Horta Vrasta: Boiled Leafy Greens

Horta Vrasta: Boiled Leafy Greens Recipe

The Spruce

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
147 Calories
8g Fat
19g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 147
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1094mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 14g 50%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 96mg 479%
Calcium 343mg 26%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 1449mg 31%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Boiled greens, or horta vrasta (HOR-tah vrah-STAH), are a staple in any Greek household. They are easy to prepare, and when dressed with a bit of olive oil and lemon, you will really enjoy the clean, pure taste.

Like spinach, boiled greens wilt and reduce when cooked to a fraction of their original quantity. So, it may seem like quite a lot, but for four ample servings, you will need approximately three pounds of greens. This recipe calls for curly endive, which is often confused with chicory (because they are cousins), but both are good in this dish so don't worry if you buy one instead of the other. You will find endive sold as a head, sort of in the shape of a heart, with an off-white center surrounded by lacy, green leaves that curl at the end. It has a pleasantly bitter taste. 

These greens are a great side dish for grilled or baked chicken or fish or a bowl of homemade soup.


  • 3 pounds curly endive, or any leafy green of your choice, like chicory or chard

  • 1 cup white vinegar, for adding to soaking water

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Horta Vrasta: Boiled Leafy Greens Recipe ingredients
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  2. Wash the greens well before cooking and trim any coarse stems. Discard any brown leaves.

    Wash the greens well
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  3. Soak the greens in a clean sink with plenty of water and about a cup of white vinegar. Any sand or residue will fall to the bottom of the sink while the greens will float on top.

    Soak the greens in a clean sink

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  4. Remove the greens to a colander before draining the water.

    Put greens in a colander

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  5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and then add about a tablespoon of salt to the water. Carefully submerge the greens in the pot and boil for about 20 minutes, or until the thickest parts of the stems are tender. Be careful not to over boil.

    Submerge the greens in boiling pot of water

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  6. Drain in a colander and place in a bowl.

    Drain in a colander, then place in a bowl

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  7. Dress with extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and a bit of salt and pepper to taste.

    Dress greens with seasonings

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  8. You can serve the greens warm or at room temperature.

    Horta Vrasta: Boiled Leafy Greens Recipe

    The Spruce

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