Horta literally means greens and, in Greece, everyone eats wild greens which appear in the fields after the first autumn rains. They also eat farmed summer horta called vlita in Greek, which is sold here in Asian supermarkets under the name amaranth or Chinese greens – they’re easy to spot as they have a deep red flush on the leaf.
This is a side dish.
- 1 kg fresh amaranth
- 5 L cold water
- ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
- lemon quarters
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cut the long stems off the amaranth just below the bottom leaves and wash well. If the individual bunches are very big, cut them in half.
Fill a very large saucepan with the water. Put in the amaranth and bring to the boil, uncovered. When the greens have gone soft , remove them from the pan and drain.
• Vlita, or amaranth, boils down to nothing, so don't be surprised by the amounts given.