SPANAKI POLITIKO (SPINACH THE ISTANBUL WAY)

 

  • Cooking Time: Approx. 30 minutes
  • Servings: Approx. 6
  • Preparation Time:

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs whole frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • About 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • About 1 tbsp mint or basil, chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp soup rice (optional)
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

Directions

  • Sauté the thawed spinach in a pan with 1 tbsp butter
  • In another pan, sauté the ground beef with the onion and herbs, and season to taste (if you want to use cinnamon, add it now); add a little bit of water and allow to simmer for 10 minutes
  • Add the meat and rice (if using) to the spinach, season to taste, add the lemon juice and mix well
  • Cover the pan and let cook for about 15 minutes
  • Serve with Greek-style yogurt

Notes

My grandfather was Greek from Turkey. His family left Istanbul in 1921.

My great-grandmother used to do this dish but, like many Greeks, did not have a cookbook. She'd do everything "me to mati" - literally, she'd rely on her experience, sight, taste and instinct. One day my mom found this dish in a restaurant and tried figuring out the recipe on her own. She came up with this recipe which she has been doing for years.

But because I never do as I'm told and always have to tweak recipes, I added cinnamon.

Categories: Dinner  Lunch  Main Dish  Mediterranean  Vegetable 

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