Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cooking in Greece

Greetings, friends! I know this post is a long time in coming, but I assure you, it will be a good one. As many of you know, I have been in Greece visiting my husband's family for the past week, and will be here until next Monday. The weather has been a little bit chilly for Greece at this time of year (55 or so during the day) but today we had a beautiful day, sunny and warm. Here I am at a cafe near the sea where my sister-in-law and I spent the afternoon.

This evening I was lucky enough to get to cook a meal with my sister-in-law at her house. We made Spanikorizo, a very traditional dish usually served as a side to meat. During Lent, Greeks fast on Wednesdays and Fridays (meaning they refrain from animal products), so this is also a common Lenten dish. My sis-in-law and her family don't fast (and neither do we), so we weren't making it for that reason. It's a tasty dish for any time of year, in my opinion, especially when you can get good, fresh garden spinach.

first, you must wash and trim the spinach

(I wrote this down as my SIL was cooking, and she doesn't use a recipe, so some amounts are estimates)

1/2 cup olive oil
about 5 cups fresh spinach, washed and trimmed (do not sub frozen!)
6 scallions, white and light green parts, chopped
1 medium size onion, chopped
1/2 cup dill
lemon juice (to taste - we used the juice of one lemon)
1 cup rice (we used arborio - any long grain white will do)
salt and pepper


Clean spinach thoroughly (I recommend using a salad spinner if you have one, or dry it on paper towels). Fill a large saucepan with about an inch of water and bring to the boil. Add the spinach and cook until slightly wilted, just a couple of minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.

Dry out the pan and add about a 1/4 cup of olive oil. Saute the scallions and onion until soft. Add the spinach back to the pan and stir to combine. Add the dill and lemon and salt and pepper to taste.

Add a bit more water (about 1 cup or so) and olive oil to taste (another 1/4 cup or so) and add the rice. Cover and cook over medium low heat until rice is tender, stirring occasionally. Serve with feta and bread!

chopping onions

adding the wilted spinach to the sauted onions

Dinner! Side of delicious Feta is a must here in Greece

And I'll leave you with an adorable pic of my nephew eating his dinner (homemade french fries and beef schnitzel - lucky kid!) to make you forget that I haven't cooked posted anything for a week. :)

Stay tuned for a post on the Athens Central Market that we visited this week (not for the weak of stomach). I also got a new Greek cookbook that I'm really excited about - getting so many ideas for when I return!

1 comment:

mark711777 said...

EMILY!!!!! I miss you. This looks fantastic. I was planning on wilting some spinach for a side dish for friday's dinner, but maybe I'll do this instead! Looks easy and delicious.

Glad to hear Greece is fantastic! Look at you, posting from across the Atlantic!