Spanakorizo is a traditional Greek recipe that consists of Spinach and Rice in this case the fantastic Wild Sea Spinach or Sea Beet. The dish is sometimes served on its own but I decided to add a perfect accompaniment in a piece of chicken flavoured with Garden Herbs and a minted yoghurt. This is a perfect Spring dish taking advantage of two of my favourite things, Sea Spinach and Asparagus!
From the garden:
Small bunch of Marjoram
Optional - Sweet Violet Flowers
Get out a saucepan that is suitably big enough to cook the rice in. Start by chopping the spring onion and add it to the pan with some Olive Oil (a generous glug). Now wash and roughly chop your Sea Spinach and add that to the pan as well. Add a pinch of sea salt and gently fry the mixture for five or so minutes until the Sea Spinach starts to break down and the onions start to go translucent and sweet.
Now add the rice to the pan. Stir the rice through the onions and then add enough water to cover the rice (boiling from the kettle), add the stock cube and stir. Cover with a lid and allow to simmer. I use a whole grain rice so this is going to take 30 – 35 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare your yoghurt by chopping mint leaves adding them to the yoghurt and seasoning well with salt, pepper and a little lemon juice. Refrigerate until ready.
Now prepare your Chicken. This is so simple, if you are using breasts flatten between cling film sheets and gently whack the chicken with the back of a pan until flat. If you are using Thigh fillets (I use the thigh, as they have more flavour, oh and they’re cheaper!!), butterfly the meat with a sharp knife and then use the cling film and frying pan to flatten. Now you’ll have your flattened fillets place them on a plate. Chop your remaining herbs and coat the chicken in the herbs and more seasoning (Marjoram, Lemon Thyme and Parsley).
Five or so minutes before you are ready to serve get the heat under a frying pan and start to fry the Chicken Fillets.
Two minutes before you think the Asparagus will be cooked, chop your Asparagus into 2cm sections (leaving the tips whole) and add them to the pan with the rice - a little stir and they will cook in the heat of the rice.
Now your rice is cooked, drain it (if neccesary) and then add the juice of a half a lemon –check your seasoning, allow it to sit for five minutes.
Finish the chicken and also allow to rest in the pan.
Take your warm plates and pile the rice in the middle of the plate in a nice round. Then place the warm chicken on top of the round and spoon a generous amount of the minty yoghurt over the chicken. Garnish with Mint leaves and Lemon Wedges.. If you are part of my Wild Food Facebook page you'll know that I had some cheeky Sweet Violets move in to my garden. They are in full flower at the moment and one minute of picking gave me twenty or so flower heads which made a perfect garnish for the dish..
Ingredients like this take very little cooking to make them taste amazing! This super healthy dish is pure Spring on a plate, its delicious, light flavoursome and moreish!! The extra Chicken'y thigh fillets even with a herb crust take on a crispy edge, this sits on the soft sea spinach infused rice and has a contrasting minty yoghurt that unites everything. Its low fat, seasonal and fantastic!! It can also be easily converted into a vegetarian dish by changing the Chicken stock cube to a Vegetable stock cube and replacing the Chicken with Paneer (Still try to get the herby crust by using a little egg white wash to stick the herbs!).
I know I sound like a broken record but Sea Spinach is so good!! It is so easy to find and recognise that you must try it!
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