Greek artichoke hearts & spanakorizo

2013108 Greek artichokes and rice
I finally decided it was time to do something with the jar of oil-packed artichoke hearts I brought home from Greece.

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I bought them at an outdoor market at a park in Thessaloniki and was saving them for a special occasion. But four months later now, I started to worry they might end up like the last piece of chocolate I have tucked away from my time in Italy.

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11 years ago.

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It is a nice keepsake now (kind of?), but I don’t dare eat it. I didn’t want the artichokes to share that same fate.

Preheat the oven to 350.

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I drained & reserved the oil from the jar,

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then mixed about 1/2 C oil with a few squeezes of lemon juice, 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic, and a couple pinches of salt. Stir with a fork to emulsify (those little peppercorns were from the jar).

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Toss the artichoke hearts in the oil. At this point I realized I needed to add dill, and I didn’t have any fresh since I didn’t realize I’d be cooking Greek this week. So. I had to use dry.

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Toss to coat, and pour into a baking dish in a single layer. You may add more oil at this point if there isn’t enough to cover the artichokes. Pop them in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the center of the hearts feel tender when poked with a fork.

Now for the spanakorizo, or rice with spinach.

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Saute heaping 1/2 cup chopped onion in olive oil with salt, pepper, and lots and lots of dill.

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Once the onions have softened and begin to turn clear, add a bunch of chopped spinach. I’m not sure how much this was, more than a cup.

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Stir it in…

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Add & stir in 1/2 C rice – I would’ve liked to have done more, but that’s all I had left.

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Add 1 C water. Cook according to instructions on rice bag.

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Mine needed about 20 minutes.

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Then I added two chopped green onions, stirred them in, and covered the pan to let the green onions soften while I finished the artichokes.

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I stuck these under the broiler for a minute or two at the end so the edges would brown and get a little crispy.

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The salad is, unfortunately, not a Greek salad, but it’s super easy to make. Romaine, tomato and cucumber with a squeeze of lemon juice, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt.

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The artichokes were delicious and I’m glad I didn’t save them until it was too late to use them. This is also the first time I made Greek rice that tasted really good, and was similar to what we had during our cooking lesson in Tinos. The key is not being afraid to add lots of olive oil and dill, and maybe a bit too much salt. And more olive oil. Normally you’d add a little lemon to the rice, too, but I left it out since the artichokes gave it a mild lemony flavor.

I saved all the oil from my baking dish, complete with little bits of garlic and dill, plus the flavor of the artichoke. It smells and tastes great, and I’d like to hurry and put it to use before it goes bad.

Do you buy locally-made food items when you travel? If you do, do you save them for a special occasion or just treat yourself?

0 thoughts on “Greek artichoke hearts & spanakorizo

  1. Mmm this looks like an awesome recipe. I don’t have local artichokes in a jar of oil but I do have some canned hearts! I wonder if I could make this happen 🙂

  2. I went to Greece about four months ago. I brought back a bunch of olives, some hot souce, and some spoon sweets. I ate the olives right away (they were delicious). The hot sauce was gone after a couple weeks. I ate half of the spoon sweets but ended up throwing the rest away. It had started to ferment and was too sweet for me anyway. I liked it more when I was in Greece.

    • That’s so cool that you went to Greece, it sounds like we were there at the same time!!!! I bought some olives for my little old grandmother, but my brother stole them and took them back to Florida.
      I still have some of the spoon sweets I bought, but mine were in a glass jar. I think it only works if you eat one single bite, after a very savory meal. And with beer.

  3. easily one of my favorite recipes, the αγκινάρες when cooked right are so tender and loving!
    thanks for reminding me this recipe,brings me back years!!
    Before i became a vegan i used to visit all the restaurants and ask them for traditional dishes, which gave me ideas and alternatives. Latest vegan travel was in kalamata and i brought back sesame and honey bars that were amazing!

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