Krystina Kalapothakos is a chef with a Greek soul, as she puts it. She blogs over at Kouzounas Kitchen. Kouzouna is her grandmother’s maiden name, and not to be confused with Kouzina, which means kitchen in Greek. I met her online a little over a year ago, via a Twitter friend. She is the founder of a wonderful group on Facebook called: Foodify. We follow each other on social media, and share each other’s recipes with our audience. Krystina is inspired by her yiayia, (grandma in Greek), who left her legacy, along with some traditional Greek recipes. That’s where Krystina gets her passion for cooking, and baking. She has some delectable recipes on her blog, but recently decided to put together her first cookbook. Although, it’s been a lifelong dream of hers, it took her a little less than 3 months to put it together. I admire her commitment, determination, and love for Greek cuisine. I got a copy of her cookbook, and was pleased with the heartwarming story she shares with us, along with some delightful, and authentic dishes. It didn’t take me long to try her Spanakorizo, Rice with Spinach. I made it in my kitchen, and it was an instant hit with my family. Today, I will share with you, this delicious Greek dish from her newly published cookbook, Back To My Roots, Sharing Recipes From The Villages Of Greece.
Spanakorizo (Spinach & Rice)
- 1 pound of fresh spinach (If you are using swiss chard, you can do half swiss chard & half spinach)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup chopped fresh onion
- 1 leek finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 lemon (reserve juice and zest)
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped dill
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
- 1.5 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
- 1 cup Basmati rice
- 3 cups water
- 1.5 tsp sea salt
- 1 Pinch ground cumin
- 1 pinch black pepper
- Balsamic Vinegar (Reserve for the finish plate)
- Heat olive oil in large pan over medium heat.
2) Saute onions and leeks until they become translucent. (About 5 minutes.)
3) Add garlic, and sauté for 1 minute.
4) Add lemon zest, dill, basil, mint, oregano, cumin, swiss chard, and spinach. Cook until the spinach has wilted down.
5) Stir in the rice, and water. Bring to a boil.
6) Reduce the heat, and place the lid over the pan. Let the rice cook for approximately 20 minutes.
7) When the mixture has cooled, stir in the lemon juice and balsamic vinegar.
Enjoy with some fresh Feta over the top.
I highly recommend this cookbook, and Krystina is in the process of getting it on Amazon. In the meanwhile, if you are interested in owning one, please email her, at firstname.lastname@example.org, write “cookbook” under subject, and she will get back to you. This would make a lovely Christmas, Hanukkah, or birthday gift.
Meet Krystina Kalapothakos, the name behind the lovely blog, Kouzounas Kitchen.
I want to thank her for her generous contribution to the culinary world, and for featuring my shrimp Saganaki in her cookbook. I hope you will try this recipe, and get her book.
Update: 3/11/2016 – Since this blog post, Krystina has published her book on Amazon and you can obtain a copy by clicking on this link: http://www.amazon.com/Back-My-Roots-Krystina-Kalapothakos/dp/0692638679/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1456905437&sr=8-1&keywords=krystina+kalapothakos
Kali Orexi (Bon Appetit) in Greek