Rice With Spinach, Lemon, Feta and Pistachios
Green and white, sprightly and clean, this is a rustic dish that can practically be a meal. Reserve the spinach crowns to use in another dish, or steam, dress with olive oil and pile them over the rice. If you prefer brown rice, try brown basmati. Forbidden black rice is another delicious alternative. Toast the nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, tossing often.
1 cup long-grain white rice
2 large bunches (2 pounds) spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large garlic clove, cut into slivers
Grated zest of 2 lemons (2 tablespoons)
1 heaping tablespoon chopped dill or marjoram
2 ounces or more feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup raw unsalted pistachio nuts, lightly toasted
Freshly ground pepper and crushed red pepper flakes
Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Stir in rice and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring back to a boil, adjust heat to a simmer, and cook, covered, until liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside.
Meanwhile, discard any tough spinach stems. Plunge leaves into plenty of cold water and wash well — twice if need be. Dry.
Combine the oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat; once the garlic begins to turn pale gold and flavor the oil, discard it. Add spinach and a few pinches of salt. Cook until wilted; turn off the heat. When the spinach is cool enough to handle, chop it and transfer it a mixing bowl, along with the lemon zest and dill. Toss to incorporate.
Uncover the rice and use a fork to fluff it. Transfer to the mixing bowl and toss to incorporate with spinach. Adjust salt as needed. Add the feta and pistachios and toss again. Season with pepper and a few pinches of pepper flakes. Makes 4 servings.
Source: Adapted from “Vegetable Literacy” by Deborah Madison (Ten Speed).
Per serving: 350 calories, 12 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 410 mg sodium, 49 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 14 g protein.