Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


In 2015, this kitchen will be more collegial than ever before.

I'll ask my children what they want for dinner and get agreement. If that doesn't happen, I'll call an election.

Just kidding. This household is a benevolent dictatorship.


On another subject, underpinning those Australia Day lemonised meat balls was the following rice dish.

Spanakorizo: rice with spinach and leek.

Chop a leek into quartered rounds. Cook it with two crushed cloves of garlic in oil until soft and fragrant. Add a cup and a half of rice – I used long grain – and stir to coat in oil. Add three cups of water, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook over the lowest heat for 10 to 15 minutes. The rice is done when steam holes form in the rice and the grains stand on end and beg to be eaten. Well, that's what it looks like.

Meanwhile, cook a chopped bunch of fresh washed spinach in its retained water – or thaw 500g frozen spinach – and then fold it through the cooked rice.

Finish it off with quarter of a cup of chopped parsley and the juice of a lemon. Salt and pepper for the final kick.

This dish works as a hot side, a cold salad or even a main course. It is disarmingly, beguilingly delicious, pairing that captivating Mediterranean duo of lemon and garlic against the compliant texture of rice, reinforced with a leek and spinach backbone. One of the best rice dishes on the planet.

I had a cupful left over which stuffed a capsicum along with one or two lemon meat balls. Even better.


Who even uses that word in real life? Who even wants a collegial leader? Leaders are meant to make decisions, not run around asking people if they agree. The catch, I might point out to you, Mr Collegial, is that your decisions have to be good ones. It might have helped if you hadn't changed your phone number before Christmas and not told backbenchers the new one.

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