The Greek land offers an abundance of edible green leafy vegetables and herbs, the majority of which are not known to either scientists or the wider public. In the region of Messinia, in particular, we can find many different kinds of wild green vegetables or horta such as smooth sow thistle, bitter dock, dandelion, mustard greens, prickly goldenfleece, bur chervil, hartwort, sorrel, poppy, wild garlic, lambsquarter, chicory, cardoon, black nightshade, golden thistle, white mustard and so on. They are usually boiled or sautéed with onions. Traditionally, horta are accompanied by feta cheese, table olives, salted sardines, and lemon. They can also be cooked in tomato sauce pasta or in a feta cheese dip (armi or armitsa).


In recent years, there has been intense research interest regarding wild greens. It has been found that they are high in antioxidant properties, which, for the most part, have not been identified yet. Latest studies on 7 different types of wild greens of Greece showed high quercetin levels, much higher than the respective levels in red wine and tea, the prime sources of this particular antioxidant substance.

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