Greek Spinach Rice (Spanakorizo)
Thomas J. Story
Yields8 ServingsAt Home30 minsIn Camp1 hr 30 minsTotal Time2 hrs
AuthorElias Cairo

“There is no recipe that takes me back to being a kid like this one,” says Elias Cairo, head salumist of Olympia Provisions in Portland. Humble-looking spanakorizo owes its silky texture and phenomenal flavor to generous amounts of spinach and oil. It might be tempting to cut back on the oil, but trust us, the dish won’t be as good. If you’re a forager, you can sub 1 cup blanched, chopped stinging nettles for 1 bunch of spinach (wear gloves when handling them raw). You can also cook the dish over a camp stove using an 8-qt. pot.

How to Make It

At Home
1

Discard spinach stems. Rinse leaves well and spin dry. Seal in bags and chill in a cooler.

In Camp
2

Prep a wood or charcoal fire and arrange coals for sautéing (see “Going Dutch,” below).

3

Set a 6-qt. (12-in.) camp dutch oven on coals. Add the decent-quality olive oil and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add part of spinach at a time and cook, stirring often, until each batch is wilted before adding more (cover with lid if need- ed to speed things up), about 15 minutes total.

4

Stir rice and 1 cup water into spinach; set lid in place. Re- arrange coals for simmering with 10 under oven and 17 on lid (including 2 in center).

5

Cook 15 minutes. Carefully lift lid, stir, and add 3/4 cup water (or more) so mixture looks juicy. Rotate oven in fire, replace lid, and cook un- til rice is tender, 20 minutes.

6

Carefully lift lid from dutch oven and tip off coals. Set lid back in place, remove pot from fire, and set aside 5 to 10 minutes.

7

Stir in dill, mint, and lemon juice, then season to taste with fine sea salt. Crumble feta on top, drizzle with the great olive oil, and add a pinch of flake salt. “Serve and enjoy the view,” says Elias.

Going Dutch
8

A dutch oven lets you simmer, sauté, and even bake with a fire’s embers. Or, for more heat control, light the precise number of charcoal briquets a recipe calls for and you can literally count your way to success.

9

PACK SUPPLIES. 
Bring fuel for a wood fire, or charcoal briquets, chimney starter, and newspaper; butane lighter; 4-qt. (10-in.) and 6-qt. (12-in.) camp dutch ovens with feet and flanged lids (lodgemfg.com); grilling tongs; grilling gloves.

10

PREP THE FIRE. 
In a fire ring with the grate pushed away, build a campfire and mound about 3 qts. of hot embers to the side. Or half-fill a chimney starter with charcoal briquets, ignite using newspaper, and let burn until spotted gray, 15 to 20 minutes; as you cook, ignite more coals as needed.

11

ARRANGE THE COALS. 
For sautéing, use tongs to clear an even layer of coals and set the pot on top. For baking or simmering, arrange 8 to 10 briquet-size coals in a circle a little smaller than the dutch oven. Set on top with
lid in place; arrange 15 to
16 more coals around lip of lid and 2 coals in center.

12

TWEAK THE TEMP
. Lift handle with tongs to check food. To decrease heat, scrape away some fuel. To increase heat or cook past 30 minutes, add 5 to 6 coals every 30 minutes beneath dutch oven and
 5 to 6 on top.

Ingredients

 7 large bunches spinach (41⁄2 lbs. total) or 31⁄2 lbs. cleaned mature spinach leaves
 ½ cup decent-quality extra- virgin olive oil, plus 1⁄2 cup great extra-virgin olive oil
 1 medium onion, finely diced
 1 ½ cups long-grain white rice
 ¼ cup each finely chopped fresh dill and fresh mint leaves
 Juice of 2 lemons
 About 11⁄2 tsp. fine sea salt
 7 oz feta cheese, ideally half sheep and half goat milk, such as Mt. Vikos brand
 Flake sea salt

Directions

At Home
1

Discard spinach stems. Rinse leaves well and spin dry. Seal in bags and chill in a cooler.

In Camp
2

Prep a wood or charcoal fire and arrange coals for sautéing (see “Going Dutch,” below).

3

Set a 6-qt. (12-in.) camp dutch oven on coals. Add the decent-quality olive oil and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add part of spinach at a time and cook, stirring often, until each batch is wilted before adding more (cover with lid if need- ed to speed things up), about 15 minutes total.

4

Stir rice and 1 cup water into spinach; set lid in place. Re- arrange coals for simmering with 10 under oven and 17 on lid (including 2 in center).

5

Cook 15 minutes. Carefully lift lid, stir, and add 3/4 cup water (or more) so mixture looks juicy. Rotate oven in fire, replace lid, and cook un- til rice is tender, 20 minutes.

6

Carefully lift lid from dutch oven and tip off coals. Set lid back in place, remove pot from fire, and set aside 5 to 10 minutes.

7

Stir in dill, mint, and lemon juice, then season to taste with fine sea salt. Crumble feta on top, drizzle with the great olive oil, and add a pinch of flake salt. “Serve and enjoy the view,” says Elias.

Going Dutch
8

A dutch oven lets you simmer, sauté, and even bake with a fire’s embers. Or, for more heat control, light the precise number of charcoal briquets a recipe calls for and you can literally count your way to success.

9

PACK SUPPLIES. 
Bring fuel for a wood fire, or charcoal briquets, chimney starter, and newspaper; butane lighter; 4-qt. (10-in.) and 6-qt. (12-in.) camp dutch ovens with feet and flanged lids (lodgemfg.com); grilling tongs; grilling gloves.

10

PREP THE FIRE. 
In a fire ring with the grate pushed away, build a campfire and mound about 3 qts. of hot embers to the side. Or half-fill a chimney starter with charcoal briquets, ignite using newspaper, and let burn until spotted gray, 15 to 20 minutes; as you cook, ignite more coals as needed.

11

ARRANGE THE COALS. 
For sautéing, use tongs to clear an even layer of coals and set the pot on top. For baking or simmering, arrange 8 to 10 briquet-size coals in a circle a little smaller than the dutch oven. Set on top with
lid in place; arrange 15 to
16 more coals around lip of lid and 2 coals in center.

12

TWEAK THE TEMP
. Lift handle with tongs to check food. To decrease heat, scrape away some fuel. To increase heat or cook past 30 minutes, add 5 to 6 coals every 30 minutes beneath dutch oven and
 5 to 6 on top.

Greek Spinach Rice (Spanakorizo)