Braised greens - vlita, purslane and zucchini in tomato (τσιγαριστά χόρτα)

I could barley contain my delight, when at the market this week, I found some vlita (βλήτα) (otherwise known as amaranth). It is my absolute favourite wild green, closely followed by glistrida (γλιστρίδα) (otherwise known as purslane). And guess what? There was some of this too at the market.

These two beautiful greens always take me straight to summers spent in Greece, where my lovely husband first introduced me to the delights of these greens. We would puchase them at the morning market and serve them for the evening meal, outdoors in the warm summer night air, on a table under a fresh green grapevine trellis. Simply boiled and served with local olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice, they made a feast with homemade ladotyri cheese, home cured olives with plenty of lemon and rigani, rustic bread from the local baker and glasses of chilled homemade rose wine.

Early in the season, glistrida can be eaten raw. I love to add it to a salad with plenty of juicy tomatoes, salty rich thrombes olives and a garlicky yoghurt or simply in some tzatiki along with the usual cucumber, or sometimes in its place.

The vlita is best cooked. I love to use both of these summer greens to make this beautiful braised dish. It is a sort of celebratory meal for hearalding the start of summer. When braised, the greens are soft and tender and full of immune-boosting nutrients. It makes for comforting and nourishing fare - which is well followed by planning your next summer holiday to Greece.

Braised greens - vlita, purslane and zucchini in tomato
(τσιγαριστά χόρτα)


3 small zucchini, halved and sliced into inch long pieces
1 bunch of cleaned vlita, leaves picked and tough stems removed
1 bunch of cleaned purslane
2 Onions, chopped (I use one red and one brown)
2 Cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 Bay leaf
1 Cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoom of ground allspice
1 Cup of home made vegetable or chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil


1. Heat a fry pan and add around 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sauté the zucchini until browned.

2. Remove the zucchini from the pan and rest on a plate. Using the same pan, sauté the onions with the garlic in the remaining oil until translucent but not browned.

3. Add all of the remaining ingredients and zucchini. Season cook for 20 minutes, until the greens are tender and all the excess liquid has evaporated.

Note: before adding the greens, you may wish to boil the vlita and glistrida briefly to remove any bitterness.


  1. I grew some amaranth last year and we all loved it. I don't think we had anything that sounded as good as this though.

    1. Thanks Maureen! Where did you buy your seeds from the grow the amaranth?


Thank you for your comments, I really appreciate every single one!

© Mulberry and Pomegranate
Maira Gall