Spanakorizo (Spinach & Rice)

Everyone in University City knows about Greek Lady, an eating establishment with cheap prices, huge portions, speedy service (although non-existent customer service), but very few authentic Greek items on the menu. One of their gems is spinach and rice, formally known as spanakorizo. I always have a tough time ordering the vegetarian platter which comes with two sides and describing that I want the spinach and rice and not spinach and rice, as in two separate sides. I didn't know the option existed, or how delicious it was, until I lived in house with five body-builder type guys and discovered their love for Greek Lady grilled chicken platters with spinach and rice and green beans in tomato sauce (Pinejawn what what!). Years later I still get cravings for spanakorizo, which despite it's simple (healthy) ingredients, has a complex flavor that is creamy, yet tart all at once. I prefer to eat mine by the plate full topped with vegan tofu feta.

Serves 2 (or 4 as a side)

1 10oz box frozen spinach
6oz uncooked rice of choice (I used a long grain and wild rice blend)
1 spring onion
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lemon
Salt & pepper to taste

Cook rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, thaw spinach and remove zest (yellow portion of the peel) from half the lemon. Once the rice has been cooked, combine the spinach, rice, olive oil, spring onion, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a pan over medium heat for approximately five minutes. Remove from heat. The final step before serving is adding the juice from the entire lemon. Here are my tips for getting the most juice out of lemons: Run the lemon under hot water. Then roll it on the cutting using the heel of your palm. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze each half into a cupped hand directly over the pan (so you can catch any seeds).

This recipe tastes best when the flavors have had a chance to marry so don't be afraid to let it sit for a half hour, or even prepare it a day in advance.

The star of the recipe. I think it looks like an old man post zesting :)

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