Thursday , June 17 2021

Zakynthian delights….. Spinach and rice (spanakorizo)

Wild greens is a must in any Zakynthian home. You often see Zakynthians gathering all sorts of wild greens as they walk through the fields, mountains and river banks.

Wild spinach is no difference. There are a few areas around Zakynthos that you can gather wild spinach, as long as you know what you are looking for.


One of my favourite dishes is known as “spanakorizo”. Although that this dish is well known throughout Greece, Zakynthos has its own way of making this dish extra special.

In this particular dish, I have used wild spinach and another type of herb known as the Mediterranean hartwort. To Zakynthians the plant is called “kafkalida”.

The combination of the two plants makes this dish exceptional and compared to other types of “spanakorizo” this dish is second to none.

Here’s what you need:-

For the spinach


100 gr. olive oil

150 gr. onion, finely chopped

20 gr. garlic, finely chopped

250 gr. parboiled rice

60 gr. tomato paste

700 gr. crushed tomato

500 gr. water

1,000 gr. fresh spinach, peeled and cut into large pieces, preferably wild spinach

2 or 3 Kafkalida (Mediterranean hartwort)

20 gr. Dill (optional)

20 gr. lemon juice

30 gr. sugar

10 gr. salt


For the spinach


Heat a saucepan over high heat. Add the olive oil and sauté the onion until it gets a slightly golden colour. Add the garlic and stir to release its flavours. Put the rice in and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes. Add the water, the tomato, the tomato paste and the sugar and salt. Cover, lower the heat and cook until the rice is cooked through.


Put the spinach in the pot and stir until its volume is reduced enough. Cover and cook for 5 minutes on low heat.


Add the lemon juice and dill.

As most of our Zakynthos Informer members may already know, Chrissie Parker and I are in the process of writing a book, recipes will be included, many of which you won’t find in the normal Greek cooking books as these will be typical traditional Zakynthian.  If you would like to follow us, please click on the link to join :-


About Louise Inzk

Louise is Australian born and has been a Greek citizen since 1991. She has deep cultural ties with the island, often writing about Zakynthian Traditions and Culture. She is also an active member of the Volunteer Group of Zakynthos, Giostra Di Zante and is a member of the women's choir "Rodambelos". Her love of the island and all it offers saw her joining the Zakynthos (Zante) Informer admin team in 2014.

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