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Horta on Toast with Sweet Pepper and Chile Jam

Horta (or khorta) is a greek catch-all term for greens, usually braised or boiled with plenty of olive oil and lemon. Use any mixture of robust greens you like, wild or not; anything from the first asparagus, to chard or large spinach leaves, to peppery watercress will be superb.

Horta on Toast with Sweet Pepper and Chile Jam

Main ingredient


Pairs well with

Poached or Fried Eggs

Cook time

50 minutes

Serving size



  • 2 Plump Garlic Cloves, Preferably Mild, Spring Garlic
  • 1 Pound 10 Ounces (750 g) Mixed Green Leaves and Shoots, Such as Large Spinach Leaves, Kale, Chard, Sprue (very young) Asparagus, Mustard Leaves, Wild Garlic, Hop Shoots, Watercress...
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Mild Red Chile, Finely Sliced
  • Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 4 Large Slices of Rye or Sourdough Bread
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, To Serve
  • 1/2 Lemon

Sweet Pepper and Chile Jam

  • 6 Sweet Red Peppers (ideally the sweet, thin-skinned Romano or bull's horn if you can find them), Halved, Cored and Deseeded
  • 2 Mild Red Chiles, Halved and Deseeded
  • 1 Pound 4 Ounces (550 g; about 7 medium) Fragrant, Vine-Ripened Tomatoes, Halved Through Their Middles, Seeds Scooped Out
  • 1-Inch (2.5 cm) Piece Fresh Ginger Root, Peeled and Finely Grated (Including the Juice)
  • 3 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Palm Sugar or Unrefined Brown Sugar

Quick Tip

A softly poached or fried egg, or a crumble of feta, on top is an excellent addition.. but ruins the recipe's current vegan credentials.

Recipe Preparation

  1. Finely slice 1 garlic clove and halve the other. Wash well and trim all the greens, removing any coarse stalks and slicing leaves.
  2. Warm the regular olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and chile and cook for a minute. Throw in the greens and stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes over medium-high heat, tossing the pan often, until the greens are wilted but still retain a bit of bite. Season well with salt and pepper.
  3. Toast or broil the bread until slightly charred, then rub a side of each slice with the cut sides of the halved garlic clove.
  4. Divide the greens between the toasted bread slices-piling them high-with a few drops of extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and a good spoonful of pepper and chile jam.
  5. For the Sweet Pepper and Chile Jam: Preheat the oven to 400° (200°C). Lay the pepper halves and chiles, skin sides up, in a second pan (they can be muddled together a little more than peppers).
  6. Roast both pans for 30 minutes or so, making sure the pepper tray is at the top of the oven, until the skins are shriveled and the peppers are blackened. All should be soft, so, if your peppers were particularly hefty, give them another 10 minutes in the oven. Cover the peppers with a baking sheet so they steam and set both pans aside to cool.
  7. Peel off the tomato and pepper skins, not worrying too much about stubborn shreds and pieces of peel here and there-the odd black smokey piece is in fact a flavor advantage-and leaving the chiles unpeeled. Put all the flesh in a saucepan over high heat with the ginger, vinegar and sugar and heat through, stirring constantly to break the peppers down. Simmer down over medium-high heat, stirring often, until jammy and thick (this should take about 10 minutes). Transfer to a clean jar and let cool. Cover with a lid, chill and use within 3 weeks.
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