26 Different Types Of Greek Veggies

Greece is known for its amazing cuisine. They use a lot of different kinds of herbs and spices in their cooking, which makes it very healthy as well as delicious. The Greeks have been exporting their specialty food products since the early 1900s.

Today, Greece has one of the largest export markets in Europe. Some of the most popular exports include olives, olive oil, feta cheese, wine, dried fruits, honey, salted fish, and even flowers.

While many people might not think that Greek Cuisine could be considered an exotic or high-end cuisine, you would be surprised how quickly you can master some authentic recipes. Here, we will be going through some Greek vegetables that you should try at least once in your life. Let’s begin!

Greek Vegetables

Asparagus

Asparagus

Asparagus tastes a lot like peas, although it has a sweeter flavor. The stalk has a slight nutty taste, while the tips have a strong onion-y taste. This vegetable grows from a stalk about 1 meter long.

Asparagus has a distinctive taste, which is similar to artichokes. This plant is grown commercially for its tender young shoots and also used as a vegetable. 

Cabbage

Cabbage

Cabbage looks like an elongated head of green leaves growing from a stalk. The stalk grows outwards toward the top of the cabbage, while the leaves grow inward towards the center. This vegetable is popular in Greek culture as it is used in many dishes such as yiaprakia.

Arugula

Arugula

Arugula are vegetables with small round or oblong pale green heads. It’s called arugula because it resembles the Italian word “arugula”, meaning rocket (a type of salad leaf). Arugula is very common in salads, but can be eaten cooked too.

Leeks

Leeks

The leek is a member of the onion family and is considered one of the most important vegetables in Greek cuisine. It is often served raw in salads or sautéed in oil and garlic. It is usually sliced thinly and then added to soups, stews, casseroles, sauces and other dishes. These vegetables taste slightly onion-y but are much milder.

Cress

Cress

Cress is a vegetable that has a mild flavor, similar to arugula. It is used for salads and sandwiches. They are frequently used in Greek cuisine for their freshness.

Endives

Endives

Endives look like big white flowers on a stem. They are leaf vegetables that are related to chicory and radicchio. Endives are typically boiled in salted water before they are served.

Celery

Celery

Celery is mainly used as a garnish rather than as a main ingredient in cooking. Celery is available all year round and has a clean and fresh taste. However, when celery is not fresh, it tends to have a stronger taste.

Romaine Lettuce

Romaine Lettuce

Romaine lettuce is popular in Greek cuisine because it provides good texture and fresh flavors. Romaine lettuces are often used to make salads, either alone or mixed with other ingredients. It has a fresh, mild taste.

Squash

Squash

Squash is a savory fruit that many people consider to be vegetables. In Greece, squash is commonly consumed during the winter months. There are two types: summer squash and winter squash. Summer squashes are smaller and more delicate than winter squash. Winter squash is larger and thicker. Both types have a sweet flavor. 

Cucumbers

Cucumbers

Cucumber is a gourd, related to melons. Cucumbers are widely enjoyed by Greeks. They are easy to prepare and add refreshing flavors to any dish. Some prefer them peeled, others do not mind eating whole cucumbers.

Rutabaga

Rutabaga

Rutabaga is a root vegetable that resembles turnips. It is mostly used in soup and stew. Rutabagas have a sweet, earthy flavor. They look like large potatoes.

Spinach

Spinach

Spinach is a leafy herb that generally takes up half the plate in Greek meals. It is a light green color that is used as a substitute for spinach in some recipes. Spinach is rich in iron, calcium and vitamin K. It also contains antioxidants.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a flower bud that comes from the cauliflower plant. It is a popular vegetable in Greek cuisine. It tastes bland and has a crunchy consistency. Cauliflower is often used in salads or as a side dish, and is white with green leaves.

Broccoli

Broccoli

Broccoli is a popular Greek vegetable that is high in fiber and vitamins. Broccoli is grown under glass and looks like a giant head of broccoli. The stems are removed, and the florets cut off the stalks.

Carrots

Carrots

Carrot is a root vegetable which is delicious and nutritious. It can be eaten raw, cooked, grated, juiced or even dried. Raw carrots are sweeter than cooked ones. When you cook carrots, remove the outer layer so that the inner part stays tender. You can eat carrots raw as a snack or use as a topping for pizza.

Beets

Beets

Beetroot (beets) is a root vegetable that is very soft and slightly sweet. Beets are usually added at the beginning of a meal and then discarded. They are also known as beet greens and beet tops. Beets are an excellent source of dietary fiber, potassium, folate, magnesium, copper and manganese.

Green Onions

Green Onions

The Greeks use a lot of green onions in their dishes. Green onion is a member of the onion family. A few varieties of green onion include scallion, garlic chives and Welsh onion. All these kinds of green onions are similar in size and shape.

However, they differ in flavor. Regular onions have a stronger, spicier flavor than scallions, while Welsh onion has a milder flavor. Garlic chive has a strong garlic flavor.

Zucchini

Zucchini

Zucchini is a type of summer squash. Zucchinis are very popular among Greek families because they are easy to grow and store well. They come in different sizes and colors.

Zucchini is available year-round. Most zucchinis are yellow, but there are other colors such as orange, purple and black. Zucchini is an excellent source of beta-carotene, folic acid and vitamin B6.

Green Beans

Green Beans

Green beans are one of the most common vegetables in Greece. There are many types of green bean including French haricots vert (green beans), broad beans (fava beans), string beans, and lima beans.

These all taste great when prepared using olive oil and lemon juice. In addition, it is good to add salt and pepper to enhance the flavor.

Peppers

Peppers

There are many types of peppers in Greece. Peppers come in various shapes and sizes. Some of them include bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, spicy peppers, hot red peppers, chili peppers and more.

Peppers are a versatile food item. It can be eaten fresh, boiled, fried, roasted, grilled or stewed. They are also widely used in cooking soups, sauces, dips and appetizers.

Radishes

Radishes

Radish is a root vegetable that comes in different colors, including pink, white, red and violet. Radishes contain a compound called glycoside, which helps reduce cholesterol levels in your body. Radishes taste best if sliced thinly. If you want radish to have a sharper taste, soak it in vinegar before slicing.

Peas

Peas

Pods from legumes such as peas and lentils are often referred to as “beans” in Greece. This term applies to both dry and fresh legumes. Legume pods are rich sources of protein, iron and calcium.

They are also good sources of vitamins and minerals like phosphorus, vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.

Cardoons

Cardoons

Cardoon is a kind of leafy vegetable that resembles celery. Cardoons are found in Mediterranean countries, mainly Italy. The leaves of a cardoon are edible. They taste bitter and have a strong smell.

To make cardoons easier to digest, boil them for about 10 minutes. You can eat them like steamed spinach.

Fennel

Fennel

Fennel is a herbaceous plant with feathery foliage. Fennel is commonly grown in gardens throughout Europe. The bulbous roots are used to prepare stews, salads, soups, fish dishes and desserts.

Fennel contains flavonoids that help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease. It is also useful for treating digestive issues and sore throats.

Garlic

Garlic

The cloves of garlic are a part of the onion family. Garlic is a pungent vegetable that grows underground. It is usually sold whole or chopped into pieces.

The health benefits of eating garlic includes reducing blood pressure and preventing heart attacks. Other benefits include fighting against colds and flu, boosting immunity and helping control weight gain.

Horta

Horta

Horta is a type of salad made out of mixed greens. It is a healthy way to get your daily dose of fruits and veggies. Horta is delicious when served with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, feta cheese, olives, sunflower seeds, nuts and herbs. These vegetables taste like a cross between lettuce and kale.

Final Thoughts

There are a number of Greek vegetables out there to try. Although many of them are well known to the world, there may be some that you are not yet familiar with. When it comes to vegetables, there is sometimes a debate as to what actually is a fruit rather than a vegetable.

Some items in this are viewed to be fruit, but are used differently to how most fruits are. Because of this, it seemed like they deserved a spot on this list! Hopefully this list helped you understand some Greek vegetables a little more!

Morgan Daniels

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