Spanakorizo (Greek spinach rice)

I happen to adore all rice dishes, but this one is especially lovely served with meat, fish or poultry. The combination of spinach, fresh dill and lemon is so perfect.

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Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup chopped onion
1 tbsp garlic, minced
Zest from one lemon
1/2 tsp ground cumin (I use roasted ground cumin)
1/2 lb baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1 cup long grain white rice
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
4 tbsp fresh dill, chopped and divided
1/2 tsp salt
A few grinds freshly ground black pepper
Juice from one lemon

Heat olive oil in a medium pan with a tightly fitting cover over medium high heat. Sauté onions until translucent (about 5-7 minutes). Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
Add the lemon zest, cumin and spinach and cover the pan. Cook until the spinach wilts down (about 3-5 minutes).
Stir the rice, stock, 2 tbsp of the dill, salt and pepper into the spinach mixture and stir to combine. Bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer, replacing the lid on the pan, and cook until the rice is tender (about 15 to 20 minutes –follow your rice’s package instructions).
Stir in the lemon juice and the remaining fresh dill before serving.

Fresh salmon tartare

I adore any form of “tartare” and usually make them with tuna, so this is a lovely new addition to the repertoire.

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Serves 6
1lb skinless fresh salmon fillet (preferably not farmed)
1/2 lb smoked salmon, thickly sliced
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 to 4 limes)
1/3 cup minced shallots (about 2 big shallots)
2 tbsp good quality olive oil
1/4 cup minced fresh dill (and some more sprigs for garnishing)
3 tbsp drained capers
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp whole-grain mustard
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 loaf good granary bread, thinly sliced and toasted, for serving

Cut the fresh salmon and the smoked salmon in 1/4 inch dice. Place the salmon in a mixing bowl and add the lime juice, shallots, olive oil, dill, capers, two mustards, salt and pepper.
Mix well, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours for the salmon to marinate.
When ready, toast the bread and taste the salmon for seasonings. Serve the tartare with triangles of the toast.

Smoked salmon frittata


I normally tweak recipes, but when it comes to the Barefoot Contessa, there is rarely any need. This is gorgeous.

Serves 8
1 medium onion, diced
12 extra large eggs
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
4 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 lb smoked salmon, chopped
4 scallions, chopped, white and lighter green parts
3 tbsp fresh chopped dill
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 F
Saute the onion and butter in a 10 inch oven proof pan over medium heat until translucent, about 7 to 9 minutes.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the heavy cream, goat cheese, smoked salmon, scallions, dill , salt and pepper and combine.
Pour the mixture over the onions and place the pan in the center of the oven. Bake the frittata for about 50 minutes or until it puffs up and a knife inserted in the middle, comes out clean.
Serve hot directly from the pan


Light and zesty lemon dill rice

This is very light, fresh and tangy and a perfect accompaniment to fish or chicken.

Serves 4

2 1/2 cups low fat chicken broth
1 cup long grain rice
2 tbsp finely minced garlic
4 tsp finely minced lemon zest
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp finely minced fresh dill
4 scallions, finely minced, green part only

In a saucepan, bring the chicken broth, rice, garlic, lemon zest and juice to a boil over high heat.
Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.

Remove from the heat, season with the pepper, stir in the dill and scallions and fluff with a fork.
Serve immediately

Sweet herring salad with apple and dill

This is so refreshing and tangy and a lovely way to start a meal.

Serves 4 to 6

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
pinch of sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 tart apples, like Granny Smith, cut into thin slices, or bite sized cubes
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill or 1 tsp dried dill weed
2 x 8oz jars pickled herring, drained and cut into bite sized pieces
chopped chives for garnish, if you fancy

Combine the sour cream, yoghurt, lemon juice, sugar, sliced onions that have been separated into rings, apple and dill.

Alternate herring and sour cream mixture in layers in a dish.

Cover and refrigerate for 5 hours or more.

Serve very cold

Cucumber, feta, mint and dill salad

Such a lovely blend of flavors.

Serves 4

4 oz Greek feta cheese
4 lebanese (short) cucumbers
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tbsp finely chopped dill
1 tbsp dried mint
3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

Crumble the feta cheese into 1/2 inch pieces and place in a large bowl.
Peel and seed the cucumbers and cut into 1/2 inch dice. Add to the bowl along with the onion and dill.
Grind the dried mint in a mortar and pestle or force through a sieve until powdered.
Combine with the olive oil and lemon juice then season with salt and pepper.
Pour over the salad and toss well.


Gloria’s Fish Wellington

This is such a lovely recipe and much lighter and less expensive than beef Wellington.
Gloria used to cook for my mother and father after my mother became ill and I remember her making this, but I’ve never seen the recipe in any book.
It’s well worth trying and you can also make a nice cream fish sauce to go with it,  but it’s not necessary.

4 rashers bacon, finely chopped
1 medium onion finely chopped
1lb white fish  fillets, chopped
1/2 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
1/2 cup cream
2 eggs, separated
1 tbsp dried dill weed
1 packet frozen puff pastry, thawed

Preheat the oven to 350 F
Combine the bacon and onion in a small frying pan and cook for about 3 minutes or until soft.
Put the fish, breadcrumbs, cream, egg whites and dill in a food processor and process until combined.
Empty into a bowl and stir in the bacon mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. Tip into  a 8″ by 5″ greased loaf tin and bake uncovered for about 45 minutes.
Cool to room temperature.
Roll the pastry to about 10″ by 14″ rectangle and brush the edges with the beaten egg yolks.
Place the fish loaf in the center of the pastry rectangle, roll up, seal and trim any excess pastry around the edges.
Place onto a greased baking tray and brush all over with beaten egg yolk.
Bake until golden, about 30 mins or so, depending on your oven. Check occasionally.

Turkish stuffed zucchini

These are really delicious and light.

4 medium zucchini, halved lengthways
2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large organic eggs, lightly beaten
4 oz strong cheddar cheese, grated
3 oz crumbled feta cheese
1 1/2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp fresh dill or 1/2 tbsp dried dill weed
1/4 tsp paprika to sprinkle

Heat the oven to 375 F

Scoop out the insides of the zucchini with either a small teaspoon or a melon baller leaving about a 1/4 inch rim around the zucchini to hold it’s shape
Place the zucchini halves in a 9″ by 13″ baking dish, cut side up and set aside.
Chop the zucchini flesh.
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat, add the chopped zucchini, onion and garlic.
Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste and transfer to a bowl.
Lightly mix in the eggs, cheeses, flour and dill.
Spoon the mixture in to the zucchini halves and sprinkle lightly with paprika.
Bake until hot, bubbling, golden and fork tender,(about 30 mins or so) and serve hot or at room temperature.

Dilled and buttered baby potatoes

Oh my gosh, these are thoroughly addictive, I promise. I made these last night and Ollie, our younger son, couldn’t stop eating them. Who would have thought that fresh dill is so fabulous with potatoes and instead of boiling the potatoes in water, you steam them in butter!!!! Okay, so I don’t do it every day!

Serves 4 to 6 (or in our family 3)

1lb small red or small yukon gold potatoes
1 stick (8 tbsp) sweet butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 good sized bunch fresh dill, chopped  (8 tbsp chopped fresh dill, at least) Plus a little extra to toss in at the end

Scrub the potatoes and dry.
Melt the butter in a heavy bottom flameproof dutch oven or pan with a tight fitting lid.
Add the potatoes and chopped dill , season well with the salt and pepper, toss the potatoes in the dill and butter and make sure they are well coated.
Cover and cook over a low heat for 30 t0 35 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally and checking they aren’t burning.
They are done when they can be pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.
Toss the the extra dill and serve at once

24 baby potatoes (baby yukon gold, pee wee, french fingerling or whatever baby ones are around)

Crab Quiche

Delicious and light.
Serves 6

2 cups shredded Swiss cheese (with 1/2 cup set aside)
1 cup crabmeat, chopped and picked over for any bits of shell
4 eggs
1 & 1/2 cups light cream
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
3/4 tsp chopped fresh dill or 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
salt and pepper to taste
fresh crushed garlic to taste ( use 2 cloves)
A 9 inch deep frozen pie crust (defrosted)

Preheat the oven to 400F.
Place the cheese and crabmeat in the bottom of the pastry shell the set aside
Beat the remaining ingredients together thoroughly and pour into the pie shell over the crab. Sprinkle the top with the extra 1/2 cup of grated cheese.
Place on a baking sheet and cook on the lower shelf of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes until the filling is just set, puffy and golden.
Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack for 10 minutes before cutting into.

Note  You can also substitute shrimp that is cleaned, peeled, deveined and chopped up