Wednesday 11 April 2012

Lahanorizo - Cabbage with rice

This week is building up to Greek Orthodox Easter. Even less-religious Greeks tend to follow lent this week, meaning that they eat a vegan diet. I made this dish last night and didn't even realise it was vegan until today - vegan food is fairly normal in our weekly diet, lent or no lent. Don't get me wrong, I am currently munching on a slice of bread covered in butter. I am not following lent this year. It is hard enough doing it in Greece, let alone a county where even bread seems to be egg or milk washed in some shops!

This dish is a cheap one, probably originating from using up left over and cheap ingredients and bulking them out into a meal. Traditionally you can either get lahanorizo (translating as cabbage-rice) or spanakorizo (spinach-rice). Personally I prefer spanakorizo, I find it more comforting because of its soft, mushy texture.(I will get the recipe off my mother asap!) But I was trying to use up cabbage, hence making lahanorizo. It is also traditionally made with white cabbage, but I had red cabbage... you get the idea!

Serves 2 (plus leftovers for lunch)

2/3 cabbage, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 can chopped tomatoes
3 cups of water
1 cup of rice
generous handful of sultanas
generous handful (or two) of pine nuts
pinch of ground cinnamon
salt and pepper

Sweat the onions in the olive oil for a few minutes, until softened. Add the cabbage and continue to sweat for a few minutes, until the cabbage is beginning to soften too. Add the tomatoes and the water and bring to the boil, then add the rest of the ingredients. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Give it a stir and serve with a few pine nuts sprinkled on top. It is a great side dish, but as I mentioned, can be enjoyed as a main dish too. Kalo Pasxa - Happy Easter!


  1. Hi, Do you have a recipe for briam? I have had it in Crete and think it had rice, spinach, courgettes, and tomatoes?

    Am looking forward to the opening of The Dish and the Spoon.

  2. Hi Cathy, thanks for your comments!I don't have a recipe for briam right now, but will get one and post it when I get a chance. It is basically the same principle as ratatouille, but without pre-frying anything. Just add potatoes, aubergines, courgettes and onions in a pyrex, top with tomato sauce and parsley, salt and pepper and bake until they are all cooked through and soft. :)

  3. Thanks for your reply. I thought it was with rice, not potatoes, but your version sounds good.