Saturday, March 17, 2012

Greens and Greek Cuisine

Greens grow wild all over Greece, and have been a staple in nearly every angle of Greek cuisine for years. One of the most famous dishes that is found in everyday Greek cooking is horta, which are, simply stated - boiled greens. And might recognize the word horta, or hort - as the root for all things 'horticultural' or 'green'. And, there are an array of other greens found in common cookery with varying uses such as herbs, eaten raw, used in casseroles or salads - or boiled for horta.

Greens are used in nearly every dish - including main dishes. From meat, chicken and fish entrees and pork (best with a bit of avgolemono, or lemon juice and egg sauce) to Hortopitakia, which are phyllo pies packed with garden greens and herbs.

And depending on how you like your salads - nearly all the greens used in Greek cuisine can be eaten in any of the dishes used (even though some may surprise you!) - along with the common spinach, lettuce and other bulbs, collards and such - are:
  • Cabbages (white, red, kale, etc.)
  • Catnip (Catmint, Nepeta)
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Fennel
  • Golden Thistle
  • Leeks
  • Mache (Lamb's Lettuce, Wild Lettuce)
  • Mallow
  • Nettles
  • Palmer Amaranth (Albersia, Vlita)
  • Poppy
  • Purslane
  • Sow-thistle
  • Spiny Chicory
  • White Beet Leaves
  • Brassicae greens (kale, collard greens)
  • Sow-thistles
  • Wild Mustard Greens
  • Chard

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