Greeks traditionally forage for their greens and adapt this dish according to what’s in season. Here it’s not so easy to do that because we simply don’t have the same levels of abundance and variety. However, I have successfully made this dish using rainbow chard, foraged nettles, dandelion leaves and sorrel (in which case go easy on the lemon). Here’s a version you can make all year round using spinach. If you can, try to get hold of the longer more mature leaves as these will deliver more texture and a more robust flavour.
1 kg spinach, washed and patted dry
Raphael’s Cretan extra-virgin olive oil
6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
Sea salt flakes and freshly ground mixed peppercorns
2 lemons, one zested and the other cut into wedges
Pul biber, to serve
How I make it
Place a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a generous glug of olive oil. Add the garlic and stir around for a minute or two until it starts turn lightly golden.
Add the spinach and stir for a few minutes until it starts to wilt. Immediately turn out into a pretty bowl and season to your taste.
To serve, sprinkle with pul biber and the lemon zest. Serve with the lemon wedges which should not be squeezed on until the very last minute.
For a more substantial dish, top with a block of feta and drizzle with olive oil. Here, I’ve served it with Greek manouri saganaki with thyme honey and nigella seeds.