This is not the best time of year for food photography for me, as is probably evident from the less than stellar leading shot of today’s recipe. You see, I live in upstate NY. And by upstate NY I don’t mean White Plains. I mean right smack dab in the middle of the state. So far upstate that when I finally looked at a map of where I’d be living after I agreed to move here, my first words were, “You didn’t tell me we’re moving to Canada!” So being pretty high up there on the latitude lines, I’m working with maybe 8 or 9 hours of real light a day right now and unfortunately most of the hours I have available for cooking do not fall into that daylit period. Couple that with the fact that sunny days are few and far between at best, and I’m just really out of luck as far as decent lighting. But I continue on, regardless. I’m certainly not going to deprive you of this tasty and easy recipe just because I couldn’t get a photo that I love.
This is actually a recipe that was born out of laziness. You see, I had really been in the mood for a Greek feast. Spanokopita, dolmas, avgolemono, baklava…the works. However, I was definitely not in the mood, nor did I have the time, for cooking said feast. But I just couldn’t get those yummy Greek flavors out of my brain. So instead of dreaming of the feast-that-wouldn’t-be, I whipped up this Greek casserole using the flavors I had been craving. A little feta, lots of dill, and just a touch of mint combine with rice and greens to make a quick, easy, and very delicious light dinner or side dish.
Feta, Greens, and Rice Casserole
I mixed chard in with the spinach because it looked particularly good in the market when I was shopping. Feel free to use whatever greens you prefer, or just stick with spinach by itself and double the amount in the recipe.
3 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
9 oz spinach
1 bunch green Swiss chard, roughly chopped into large pieces
1 tsp minced mint
1 T minced dill
3 cups cooked brown rice, cooled
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 oz feta
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×9 (or equivalent) casserole dish and set aside.
Wash the spinach and chard. Lightly shake dry, leaving some water on the leaves. Transfer to a large pot, cover, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the greens are wilted, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and let cool.
Wipe out the same pot you used to cook the greens and return it to the burner. Add the olive oil, garlic, onion, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Saute over medium heat until the onions have softened.
Squeeze the water out of the cooked greens and chop into small pieces. Add the greens to the onion mixture and saute for a few more minutes.
Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl along with the rice and stir to combine. Mix in the feta, herbs, lemon juice, and another 1/2 tsp salt. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Stir in the eggs.
Transfer the mixture to the greased casserole dish. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the top is very lightly golden.
Serves: 4 as a light meal, 6-8 as a side