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Spanakorizo: Spinach & Rice with Tomato

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In Greek: σπανακόριζο or σπανακόρυζο, pronounced spah-nah-KO-ree-zo

This is a variation of the dish we serve on Crete and includes tomato paste and dill. It should be served with wedges of lemon and coarsely ground pepper (and some great Greek feta).

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 2 pounds of fresh spinach or 4 10-oz packages of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 5 stems of fresh dill, coarsely chopped (1 teaspoon dried) or 2 sprigs of fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of uncooked converted rice
  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lemon, cut in wedges


Preheat a heavy-bottomed pot on low heat.

If using fresh spinach, wash well, chop, and set aside to drain. If using frozen spinach that has thawed, remove from package, and gently squeeze out excess liquid.

When the pot is preheated, add the olive oil, increase the heat to medium, and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the dill (or mint) and spinach and sauté about 5 minutes until wilted. Dilute the tomato paste in the water and add to the pot with salt and pepper to taste. Increase heat and bring the mixture to a boil, add the rice, stir, and cover. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Do not stir during simmering.

Serve with lemon wedges.

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