Monday, 8 August 2011

Greek Horta

Horta is a Greek word used generally for greens. It is a real staple in Greek cooking, and generally speaking is a pretty standard recipe, although the greens used are really interchangeable, and basically depend on what's available. I used vlina, a form of Amaranth. It's what is known as callaloo in the Caribbean. It's somewhat spinach like in taste, but a lot stronger, as it takes much longer to cook down. I found it in my local Greek grocery store, and a HUGE bunch (like a foot by a foot) cost 99 cents.

Other popular substitutes are rapini, dandelion greens, or beet leaves. Anything green and leafy, basically.

The recipe couldn't be simpler.

You'll need:

1 large bunch of vlina, or other greens
a splash of vinegar
lemon juice
olive oil
a clove of garlic, thinly sliced (optional)

Pull the leaves and smaller stems off of the bigger pieces of stems (I'm not a huge fan of those parts, you can chop them up and use them if you want), and put the leaves into a large bowl filled with cold water and a splash of vinegar. Let them sit, and if necessary change up the water until the greens are clean. 

Boil some water in a large pot with a good amount of salt (2-3 tsp). Add in the greens to the boiling water, and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until they are good and wilted.

Drain the water, add a few good splashes of olive oil, the garlic (optional - this is my own personal taste) and a big splash of lemon juice. Taste, and add salt if you think it needs it.

This is great as a side dish, or even as a lunch with some tzatziki and bread. Yum!
 Have a great day!


  1. Now that looks very tasty - we have lots of leafy greens at our market here in Cairns I'm sure would work as substitutes in this recipe!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  2. Hmmm, I seem to remember my Colombian mom cooking with this and adding it to bean soups. We called it 'coles'. I love leafy greens. :)

  3. Jill: it's a great base for any leafy greens.

    Paola: I've definitely seen this green in soups that sound very similar to that. I haven't heard that name, but I would guess it depends where you're from!

  4. I've never had this but it looks good!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this at Recipe Sharing Monday. I hope to see you back tomorrow :)