Thursday, November 24, 2005

Greek Rice Pilaf

Can you imagine transporting 300 pieces of cooked KFC chicken in a plane? Believe it or not, it just happened yesterday. Fundraisers are a big thing here in the village. They fundraise for everything--plane fare to get to the hospital, school trips, basketball team trips, etc. Anyways, that's how KFC made it's way up here with some returning people from town. Someone was fundraising with plates of it. And that's how His Froginess got KFC for dinner (my treat for him). But it was a treat with a catch. I could make a dish I LOVE and he detests--GREEK RICE PILAF--and have it ALL to myself. And I wouldn't have to hear him heave a heavy sigh as he *gasp* had to make his own dinner! ;-)

Greek Rice Pilaf is one of those dishes I've made so often that I could probably do it in my sleep. And, thankfully, I have almost all the ingredients up here in nowheresville most of the time. I got the recipe from my beloved duct-taped copy of Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home but I don't think I use accurate measurements or methods anymore.

Greek Rice Pilaf (my tweaked version)

1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed (I use bottled stuff too --works fine for taste)
1 tbsp dried mint leaves
1/2 tsp ground pepper (or to taste)
1/3 cup roughly chopped canned black olives (pitted if necessary. I get pre-pitted)
4 cups chopped and washed spinach (We only get baby spinach so no chopping is necessary)
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice (bottled is fine too)
4 cups cooked rice
1 cup frozen peas
2 chopped tomatoes
1 cup drained cooked chickpeas
1 tbsp dried dill (or to taste. Original calls for fresh dill. Like I get THAT up here)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

In a heavy skillet, saute onions in oil on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the onions begin to become translucent. Add garlic, mint, pepper and black olives, and continue to saute for 2 minutes. Stir in the spinach and lemon juice, stirring for ~1 minute. Add rice, peas, tomatoes and chickpeas. Stir until spinach begins to wilt. Add dill. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When spinach has fully wilted and rice is hot, stir in feta until it just begins to get gooey and serve immediately.

If you like, you can take more crumbled feta to the table to season the dish to your taste.

I ate it with baked cod (y'know--the frozen breaded kind). Not a bad combo but a nice grilled fish would have been even better. I'll have to wait for that. My new fish source hasn't come back from the ocean yet.


linda said...

MMM looks good. Also looks like something that my man would whinge about ~ chickpeas!!

Nerissa said...

That's odd. I posted a response to this last night after work and now it's gone?? Hmmm...

What I'd basically said was that the chickpeas, tomatoes and black olives were additions not belonging to the main recipe. The chickpeas and tomatoes were Moosewood suggestions and black olives my addition. You don't need them to make it work still.

michelle said...

I love all the moosewood cookbooks - I've never had anything (yet) out of them that I didn't like! The rice is so colorful! I hope His Froginess enjoyed the KFC as much as you did your rice (couldn't be!).

Nerissa said...

michelle--I love moosewood food myself. There are few that were a bit blah but that's what "tweaking" is for ;-)
Of course I enjoyed the pilaf more! I had it more than once and he only got to eat it at one meal ;) he he he