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HAKE WITH SPINACH AND AND LEMON SAUCE

(bakaliaros me spanaki avgolemono)


Serves 4


INGREDIENTS:

For the egg and lemon sauce


METHOD:

  1. Place the spinach leaves in a large pan with just the water that clings to the leaves after washing.
  2. Cover the pan tightly and cook over a medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until they are cooked.
  3. Remove the lid occasionally and turn the leaves using a wooden spoon. Drain and set the spinach aside.
  4. Dust the fish lightly with the flour and shake off any excess.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the pieces of fish and saute gently, for 2-3 minutes on each side, until the flesh starts to turn golden.
  6. Pour the wine over the fish, add the lemon rind and some seasoning and carefully shake the pan from side to side to blend the flavourings.
  7. Lower the heat and simmer gently for a few minutes until the wine has reduced a little.
  8. Add the spinach, distributing it evenly around the fish.
  9. Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes more, then pull the pan off the heat and let it stand for a few minutes before adding the sauce.
  10. Prepare the egg and lemon sauce as described in the recipe for chicken soup with egg and lemon sauce, using the quantities listed here.
  11. Pour the sauce over the fish and spinach, place the pan over a very gentle heat and shake to amalgamate the ingredients. If it appears too dry add a little warm water.
  12. Allow to cook gently for 2-3 minutes and serve.

Cleaning the spinach

Spinach can be gritty, especially if you pick it from your own garden. The best way to wash it is to swirl the leaves gently in a sink full of cold water, then lift them out by hand into a colander. Repeat the process four or five times until the water is clear.

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Fish cooked with various greens has its roots in monastic life.

Religious observance required that fish be eaten on certain days, such as the Annunciation of the Virgin on 25 March or Palm Sunday, and monastery cooks added interest to what might otherwise have been a bland meal.

They included wild greens gathered from the hillsides different ones according to the season

In the modern kitchen, the wild greens have been substituted with vegetables such as spinach, celery, leeks, turnip tops and fennel.

This simple, quick, delicious and healthy dish is a particular favourite of the Aegean islands.

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