What Vegetables Were Grown in Ancient Greece?

Vegetables have been an essential part of human diet since ancient times. In Ancient Greece, vegetables formed an important part of their diet.

The Greeks believed in the concept of “Mediterranean triad” which consisted of wheat, olive oil, and wine. Vegetables were grown as a secondary crop but were still an essential part of their cuisine. Let’s take a closer look at the vegetables that were grown in ancient Greece.

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens were grown extensively in ancient Greece. The Greeks used to eat a lot of lettuce, spinach, and arugula.

These leafy greens were consumed raw or cooked in various dishes. They were often used as a garnish for meat dishes or served with cheese and olive oil.

Lettuce

Lettuce was one of the most popular leafy greens grown in ancient Greece. The Greeks used to grow two types of lettuce: romaine and cos. They used it as a base for salads and also stuffed it with other vegetables to make a dish called “lactucas”.

Spinach

Spinach was another popular leafy green vegetable that was grown in ancient Greece. It was consumed raw as well as cooked in various dishes such as soups, pies, and stews.

Root Vegetables

Root vegetables were also widely grown in ancient Greece. These included carrots, onions, garlic, turnips, and radishes.

Carrots

Carrots were one of the most popular root vegetables grown by the Greeks. They used to eat them raw or cooked in various dishes like stews and soups.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic were extensively used by the Greeks to add flavor to their dishes. They were often sautéed with other vegetables to make delicious dishes.

Legumes

Legumes were also an essential part of the Greek diet. They used to grow beans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas.

Beans

Beans were a significant source of protein for the Greeks. They used to grow various types of beans like broad beans, fava beans, and kidney beans. They were consumed boiled or mashed with olive oil and garlic.

Peas and Lentils

Peas and lentils were also extensively grown by the Greeks. They used to cook them in stews or serve them with other vegetables.

Cabbage Family Vegetables

The cabbage family vegetables like kale, broccoli, and cauliflower were not grown in ancient Greece as they were introduced much later.

Conclusion

Vegetables formed an essential part of the Greek diet in ancient times. The Greeks grew an extensive variety of vegetables like leafy greens, root vegetables, and legumes.

These vegetables were consumed raw or cooked in various dishes and added flavor to their cuisine. Even today, Greek cuisine is known for its use of fresh vegetables that are healthy and delicious.