I visited Mazi restaurant a few weeks back when visiting London. It certainly left an impression on me, it was not just the excellently grilled octopus or the devilish jars of yumminess. You rarely find Modern Greek cuisine so imaginative and so well executed. Drawing inspiration from traditional Greek dishes, at Mazi restaurant you will find great cooking technique and also great atmosphere to enjoy them. Of course, for anyone already acquainted with the restaurant this is old news. The exciting part is they have collected all their best recipes in an amazing new cookbook, called Mazi: Modern Greek cuisine. There is spanakorizotto recipe below along with a book giveaway for one lucky reader.
Get straight to the spanakorizotto recipe.
Get straight to the giveaway.
The heart and soul of Mazi restaurant are Christina Mouratoglou and Andrien Carre. Their love for good food and wine gave birth to Mazi restaurant in Notting Hill back in 2012. The site of the restaurant used to be Costas Grill, a traditional style Greek taverna housed in the premises from the 1950s. It has a beautiful vine-covered garden at the back, a rare commodity in London and it makes an ideal spot to host Greek Modern cuisine, transferring it from the old into the new. The arrival of their cookbook, Mazi: Modern Greek Food comes to celebrate Greek food with recipes neatly bound to an excellent collection of Greek cuisine both old and new.
Mazi, which means together in Greek, references and revives Greece’s noble sharing tradition. The starter and main is too rigid a concept to properly incorporate all that Greek cooking is: Simple flavours, seasonal ingredients and a generous helping of merriment around the table. In the book you will find a great section of salads and raw dishes, appetizers and the famous Mazi jars. This is just a starting point and you can delve further into the culinary delights as you leaf through.
The collection of recipes in the book doesn’t feature one single region but the whole country, from the Aegean Islands to the Peloponnese and Northern Greece. You will discover the different influences form geographic neighbours or historic events, most notably the 400 year rule of the Ottoman Empires and the Venetian possession of the Ionian islands, as well as the religious observances and festivals. Recipes travel from Christmas melomakarona to the traditional Easter bread, tsoureki, from homely artichokes a la polita to savoy cabbage dolmades and signature dishes fit for Sunday lunches like the slow-cooked lamb shank with vegetable briam.
While we draw inspiration from customary practices and childhood memories, we interpret them with a modern twist.
I admit I had trouble picking one to prepare for you; the recipes are one better than the other. I decided to go for comfort food, spanakorizotto, a quick meal you can easily prepare and enjoy even after a long day in the office. It’s not exactly our traditional spanakorizo, there are subtle changes in the recipe that give it a special touch with all the hearty flavours spinach gives when combined with rice in the pot. A dish that truly interprets Mazi’s concept, drawing inspiration from the traditional and well known and breathing into it new life, with a contemporary cooking approach.
Spanakorizotto, a recipe from Mazi restaurant
- 60 ml olive oil
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 320 gr short-grain Arborio rice
- 1 bunch of spring onions chopped
- ½ leek trimmed, cleaned and sliced
- 320 gr spinach washed
- 700 ml- 1lt vegetable stock
- 30 gr butter
- 40 gr parmesan cheese grated
- 20 gr dill chopped
- ½ bunch of chervil chopped
- 1 lemon for the zest and juice
- Salt and pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a shallow flameproof casserole dish, and the shallot and sweat over a medium heat until soft but not browned. Add the rice and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the spring onions, leek and spinach and cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Pour in 700 ml of the stock and cook over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice has absorbed nearly all the liquid and is all dente, adding more stock if needed.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and Parmesan, then add all the chopped herbs. Finally add the lemon juice; check and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide the rice between individual bowls, crumble some feta cheese on the side and serve garnished with grated lemon zest.
- Crumbled feta cheese to serve.
As Greek cooking goes, all good things need to be shared.
I am running a giveaway of the new book Mazi: Modern Greek Food. Please check below the giveaway terms.
The giveaway will be open from today until March 24th. The winner will be selected through random.org and he/she winner will be notified directly by me. You will be able to see the results on the Sunday.
There are no restrictions as to your place of residence. In order to enter the competition and win Mazi cookbook, please follow at least one of the actions below:
- Register to the newsletter of Eatyourselfgreek.com & Leave a comment to this blog post
- If you would like a second chance to win a book, I’m also doing this giveaway on Instragram and Facebook. Just follow me there and check out the instructions on the giveaway post.
- On Facebook, Like the Facebook page of EatyourselfGreek & leave a comment.
For your entry to be valid, you should both comment and Like on Instagram, Facebook or simply comment here.
Note: your personal information is kept strictly for the purposes of this giveaway and we will only contact you with regards to this giveaway. The book will be send to the winner directly from the Publisher, Octopus LTD at the address indicated.
Good luck everyone!
From Athens with love,