In the same patch of soil where we had planted broad beans, my husband planted some onions. The spring rains helped them to sprout more quickly. Along with the thriving onions, little green leaves tinged with purple began to appear. The amaranth plant (what Greeks call 'vlita') is a perennial in the Mediterranean; it re-grows each year without any help (just like artichokes) once it has been planted and allowed to seed completely in the previous year.
The vlita are added to boiling water. The purple leaves cause the water to turn purple. At their prime (in the spring, when they are perfectly tender and full of moisture), they need about 15 minutes cooking time. This kind of horta is never eaten raw.
The first plate of vlita (customarily eaten with boiled potatoes and zucchini, and dressed in olive oil and lemon juice) for the year is a sure sign of summer in Greece. It's amazing what you can get for free if you have a garden (while other people were paying 1.84 euro a kilo today for the same stuff at the supermarket, which includes the heavy stalks, thereby adding weight to your purchase).
©All Rights Reserved/Organically cooked. No part of this blog may be reproduced and/or copied by any means without prior consent from Maria Verivaki