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This Brown Rice with Spinach recipe is an enhanced version of the traditional Greek dish of spanakorizo (rice with spinach). Using brown rice instead of white rice adds extra nutrients, yet does not compromise on flavor.
The subtle nuttiness of the rice is complemented by the earthy flavor and silkiness of the cooked spinach. Lemon and fresh herbs brighten up the dish for an overall comforting and satisfying meal.
- Brown rice: for best results, use a medium grain brown rice, and preferably a sprouted brown rice for extra nutrition. Sprouting rice not only increases the percentage of nutrients but also makes them easier for your body to absorb. More and more research is uncovering the numerous health benefits of sprouted rice, particularly due to its high GABA content. GABA has been linked to reducing hyperglycemia, boosting the immune system, lowering blood pressure, inhibiting the development of cancer cells, and aiding in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
- Fresh spinach: while you could use frozen spinach in this recipe, it may result in a different texture. Fresh spinach cooks down into a nice silky texture in this dish and provides a fresh and earthy flavor.
- Onion: the sweet aromatic base of the dish.
- Extra virgin olive oil: contributes to the creaminess of this dish
- Vegetable broth: homemade is of course an ideal choice, but if you’re a bit lazy as I am, reach for your go-to canned low sodium broth. My personal choice is this delicious dehydrated vegetable broth from Seitenbacher. You can also use just water.
- Lemon: you will use both the juice and the zest to brighten up the dish.
- Fresh herbs: adding fresh herbs at the end of the cooking time adds a burst of freshness. I like to use mint and parsley. Dill is also a good addition.
- Salt and pepper: to taste
- Tomato paste: while this is fairly traditional in Greek spanakorizo recipes, I personally prefer to omit it so the freshness of the spinach, herbs and lemon can shine through!
How to make Brown Rice with Spinach
For full details, see the recipe below.
To ensure your Brown Rice with Spinach is cooked to perfection, keep in mind that the cooking time will differ depending on the type of rice used. Be sure to consult the cooking instructions on the package and adjust your cook time accordingly. It’s also important to taste your rice before turning off the heat; if it’s still a bit crunchy, continue cooking for a few more minutes until it reaches your desired consistency.
How to eat Brown Rice with Spinach
Spanakorizo is typically eaten as a main dish. It can be enjoyed hot or at room temperature, making it a perfect for leftovers or meal prep.
To serve, spoon a generous amount of spanakorizo onto a plate or bowl. You can also top it with crumbled feta cheese, additional lemon juice, or a drizzle of olive oil for added flavor.
Pair it with a traditional Greek salad or some roasted vegetables on the side for a complete and balanced meal. You can also serve it alongside some grilled chicken or fish for some extra protein.
Other recipes to try:
Brown Rice with Spinach
- Place rice in a strainer and rinse it with cold water. Let it drain thoroughly.
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup of olive oil and the chopped onion. Cook a few minutes until softened but not browned.
- Add fresh spinach and a pinch of salt and cook until wilted.
- Add rice and stir to coat it well. Cook a couple minutes, until you start hearing a few grains pop.
- Add vegetable broth and fresh ground pepper, combine and bring to a boil.
- Cover and reduce to low heat. Simmer 25 minutes or until the rice is cooked, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom. If it looks too dry, add a bit more water. The texture should be creamy.
- Turn off the heat. Add lemon juice, zest and fresh chopped herbs. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Serve with an extra drizzle of olive oil or lemon juice.