New research published in the journal of Neurology found that people who ate at least one serving of leafy greens a day had a slower rate of decline on tests for memory and thinking skills than did people who rarely ate these vegetables.

Luckily, Greek cuisine is rich in greens

whether it is through pies (pites) or the famous horta, it is easy to get plenty of leafy greens in your diet. Check out these simple but delicious recipes and remember for most of these recipes you can replace spinach with any leafy greens you prefer.

Savory Pies (Spanakopita or Hortopita)


Very popular in Greece, pites are a great as a snack, meal and as a street food. You can make a big batch and either make your own phyllo with olive oil (get the recipe here) or use phyllo from the store (make sure there is no vegetable oils in the ingredients). I always keep a few pieces in the freezer too. Get the recipe for spanakopita or hortopita or mini spinach-leek pies

Spanakorizo –Spinach Rice


A comfort food that is also actually healthy. Rice is cooked until soft along with the spinach, this dish is soothing and delicious. Eat as a main plant-based course, also great as a side dish. Best consumed with a chunk of feta and plenty of lemon.

*Get the recipe here

Eggs with Greens

eggs with spinach

Eggs are the perfect vehicle to incorporate vegetables in your meal. Whether it is an omelet or a fried egg you can get plenty of greens in. Cooking the greens with the eggs will soften them and infuse plenty of flavor.

*Get the recipe here

Roasted Beans with Spinach

beans and greens

Beans and greens are a classic combo in Greek cuisine. You can use spinach or other greens. Combining them is easy: lightly boil the greens, and than add them to your beans and roast them to gether so that the flavors meld. This dish not only is filling but is bursting with antioxidants from both the greens and beans.

*Get the recipe here



This is a classic dish served in many homes and taverns. Horta is the generic Greek term for basically seasonal, mostly wild greens. When ordering, you just ask what type of horta they have today and they will tell you what seasonal greens are on the menu. They are often ordered as a salad. The recipe is simple: after washing them well, you lightly boil them in water, strain and serve with olive oil, lemon, a touch of salt and feta cheese.

All photos by Elena Paravantes All Rights Reserved

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  1. Denise Greene says:

    For Maria: I found it in an Asian market as Chinese spinach. Made Spanakorizo with it last night, and it was a game changer. So much more filling and satisfying. I did crumble feta over the top, but I felt no need for a side dish at all.

  2. when i make this first time it experience is unforgettable after that i make it daily in the morning this experience in this website is wonderful whenever pain on my head then i make for my stress release i love this

  3. Hi Eleni, do you know if I can find βλίτα in the US? Thank you!

    1. Hi Maria, they may be available at some farmers markets and referred to as amaranth greens. Otherwise you can purchase seeds as they are very easy to grow.

    2. Denise Greene says:

      Also referred to as Chinese Spinach, I believe. I used it for the first time to make Spanakorizo last night, and it was a total game changer. It made the dish so much richer, and more filling and satisfying. I did crumble some feta over the top, but I felt no need for a side dish.

    1. Thanks Kim. I love going through the Baker Creek catalog, lots of varieties as you say and great photos too.

  4. Earlier I enjoyed a dinner of pasta with dandelion greens, capers, lemon, olio nuovo and pepper flakes… very tasty and sounds like good for my brain as a bonus.

    I’m interested in growing some of the traditional greek wild greens. Are most under cultivation and if so do you know a place I could order seeds? I’m interested in reading about the different varieties also if you happen to know a good source of information on that. Thank you!

      1. Great, thanks for the links. Many of the these plants look familiar as they grow wild where I live (California) e.g. fennel, chicory, dandelion… I’ve read some were deliberate introductions, some inadvertent. Perhaps there are people around here collecting their own horta but I haven’t heard about it if so. I do see people who are recent immigrants from Asian countries occasionally collecting wild mustard greens. Have to watch out for pesticides though.

  5. I often add greens to lentil or bean soups. Soups are one of my favorite ways to get more vegetables.

    1. Jackie Davison says:

      Hi. I ate greens in Greece that the woman I lived with said she picked from garden, like weeds. Abit like spi ach but better. I also ate this in Italy, down near Naples. Any idea what it could be please? Thankyou.