Tuesday, September 21, 2010

horta with not so wild greens

Remember the patch of green outside my backdoor? All that bitter radicchio/chicory, the mass of nettles in desperate need of eating, the silver-green elegant fonds of kale and some good old fashioned chard cried out one thing to me. Horta!.

I’ve made this traditional Greek dish before with shop bought chicory. The method was passed down to me through a most circuitous route. The Significant Eater’s ex was of Irish/Greek decent, her mother taught her to cook this, she passed it onto the Italian/Aussie SE and years later this mantle was handed onto me. The “recipe” as such being – wash, chop, boil, strain and then add lemon juice and olive oil. This time I steered a little from the previous path and was happy with the lovely pile of cooked greens that came out of it.


Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
A large colander of washed greens – I used kale, nettles, chicory and chard from the garden
2 lemons

Wash the greens well in a cold water and then transfer in a colander. Then 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 depressurise.

Drain the water but don’t throw it out, it’s delicious to drink. Toss through the juice of two lemons, a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Serve hot, warm or cold.

For a more traditional version read Maria’s beautiful story about gathering wild greens and cooking horta in Wellington.

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Blogger Lisa (bakebikeblog) said...

I think this sounds like the perfect way to use the abundance of greens! Perhaps you could even make a spanakopita?

2:19 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Lisa you certainly could. Maria's link has some traditional "pies" with horta too.

The greens remind me more of what you get in a Lebanese pide.

4:35 pm  

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