Horta: Greek (wild) greens

The quickest, simplest way to cook tasty greens of any kind

There are a lot of gorgeous fancy recipes using foraged plants. It's all inspiring stuff, but I usually prefer to keep my cooking simple, even more so when using wild greens that are far more intensely flavoured and nutrient packed as anything you'll ever get off a farm.


The simplest way of serving wild greens is the classic dish of Greek horta (literally, weeds). Any greens will do, they don't have to be wild. And as any type of fresh greens will wilt dramatically when cooked (just like spinach) so you'll probably need some farmed greens to fill out your pot out anyway. I find mixing it up quite satisfying - a little wild food goes a long way!


Easy wild greens: nettles (they are really sweet!), dandelion, dock, wild garlic. Leafy veggies: spinach, chard, kale, cabbage (green peas and green beans are also good that way!)


Some cooks in Greece will boil horta in salted water til tender and then serve with olive oil and lemon (that's also what you'll usually get in a taverna). Nice enough. But if you know me you'll know that I don't approve of boiling vegetables. I much prefer gently softening my greens in olive oil to intensify (rather than wash out) the taste. I also like adding some chopped onions and garlic. And I always finish off the dish with a generous squeeze of lemon!


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