Pilaf with Wild Greek Greens
Everyone has a special recipe made by his mother, grandmother, or aunt. Well I have a pretty big bunch of such recipes ( this family made some really talented cooks) and the one that I am referring too today is spinach with rice. When I was younger I knew many of my friends, who wouldn't eat eat their food, cause the spinach would be overcooked or it would look like a wimp in your plate. However, I loved that food! My mum never said "you have to eat all of your spinach to be strong tomorrow" not even once. Or let's just assume that she didn't say that.
Nowadays living in Crete, where eating wild greens is something common (they sell them in the groceries and they collect them for themselves a lot), I thought that I should try that fav with some more greens. It's time to evolve this classic dish.
Wild Greens Risotto (makes for 2)
:: a large bunch of giachnera (= a bunch of wild greens) (approx. 400g.)
:: or if you live in Crete, where giachnera are very common, you can buy the greens separately; look for chards, tsimoulia (Cretan green), spinach, leek, wild asparagus, dill
:: 1 big mug of white rice (Carolina)
:: 1 large lemon
:: garlic, onion
:: salt, pepper, oregano, sweet paprika
Firstly, wash the greens in the sink really well, put some vinegar and let them soak in water to remove any dirt and bugs.
Then saute the garlic and onion and when they turn golden and nice, add the hard greens' stems cut in pieces as being harder thy need more time than the leaves to soften. After 2-3 minutes add the spices and the green's leaves cut into pieces too and stir well until they wilt a bit and reduce their volume in the pot. Then add the rice, saute for 2-3 more minutes and add a little (and not all the water at once to fill the pot ) warm or hot water. When the rice sucks the liquid fill with extra water, until it's completely cooked.
Serve with lemon and lots of sweet paprika .
If you cook this meal, you will notice that it is much more mellow and it has a fuller taste than the plain spinach with rice. For me every bite is a surprise of flavors. Such an easy and great dish, one of my favorite Cretan ones. Bon appetit! :)