22 Sep Horta
Recipes, Small, Substantial
22 September 2023
PREP. TIME: 5 min - Cook Time: 10 mins - Serves: 2 - 4
Horta is a traditional, cooked Greek 'salad', abundant in antioxidants and other nutrients.
Even if you think you cannot cook - I know you can master how to cook Horta!
Four simple steps, and three basic ingredients will render one of the most nourishing dishes on the planet - just don't spare the olive oil - it should pool under the vegetables on the serving dish.
The Greeks and Italians have known forever that Horta is hands down one of the most healthy, easiest, and tastiest ways to regularly eat vegetables. It is our favourite, healthy go-to dish. We have it at least 3 times a week. If I was really committed it would be 3 times a day. It is delicious with a small pan fried cutlet of fish, with boiled eggs or on a piece of toasted sourdough. It also goes well with a selection of small plates of other healthy dishes.
Try cooking my quick recipe for pan - fried fish and cook up your Horta and presto! Dinner in 20 minutes.
If you have too much Horta, you can convert it into a Ricotta, Herbs, and Greens, Filo Pie.
2 - 4 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
4 - 8 cups of leafy greens such as rainbow chard, silverbeet, endive or chicory, even the stripped stems, leaves, and flowers of zucchini can be cooked together as Horta. Wild plants such as dandelion, stinging nettles, or sow thistle can also be added - so long as you know they have not been sprayed and you wash them well regardless.
Juice of 1 lemon or 1 lemon cut into quarters
Freshly ground black pepper.
Chopping board and kitchen knife
Step 1 Prep
Wash the greens thoroughly, discarding any bruised or discoloured bits.
Strip the greens from the stem, roll the leaves into a cigar shape and chop across roughly to create thick ribbons.
Chop the stems into slices if using.
Step 2 Cook
Bring a large pot of water to the boil, add a dessert spoon of salt, return to the boil and add the greens. Stir well and allow to boil for about 10 minutes until tender.
The boiling process makes the leaves less bitter.
Step 3 Drain
Pour the greens through a colander and allow to drain.
Step 4 Dress with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Transfer the warm, drained greens to a serving dish, dress liberally with extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and lemon juice.
Step 5 To Serve
Serve warm or at room temperature with lemon wedges.
Recipe by Dr Catherine Itsiopolous, The Mediterranean Diet (2013), p.105
Adapted by Elizabeth Peddey
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