Greek-style spinach


Greek-style spinach… simple, tasty and ready in seconds. Boom! 

Some of you may know that I have some Greek roots. Not that I was born there or had Greeke parents, but I did grow up there.

We still visit a couple of times a year to see my mum and sister – and one of the first things we do is go to a Greek taverna and order a typical Greek meal. For me, it always has to include a side-dish or horta. 

What is it? Wild mountain greens (the literal translation is grass or weeds, but try getting the kids to eat that). What horta are available depends on the season but it can be dandelion leaves, poppy, nettles or beetroot leaves. All taste great and are packed with iron but when they get wild spinach, it’s the best.

In Greece, this is not cultivated stuff either. You’ll see black-clad giagiathes mourning grandmothers out in the fields or on mountains with a plastic bag routing around for them.

In England, spring cabbage (or spring greens) is the only thing you’ll find that’s close. But they can often be quite tough and take ages to cook, baby-leafy spinach is a good alternative but it tends to wilt quickly and retain no crunch at all, so I go for just regular, old spinach.

I’m almost embarrassed to list this as a recipe, but as a quick side, low on calories, full of fibre to fill you up and high in protein (yes, spinach is packed with the p-word), you can’t beat it. It goes well with my Mediterranean garlic and lemon chicken too.

A 500g bag of spinach
1 glove of garlic
2 tbsps olive oil
Squeeze of lemon juice

Get a wide-based frying pan and pour in  half of the oil, put on a low-medium heat
Empty the bag of spinach into the pan, don’t worry if it piles high, it will soon wilt
Stir every so often for a couple of minutes
When wilted pour into a bowl, pour on the remainder of the olive oil and squeeze on the lemon

Serves 4, eat hot immediately or leave to cool. It will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.

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