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Vintage California Cuisine: 300 Recipes from the First Cookbooks Published in the Golden State


The Foods of the Greek Islands: Cooking and Culture at the Crossroads of the Mediterranean

By Aglaia Kremezi

The Olive and the Caper: Adventures in Greek Cooking

By Susanna Hoffman

More Mediterranean Cookbooks


The Flavors of Greece

Spinach with Lemon and Olive Oil

This simple recipe has become a staple in my household. It turned my daughters into spinach lovers from an early age. It is a standard dish in Greece and is common throughout the eastern Mediterranean region.

As Mark Bittman, one of my favorite cookbook authors, points out in the text accompanying his version of the recipe in The Best Recipes in the World, "every green you can cook with can be used in this way, from spinach to wild greens I've never heard of. It's great with collards, dandelions, mustard, broccoli get the idea."

Spinach with Lemon and Olive Oil

2 pounds spinach (chard, mustard or other greens)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
5 or 6 mint leaves or several sprigs of dill, minced
cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1. Trim, wash and drain the spinach. Place wet spinach in pan, cover, and cook over medium heat until the leaves have wilted, removing the lid and stirring occasionally to allow excess water to steam away. 

2. When spinach has wilted, stir in mint or dill, salt and pepper. Cover tightly, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 to 15 minutes longer until spinach is tender, checking occasionally and adding a bit more water if the spinach becomes too dry.

3. Prepare sauce by whisking oil and lemon juice together. When the spinach has finished cooking, transfer to a warm bowl and stir in sauce.

-Mark Thompson

Copyright 1997 Seasonal Chef