Spanakorizo – Greek Spinach Rice is a fabulous vegetarian or vegan rice recipe that’s great as a side dish or a main.
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Thank you Tenderstem® for sponsoring this recipe!
My mother used to cook this delicious spanakorizo (which translates as ‘spinach rice’) whenever I was feeling poorly as a child and I loved it – total comfort food heaven! know it sounds like a strange choice for a kid favourite… spinach and rice?
Trust me on this, make this recipe it will quickly become one of your favourites as well.
I gave my mum’s recipe a twist by adding Tenderstem® broccoli along with the traditional ingredients of spinach, spring onions, rice, parsley, dill and lemon juice.
LET’S GET TO KNOW TENDERSTEM®
For this recipe, I’ve used Frozen Tenderstem® – a super versatile vegetable for any dish, which has just launched at Asda.
Tenderstem® is the love child of broccoli and Chinese kale, but tastier and more versatile that either of its parents. It can be eaten steamed, boiled, roasted, stir fried or even raw… and it’s high in fibre and protein but low in calories. A win-win vegetable all round!
In Greece, Spanakorizo recipe contains a lot of olive oil and the texture of the dish can be resemble Italian risotto when made with short grain rice, like Arborio.
I prefer to use medium or long grain rice which retains more texture and is less creamy – it is also easier to cook and requires less attention than risotto rice.
This Greek spinach rice is naturally vegan and gluten free. If you like you can sprinkle the dish with some crumbled feta cheese which would then make it vegetarian.
HOW TO MAKE GREEK SPINACH RICE
OPTIONAL First prepare the Frozen Tenderstem® by either roasting it for seven minutes or boiling it for only two. Keep a few stems to serve on top of your risotto and roughly chop the rest.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan. Add the chopped spring onions and half of your chopped herbs. Cook over medium heat, stirring, for five minutes.
Add the chopped spinach, salt and chopped Tenderstem® and cook until the spinach wilts, only for a minute or two.
Stir in the rice and add the vegetable stock and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and cover the pan. Cook for 10 minutes over low heat then give the rice a stir – you might need to add a bit more hot stock.
After a further 5-7 minutes the rice should have absorbed all of the liquid. Take off the heat but keep the pan covered if the rice is still a bit too al dente – the steam from the pan will cook it further.
When the rice is done to your liking, stir in the remaining herbs and check the seasoning. You might want to add more lemon juice (in Greece you add A LOT of lemon juice).
Transfer the rice onto a platter and arrange the Tenderstem® over it. Sprinkle with the feta cheese, if using, and add fresh lemon zest and a scattering of fresh herbs.
This risotto can be served as a side dish with any number of meat, chicken or fish dishes. It is also great on its own – I love it simply served with some feta cheese or with a poached egg for a healthy lunch.
MORE GREEK RECIPES TO TRY
- Slow cooker Greek lamb kleftiko with potatoes
- Kokinisto – Greek Beef stew in tomato sauce
- Greek orzo pasta salad with tomatoes and feta
- Sheet pan Greek bifteki with potatoes
Spanakorizo – Greek spinach rice
- 1 tbsp olive oil plus extra, to drizzle
- 10 spring onions (one bunch) finely diced
- 4 tbsp fresh dill (small bunch) chopped
- 4 tbsp fresh parsley (small bunch) chopped
- 300 g | 10 1/2 oz baby spinach diced
- 250 g | 9 oz frozen Tenderstem® broccoli
- 1 tsp salt
- 300 g | 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 720 ml | 3 cups hot vegetable stock
- 4 tbsp crumbled feta cheese (optional)
- 1 lemon zest only to garnish
- handful fresh mint leaves to garnish (optional)
- Cook the Tenderstem® broccoli – either boil for 2-3 minutes or roast for 7 minutes at 180°C (350°F). Reserve a few stems and finely chop the rest.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan and gently cook the spring onions and 2 tbsp each of the parsley and dill for 5 minutes. Reserve the remaining herbs.
- Add the chopped spinach, chopped Tenderstem® broccoli and salt and cook for a couple of minutes until the spinach wilts.
- Stir in the rice and lemon juice. Add the stock and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Cover the pan tightly and cook over very low heat for 10 minutes. Open the pan and give the rice a stir – you might need to add a bit more stock or hot water if the pan is very dry.
- Cook for a further 5 minutes, covered. The rice should have absorbed all of the water and be cooked but still a bit al dente. Take the pan off the heat and keep covered – the steam will finish cooking the rice.
- Stir in the reserved parsley and dill and taste the spanakorizo – do you need to add a bit more salt or lemon juice?
- Transfer to a platter and add the reserved Tenderstem® on top. Drizzle with a little extra olive oil, if you like. Scatter the feta cheese, if using, and garnish with the lemon zest and mint.