill. Stir gently and continue simmering for a couple of minutes more.
I should add that I boil the rice and the spinach separately, because the rice needs longer to cook. If you cook them together, the spinach overcooks and becomes too mushy.
Take the pot off the fire and add the lemon juice. Mix gently. Let it stand for 5 minutes and serve. If you like, you can add more lemon juice.
You can accompany the dish with feta cheese and some fresh, crusty bread.