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Katerina's Kouzina


Growing up I remember that my mother, the best cook in the entire world, was cooking different recipes almost every day. She prepared all the traditional Greek recipes that she had learned from her mother, and her mother had learned from her grandmother. We loved most of her cooking and enjoyed her food, but there were a few recipes I didn’t enjoy so much when I was young. One of them was Spanakorizo; spinach with rice.

My mother

Escaping Spanakorizo

When I returned home from school, I could usually smell from a distance whether today’s food would be lovely or not (oh not again, we just ate that 2 weeks ago!). My parent’s motto was that everyone in the family eats what Theano cooks and puts on the table. If you did not like it, you just had to wait for next day’s food and pray to God that you liked it next time.

I was very “inventive” in my own way to avoid eating my less favourite dishes. I had a few tactics that helped me to avoid going to bed hungry in the ‘difficult’ days; One tactic that usually helped me a lot and worked miracles was using a very efficient tool: My little brother Sotiris. He was (and is) very sweet and very diplomatic; all the adults in our family had a soft spot for him. He used to be very thin as well, so all were trying to make him eat a bit more every time, when I was always a bit …bigger for my age and my parents were usually trying to make me eat less.

My brother

Loving Spanakorizo

My brother and I have a very special bond. We are very close and loving with each other. I am 2 ½ years older than him and he always looked up to me, especially when we were children. So when food was cooked that I didn’t like so much, I would tell everyone that my brother didn’t like that food and they had to cook something else for him. My brother was so used to it, that he often asked me: “Katerina, do I like this food?” This being my way to escape eating spanakorizo half a century ago! Later in life things changed as they always do; I started enjoying this recipe, I even started loving it! I cooked it a bit differently than my mother and started serving it to friends. Everybody loves spanakorizo now, except….my daughter. Yes, my friends, is that not karma?

Easy recipe

On this blog you will find the recipe for spanakorizo that I use and I am sure you will love. It is very easy to make and you cannot go wrong; trust me. Fresh lemon will give it a lovely freshness and extra vitamins that we especially need in this time of Corona. Use fresh spinach that is full of vitamin A and C, potassium and iron (Popeye the sailor man used to eat a lot of spinach for all that iron, hehe). Also use a medium grain rice for a nice result. Enjoy!

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1 kilo / 2 pounds fresh spinach, rinsed and chopped coarsely
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1 onion, chopped
2-3 spring onions, chopped
1 glove of garlic
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons of olive oil for serving
½ cup chopped dill
½ cup chopped parsley
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup water
½ cup medium grain rice
Salt and pepper


1. In a large pan add the olive oil over a medium heat. When hot, add the chopped onion and spring onions. Sauté for 2 minutes.
2. Add the rice; sauté for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the dry white wine and half of the lemon juice. When the wine and lemon juice evaporate, add the spinach to the pan and cook for 3 or 4 minutes. The spinach will reduce in volume and the moisture in the spinach will give you enough liquid to cook for a few more minutes. Add the dill, salt and pepper.
4. Check if the rest of the water is needed; this depends on the spinach and whether it has been grown in a glass house or in the sun. If the mixture you're cooking becomes very dry, add the rest of the water, if the mixture stays moist, let it cook in its own juices.
5. Serve the Spanakorizo warm with the zest of the lemons, the rest of the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of olive oil drizzled on the top.

Servings : 4-6 people
Ready in : 30 Minutes
Recipe Type : Vegetarian

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