hortaThe wild “greens” growing everywhere and make a wonderful vegetarian meal!
I have tried to find corresponding names in English, but could only find a few as you will see!
If you want to collect these lovely “horta” I would advise you to take with you an elderly lady from your village to point them out to you!!
Another very important fact is : The names of “horta” change from one village to the other!!
The South of the island has its own name, while the North of the island has a different one for the same thing!!
Because I live in the North-East of Corfu I will give names from here, although some names seem to be universal!!

How to cook these :

You boil them (like spinach for instance)-and then you add olive oil and lemon juice on your plate with salt and pepper.
One very full supermarket plastic bag overflowing with “horta” will yield, perhaps two plates when boiled!!

I give the local names first and then the English ones (the ones I know!) plus the scientific ones. The bold letter indicates the accent.

“Sinapi” Wild mustard

“Skordolides” Neapolitan garlic (Allium Neapolitanum)

“Vorvolidia”- Grape hyacinth (Belevalia dubia or Muscari trojanum)

“Radiki” – Dandelion

“Prikalida” –Dwarf chicory

“Lappato” – Burdock (The big leaves are baked)

“Politrihos” – Maiden hair (sweet)

“Sesklo” – Swiss chard (used for pies)

“Wild asparagus”- From March to June

“Tsigarolahana” –Term used for horta which are fried lightly

I now give a recipe for “TSIGARELI” (Fried horta with spices which is a complete meal with bread, feta and…village wine!)

1 kilo of horta, ¼ cup olive oil, 2 onions, 4 cloves garlic, oregano (rigani),parsley (maidanos), salt, RED pepper (paprika)-1 tablespoon tomato puree.

Boil the horta in UNSALTED water for 10 minutes.
Fry the chopped onions and garlic in the oil in a shallow casserole. Add the salt , paprika an tomato paste. Simmer for a few minutes and now add the drained horta. Add water and simmer for 15 minutes. When water has almost evaporated add the juice of `1 lemon

By Aleko Damaskinos

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