Today I am sharing a vegetable packed rice dish featuring the flavors of the Mediterranean!! The flavors that shine in this spinach and rice dish are mint, lemon and oregano.
The Mediterranean diet is at the top of all the BEST diet lists this year and this recipe is representative of the types of foods that it includes. This style of eating includes healthy oils such as olive oil, grains and lots of fresh veggies!! The spinach in this Greek rice dish contributes lots of nutrition including folate, vitamin C, potassium and more. But more than that it also adds lots of color to the rice. This Greek Spinach Rice recipe is also missing some of the ingredients the Mediterranean diet recommends you limit, such as dairy and meat.
Following this eating plan includes seafood and fish. This greek style rice would be perfect paired with a nice piece of coldwater fish such as salmon so you get more omega 3, an essential fat our bodies can’t make so we need to eat!!!
Discovering the flavors of Mediterranean food
When I moved to Astoria, New York back in 2012 is when I first really became exposed to the flavors of Greek food. Astoria is located in Queens, one of the most diverse areas of the United States, and groups of immigrants from Greece settled there beginning in the 1960’s and eventually led to it having the highest number of Greeks – other than Greece.
It is still common to hear Greek spoken in cafes and restaurants. And today, the area still has several Greek restaurants and grocery stores though they have begun to dwindle as rents have increased in this area due to gentrification. I enjoyed visits to the grocery stores. Especially looking at the different brands and products they carried from Greece. And of course, trying out the many varieties of fresh imported feta cheese.
I like the combination of flavors in Greek foods. From the herbs, especially the use of mint which I feel adds a different type of flavor, to the brightness of the lemons and the olive oil. All of these flavors are here in this recipe for Greek Spinach Rice.
Today’s recipe is the perfect side dish to serve with your favorite protein and a salad or veggie!! I like serving Greek Spinach Rice with a piece of grilled fish or topped with a fried egg!!
The Greek Spinach Rice Recipe
Greek Spinach Rice
- 1 # fresh spinach
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 leek white part only chopped
- 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 Tbsp fresh chopped mint
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 1/2 cup brown rice
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 lemon sliced (for serving)
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- Water as needed 2-3 cups
- Wash spinach leaves and then chop into smaller pieces with a knife or a food processor.
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and saute for 1-2 minutes then add the garlic and saute another 60 seconds.
- Next, add thyme, oregano and mint and saute an additional minute, long enough to heat spices and mint to wilt.
- Add rice and stir to coat rice with oil.. Add the wine, turn up heat and bring to a boil.
- When wine boils, add veggie broth and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper.
- Cook for 25 minutes. When almost all the water is absorbed, add the chopped spinach. Cook an additional 5 minutes. Check rice, if water is absorbed but not tender, add a bit more liquid and continue cooking until rice is tender.
- Remove from heat and garnish with lemon wedges and fresh mint.
Did you try this recipe? Please tell me about your cooking and eating experience!!! And don’t forget to give this recipe a 5-star rating on the recipe card!!!
Check out these other side dishes from the blog!!! Super tasty to pair with your favorite plant-based proteins!!