Spanakorizo (Greek Rice)

I have
no idea where I saw a link for this recipe, but it led me to a page on The recipe is by chef JJ Johnson and it is included in his cookbook, "The Simple Art of Rice."  As I read I discovered the Greek name for this dish is Spanakorizo. I love that name better that the title given -
Greek-Style Rice With Spinach, Feta & Pine Nuts - as is sounds so much more exotic.

In looking through the list of ingredients I appreciated that this recipe used only one cup of rice. However it says 6 servings, but I would say 4 at the most. It is filled out with a big bunch of nutritious spinach. The original recipe uses long-grain white rice, but I used a Panache blend that has white long-grain rice with a little wild rice thrown in to add interest. The original recipe also used pine-nuts, but those aren't my favorite. I used pepitas (pumpkin seeds) instead. And I skipped the parsley garnish and just garnished crumbled feta and a few extra nuts.

The lemon, dill, and feta added nice flavor notes, and I loved the bounty of spinach in every bite. I made the rice a few hours early so I wouldn't be cooking once my son arrived to have supper with us. Luckily it stayed moist and reheated just fine. WHEW! I really hate to be stuck in the kitchen when others are chatting, relaxing and catching up. Any recipe that lets me cook early and spend more time with my company when they arrive is a win-win.


Yes, I will definitely be making this again soon. If you try it, let me know what you think. And you can check out the original recipes HERE!

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Serves 4

Ingredients - 

¼ C                 Extra-virgin olive oil (I subbed Avocado Oil and it worked well too)
1                     Medium yellow onion, finely chopped
¼ C                Fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
2                     Large garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp               Kosher salt
¼ tsp              Freshly ground black pepper
2                     Large scallions, sliced (about ½ cup)
1 T                  Finely chopped fresh dill (from 1 bunch)
1 C                 Uncooked long-grain white rice, rinsed
1½ C              Water
8 oz                Baby spinach or spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
2 T                  Toasted Pepitas (Original used pine nuts)
1½ oz              Feta cheese, crumbled
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional - I skipped this)

Instructions - 

Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high. Add onion; cook, stirring often, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Add scallions; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in dill.

Stir in rice, and pour in water. Bring to a boil over medium high; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes to blend. Reduce heat to low; cover, and cook until rice is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Uncover, and stir in spinach. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, until spinach wilts, about 5 minutes. Uncover; add pepitas and fluff rice with a fork. Transfer rice to a serving bowl; sprinkle with feta and chopped parsley.