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 :- https://www.facebook.com/groups/zakynthosfloweroftheeast