Greens: Sparse or wild should be part of your diet

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Greek herbs are many and varied. In fact, in the Cretan diet, they hold a prominent position. Sparse or wild, they should be part of your diet – if not species – for many reasons.

But mainly for two: they are very economical and extremely useful. We have selected the types of herbal and aromatic herbs that this season and throughout the winter you can easily find in the popular markets, in grocery stores or even in supermarkets. If you can access their wild form (ie not cultivable) even better, as the wild ones have a more special taste.

So what are the herbs of the season?

Ζοχός

Small and “curled” herb, it leaves a bitterness when you eat it but it is very tasty. Especially the wild zucchini are very tasty. Zohos is also eaten raw, if you like bitter as it sweetens with boiling. It also goes into pies. Also in popular, you can find him as “of the mountain” instead of zohos.

Spinach

There is no way not to eat spinach. Although it is sensitive to cold, it is a winter herb. Separate the tender and small leaves and make the salad. They are especially delicious and make a difference, instead of the usual lettuce. The large leaves become yahni (a very interesting choice), spinach and sweeten an oven omelette. Put spinach along with other herbs in the spinach pie (try it without feta, it is just as nice) or in a vegetable pie to “break” the bitterness of other herbs.

Σέσκουλα

Sweets with large leaves are ideal to make them with tomatoes in the pot. It is also perfect in pie alone or with other greens but also in an omelette. An interesting way to cook them is with spaghetti but also as a topping on chopped pizza or even for a classic recipe, eggs with greens.

Rocket

We have identified it with the salad, but some people eat it boiled. It has a special spark in the taste. In the popular one you will find the wild one (which is nicer in taste and with a bigger apex) and the cultivable one, which stands out because it has bigger and less irregular leaves. Whatever you put in your salad or pizza or to make pesto, the result will suit you.

Radishes

Radishes are very common and perhaps the most well-known greens. There are sweet and bitter, wild or day, depending on the season. Wild radishes are mostly bitter like sown Italian ones. Radishes are sweeter during the day. They are ideal for boiled salads or wild and for pies. Also, if you like their bitterness, try making them meat fricassee.

Nettle

As much as you may not believe it, nettle is both edible and delicious. It may sting a little and you may need gloves to wash and clean it, but dare to put it in a pie and you will not know where its gorgeous taste comes from!

Καυκαλήθρα

Winter gives us another excellent aromatic herb, kavkalithra. With small leaves, very tasty and special aroma, the kaukalithres are eaten in a pie on their own, they enter like a fragrant grass in the bean soups and give an excellent taste to the fish if we cook it with a few kaukthithres. Of course you can experiment by eating it raw in a salad.

Myroni

How boring would our kitchen be without the aromatic herbs? Very! And myrrh, a herb reminiscent of shrinking parsley, is extremely fragrant. In a salad or even better in a pie, a bunch of myrons will flavor your every dish.

Beets

They stand out for their red color. Their bulbs become salad and pickle and are extremely sweet. Their leaves become a wonderful boiled salad that you can enjoy hot or cold with vinegar or lemon and even better with chopped garlic saute. An interesting recipe is to make the hard stalks from the leaves crispy in the oven with a little oil or to sauté them in the pan

Stamnagathi

It belongs to the category of radishes, but it is very much identified with Cretan cuisine. It is eaten in many ways but it is especially delicious when cooked with meat or fish. It is eaten boiled, smoked, yahni while the wild is even more delicious

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