This quick dish is a family favorite, full of flavor and freshness. The ingredients lean to Greece and the Mediterranean—ground lamb, onion, garlic, spinach, artichoke hearts, olive oil, lemon, and a little dill. Sautéed and mixed with long-grain rice, the dish comes together with creamy French feta cheese adding richness. We serve it with fresh lemon slices for those who want even more of a flavor pop.
• 2 tsp olive oil
• 1 medium onion, peeled, cored and medium diced to make 3/4 cup
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 lb. lean ground lamb
• 1, 5-ounce bag baby spinach leaves, rinsed and patted dry
• 2 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
• 1, 14-ounce can of quartered artichoke hearts, drained
• 1 tsp. finely-ground black pepper
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1 1/2 cups long grain basmati rice, prepared according to package directions
• 3 tsp fresh minced dill (optional)
• 1/2 lb. French feta cheese, crumbled, divided
Preheat oven to 375Åã. In a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, warm olive oil. Add diced onion and cook until onions begin to sizzle. Add 1/2 cup water and continue cooking until onions are soft and translucent and the water has cooked off. Add garlic and 1/4 cup more water. Continue cooking until garlic is soft and water has evaporated. Increase heat to medium. Add ground lamb, breaking up with a spoon, and cook until well browned. Stir in baby spinach leaves and cook until spinach is soft but still bright green. Stir in lemon juice and artichoke hearts and cook just until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Spoon hot prepared rice into a mixing bowl. Stir in minced dill, if using. Add lamb and vegetable mixture. Crumble 3/4 of the feta cheese into mixture and stir well. Spoon all into a casserole dish. Dot remaining feta cheese over all. Place in oven to brown the top of the casserole (10 to 15 minutes.) Note: You can also spoon hot rice mixed with the lamb and vegetable sauté into serving dishes, topping with feta cheese, and skip the browning step. Serve hot, with extra lemon slices.