First published in the City Natural Therapies October Newsletter. Don’t want to miss out on great recipes, thoughtful articles and health tips? Sign up for the free e-newsletter.
Spring means greens. I’m lucky that my tiny veggie patch is lush with leafy greens right now. Some like the radiccio (a green, saw leaf variety) are wonderfully bitter, nature’s perfect detox food. But my current favourite is a grey/green kale. Both go together perfectly in a classic Greek dish and what’s more it is dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan.
Horta is traditionally made from dandelion leaves and other wild greens but even shop bought silverbeet does the trick, though it’s even better paired with chicory if you can find it.
This version is not the traditional method but works well for me. To cook horta the old fashioned way I’d recommend reading this delightful post at Organically Cooked.
Horta – Greek wild greens
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced (optional)
A large colander of washed greens (I use kale, nettles, chicory and chard)
Wash the greens well in a cold water and then transfer in a colander. Chop roughly into about 6-8 cm pieces.
Heat a little olive oil in the bottom of a pressure cooker (if you don’t have one, just use your biggest pot and cook for longer). Add the garlic and stir quickly til it softens but doesn’t brown. Add greens by the handful (wearing rubber gloves if you’ve picked nettles), stirring before adding more. When all the greens have wilted add a centimetre or two of water to cover the bottom of the pot (if not using a pressure cooker use a lot more water). Fit the lid and bring up to steam. Cook for about 15 minutes, then allow to depressurize.
Drain the water but don’t throw it out – it’s full of nutrients and delicious to drink. Toss through the juice of two lemons, a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt.
Serve horta with a dish of beans, meat or fish.