Looking to have some fun with the backyard grill? Give the old burgers and hot dogs a break, and make something that will really impress your guests.
The below recipe for whole trout stuffed with spinach pilaf comes from chef Pano Karatassos, President and Culinary Director of Buckhead Life Restaurant Group in Atlanta. It’s a favorite among loyal diners of the group’s Greek restaurant Kyma, and it’s based on an old family recipe.
“This is one of my favorite go-to dishes for the spring, summer and fall grilling season,” chef Karatassos says. “I grew up eating my Yia Yia’s spinach rice, and it was a family favorite! The combination of fresh cooked rice with melting spinach folded in the earthiness of feta cheese and the fresh fragrance and flavor of dill would make my brother Niko and I fight for the last of the bowl!”
Spinach rice, or spanakorizo, is a Greek staple, and the technique of grilling the trout with its head on and the bones removed is a tradition in the American South, so this recipe really blends the best of both worlds.
If you want to switch it up a bit more, you can use a different leafy green of your choice. Chef really loves this made with Swiss chard. You can also use chickpeas or another grain like quinoa, barley, farro or brown rice.
Chef Karatassos says you can make the spinach pilaf first and leave it covered at room temperature for 30 minutes, or make it the night before and keep in the fridge. Just make sure it comes back to room temperature before serving.
This recipe serves four and pairs nicely with a fruity, crisp sauvignon blanc or citrus-forward, Grecian Roditis.
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Visit Kyma in Atlanta and online for more delicious dishes and inspiration.
Photography by: Courtesy of Kyma