Lamb baked over spanakorizo

Halkidiki-Style Easter Lamb, Baked over Herbed Rice - Psima

Lamb and goat baked over vegetables are Easter specialties in various parts of Macedonia. In Pella and Goumenissa, for example, a similar dish calls for baking the meat in an egg crust over scallions. This dish, called Psima in local parlance, is also baked over a hearty layer of vegetables and rice and made even more flavourful with the addition of raisins, a traditional product in Halkidiki. To find some of the artisinal Greek products you'll need to make this, visit my online shop here, where you'll discover a host of lovingly curated Greek ingredients.


  • Salt
  • 1 pound/1/2 kilo lamb’s liver optional, trimmed of membranes
  • 4 ½ pounds/2 ¼ kilos lamb shoulder bone-in, trimmed of fat and cut into stewing-size pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • ¼ cup/1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds/1 kilo spring onions or scallions white and green parts, cleaned and cut into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces
  • 1 cup short-grain rice
  • 1 cup golden seedless raisins
  • 1 cup chopped fresh dill
  • ½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 3 ½ cups water


  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F/ 190˚C and lightly oil a large baking pan.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and blanch the liver, if using, for 5 to 8 minutes until it has changed color completely. Remove and finely chop.
  3. Wash, trim, and pat dry the meat with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over high heat and sear the meat, turning to brown on all sides. Remove from the pot.
  4. Using the same pot add the butter and sauté the spring onions, rice, raisins and herbs, and season with salt and black pepper. Add the chopped liver to the rice mixture.
  5. Spread the rice mixture over the bottom of the pan and place the meat on top. Pour in the water. Cover with a sheet of aluminum foil.
  6. Bake for 1 ½ to 2 hours, adding more water to the rice mixture if necessary. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and serve.