Greek Horta & Chickpea Salad

Reprinted from Cultured: How Ancient Foods Can Feed Our Microbiome by arrangement with Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2019, Katherine Harmon Courage.

Greek cuisine can be beautiful for its simplicity and its purity of ingredients. This is a recipe for a simple salad inspired by my meals in the Greek countryside and a prebiotic-filled recipe from the Stanford scientists Justin and Erica Sonnenburg’s book The Good Gut. This dish works as a side or can be served on its own for a filling lunch.


  • chickpeas (just half a cup of which has more than a third of the daily recommended amount of fiber)
  • horta (no foraging required: you can use dandelion, mustard, and/or other greens from the market)
  • bell pepper (any color)
  • red onion
  • olives (pits removed)
  • lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • feta cheese*
  • salt and pepper


Cook chickpeas or used drained canned ones. Place about four cups in a large bowl.. Slightly wilt a bunch or two of greens (the more variety, the better) with a little water on the stovetop or in the microwave. Core and chop one or two bell peppers. Finely slice half a red onion. Halve the olives. Combine the vegetables in a large bowl with the chickpeas and stir to mix. Squeeze lemon juice and drizzle olive oil over the top. Toss to coat. Top with feta cheese* and salt and pepper to taste.

*For our Gutbliss following, we recommend foregoing the feta, as dairy can negatively impact the gut. For more information on dairy and gut health, check out Dr. Chutkan’s book Gutbliss.