A comforting Greek type of green risotto - "Spanakorizo"

After the holidays and all the feasting that goes with them we are trying to get back on track with healthy, homecooked meals that are not taxing our body.  A favourite and very comforting winter dish is this simple, green, dairy-free, lemony risotto "Greek"-style which is yummy, super-easy to make and oh-so-good for you!  We like the purist green version which omits tomato as an ingredient and lets all these lovely winter greens shine.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4 people)

1 medium brown onion, finely diced

4 tbsp Opus oléa extra virgin olive oil plus more to serve

250 gr Arborio or Carnaroli risotto rice

750 gr fresh spinach (not baby spinach, but the more grown up type), rinsed and coarsely chopped

4-5 spring onions (scallions), chopped including green part

1.5 - 2 cups hot water (or vegetable stock - optional)

2 handfuls of coarsely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

1 handful of fresh dill, chopped

1 tsp of dried mint

1 unwaxed lemon (preferably organic as we will use both the juice and the zest) plus more to serve

salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

Heat the Opus oléa extra virgin olive oil in a heavy bottomed medium saucepan on medium heat and add your diced onion. Stir with a wooden spoon until onion looks slightly glassy but is not burned.  Add the rice and stir with the cooked onion to coat with the olive oil. 

Add the chopped spinach, spring onions, dried mint and parsley. 

Gently stir until the greens are slightly wilted and release their liquid.  Now add 1.5 cups hot water (or vegetable stock if preferred) and the zest of 1 lemon, put the lid on your saucepan, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about 20 min or until the rice is cooked through and the liquid has cooked away, checking every 5 min or so that the liquid has not dried up (if it has, add a little bit more) and giving a gentle stir so nothing sticks and burns.

Add the freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon and the chopped dill, stir through and let cook for 1 or 2 minutes more.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve as a main or a side with a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of Opus oléa extra virgin olive oil.

To buy Opus oléa click here.