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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. 


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

  • 1 cup white vinegar (for adding to soaking water)

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 lemon (juiced)

  • Salt (to taste)

  • Pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Wash the greens well before cooking and trim any coarse stems. Discard any brown leaves.

  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.

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

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