Horta recipe (Boiled Greek Wild Leafy Greens)

Horta recipe (Greek Wild Greens)

Healthy and absolutely delicious Horta recipe (Boiled Greek Wild Leafy Greens) for the lovers of Greek cuisine! Horta is a very popular salad one can find almost everywhere in Greece. 

The origins of “Horta”

Horta in Greek literally means “wild greens” and it has been a staple of the Greek Diet since the ancient times. There are even references to Horta in Pythagoras’s ancient scripts.

More recently, if you ever walked around the fields of any Greek village, you’d be hard pressed not to find a Greek grandmother holding her wicker basket and plucking these wild leafy greens (Horta) from the fields. That was especially the case in the middle of the 19th century, where Horta together with spanakorizo (spinach & rice), green beans (fasolakia giahni), okra stew, peas and potato stew, potatoes yiahni and of course the traditional Greek Salad were a very cheap and nutritious food for many Greeks facing economic hardship.

Where to find Horta (Greek Wild Leafy Greens)?

If you live in Greece, it is very simple to just buy a bunch of Horta from your local supermarket. However, it is not as straightforward when living abroad as they are not commonly exported as “Horta”. Instead you need to look for them by name, which are dandelion greens, amaranth greens, swiss chard, sorrel greens. Finally in a pinch, even some Kale will do!

What these Horta (Greek wild leafy greens) all have in common is they are long stemmed with medium to large sized leaves that can endure being blanched in your saucepan! Personally, I’ve had luck finding these on Farmdrop and whole foods but your local green grocer would definitely stock some of them!

Horta recipe (Greek Wild Greens)

How to serve Horta?

The traditional way to serve Horta is with some extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. But I have also included a variation with homemade feta sauce and grated tomatoes which I found really unique and super tasty. So it’s up to you to decide! 

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Horta recipe (Greek Wild Greens)

Horta (Boiled Greek Wild Leafy Greens)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (638 votes, average: 4.98 out of 5)
Loading...
  • Author: Eli K. Giannopoulos
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 portions 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Boiled
  • Cuisine: Greek
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Healthy and absolutely delicious Horta recipe (Boiled Greek Wild Leafy Greens) for the lovers of Greek cuisine! Horta  is a very popular salad one can taste almost everywhere in Greece.


Ingredients

Scale

For the wild Greens

  • 1.5kg wild greens (53 ounces). You can use dandelion greens, amaranth greens, swiss chard, sorrel greens or any other long stemmed robust leaf.
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, cut into stripes
  • 1/2 bunch fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil

For the feta sauce

  • 80ml milk (1/4 of a cup)
  • 80ml milk cream (1/4 of a cup)
  • 300g feta cheese (10.5 ounces)
  • 1/2 tbsp thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika


Instructions

  1. Wash the wild leafy greens thoroughly and drain.
  2. Into a large saucepan pour the olive oil, add the onions and leeks and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until wilted.
  3. Add the wild greens and mix with a wooden spoon. As soon as they become wilted, lower the heat and add 1/2 cup of water.
  4. With the lid on, simmer for 35 minutes, until the wild greens are boiled.
  5. In the meantime, prepare the feta sauce. Into a blender add the feta cheese (crushed).
  6. In a small pot, warm the milk and the milk cream at low heat. Right before it comes to the boil, remove from the stove and let it cool for 1 minute.
  7. Pour the milk in the blender, along with the herbs and spices and blend, until the sauce becomes smooth.
  8. Serve the horta at room temperature and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Top with the feta sauce and some grated tomato, if you wish.

Keywords: horta recipe, greek horta, greek greens, horta salad

Recipe image gallery:


Sign Up to Our Newsletter

3 Comments

  1. Two questions: what exact species of green plants? you mean to actually go and forage? Can store bought greens be substituted? I am a little hesitant about public foraging since one can never tell if the plants have been chemically treated.

    • Greeks use a different types of wild greens: from Cardoon, arugula, mustard greens, sorrel, chicory
      (dandelion greens), amaranth greens, and others. The easiest to find in the wild in the US is dandelion greens.

  2. I made this last night with just mustard greens and swiss chard, no onions or herbs. Just braised it with a little water, drained it drizzled with healthy amount of very good olive oil and juice of a lemon. It was amazing, if you like greens, and so simple.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*