Like all islands, Poros is ringed by the sea – and the salt air requires a hardier type of vegetation like the sea lavender (amarando) seen around the island. Another such plant is the tamarix or salt cedar – and because there aren’t that many growing along the shore, my mother was always quite excited to spot one.
Edible wild greens
The salt cedar is one of the wild edible greens – horta – that we eat in Greece. It’s a green plant, with many short spikes that boils well and is eaten warm or cool. Never salt when cooking as the plant absorbs quite a bit of sea salt from the air where it grows.
This salad is a special treat. What follows isn’t so much a recipe as instructions for preparing salt cedar – and is so simple that my mother and her friends burst out laughing when I asked them for the ‘recipe’. But the taste is no laughing matter!
First clean and wash salt cedar leaves, rinsing four or five times to remove all traces of sand or dirt.
Cook in plenty of boiling water for about 45 minutes or until tender.
Drain and serve drizzled with olive oil and fresh-squeezed lemon juice!