ABSTRACT Bio-cultural and historical aspects of the “wild plant” portion of the Mediterranean Diet are still very much understudied despite the large number of bio-medical studies on the topic. The current gastronomic ethnobotanical and ethnolinguistic field study focused on the wild leafy vegetables used among Greek populations in SE Italy and NE Greece. A total of 52 folk taxa, corresponding to 58 wild botanical species, were recorded. The frequency of consumption of these wild ingredients was higher in NE Greece than in SE Italy, although approximately one-third of the recorded wild taxa overlapped in the two study sites. Most of these common species were designated by cognates, having in most cases a clear Greek origin, while one-third of the recorded wild vegetables in SE Italy were also used by another Greek diaspora living in SW Italy. The majority of the original Greek wild vegetables are synanthropic weeds. It is likely that the culinary uses of these species originated in the Near East during the post-Neolithic period before they migrated west to Italy and the Mediterranean Basin via Greece and Greek diasporas.