Lemon Garlic Greens and Onions is hands down my favorite dish from Aunt Paula’s recent Syrian Fest 2010. This easy appetizer is a simple mixture of spinach, lemon and garlic topped with caramelized onions. Ok I lied. It is topped with fried onions. You might as well call them crack onions because they are absurdly addictive. We don’t use utensils to enjoy this dish, choosing instead to use a piece of thin Syrian bread (Khebz Markouk) as a scoop to form a “litme”. A litme is a bread bite filled with the perfect amount of spinach and onions.
If you are new to the family, as my husband was when we started dating 10 years ago, you might not fully understand the rules of greens with onions. You are not allowed to take a bite with just friend onions. Let me repeat: you are not allowed to eat just the top layer of onions, leaving your leftover onion-less spinach for the rest of us.
Fortunately for Rich, my Aunt Paula loves him more than me and perhaps even more than her own son. When she witnessed my husband (boyfriend at the time), ever so casually using his bread to scoop up a huge amount of just the onions she scolded him on the spot: “One time. You can do it one time.” Needless to say, he has never made the same mistake again.
The photo above is my cousin John (Aunt Paula’s son) and my cousin Tanya (who married Aunt Patsy’s son Joe.) You’d think Tanya and I were related but I’m actually related to her blonde, Dutch husband. Who knew? Back to the spinach and greens. My version of this recipe is waist friendly but I will also give instructions for the traditional recipe which involves frying onions in cups of oil. It is completely up to you which way you prepare the dish. In my opinion, I like finding healthier methods of preparing traditional recipes so that they can be enjoyed year round without guilt vs. reserving them for holidays and special occasions. The spinach, garlic and lemon juice couldn’t be a more healthful combination. It is also a fabulous way to get your family to eat more greens because I’m pretty sure we could all use more greens in our life.
Your pita bread is waiting.
Lemon Garlic Greens and Onions
- 2 large onions (thinly sliced)
- 2 boxes chopped frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Juice of lemon
- 3 cloves garlic (grated)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Spray a large deep pan with non-stick spray and heat over medium-high.
- Add onion slices and a sprinkle of salt and cook for 20-30 minutes or until fully caramelized. (If you’d like to prepare this traditionally, fry the onions in olive oil.)
- Squeeze out spinach with paper towel to ensure all moisture is removed.
- In a bowl, mix spinach with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. (This is where my Aunt Paula would also add oil from the fried onions. Now do you see why John and Tanya look so happy above?)
- Spread spinach mixture in thin layer on large plate and garnish with caramelized onions on top. Tastes great with pita bread or alone.