Thanksgiving is the time in November when people from across the pond gather together, give thanks and share food. Today, we do not give thanks for the harvest we’ve had, like people used to do. Nonetheless, it is a good opportunity to reflect on what we are thankful for.

As autumn ends, we are thankful for the comforting food that nourishes us. For the pure ingredients that transform into love. So this week, away from the extravagant thanksgiving dishes, we chose to prepare something simple for you.

A warm, hearty vegetarian lentil salad. It is inspired by this season’s “harvest”, using, what else, beetroot. Our sweet vinegar, fruity and crisp adds sharpness. Our salty, mature feta cheese balances the sweetness of the beetroot. Herbs add freshness and shine.

It is luscious and really easy to make.

Lentil and Beetroot salad with Feta Cheese

Serves two

200g beetroot, stalks and leaves trimmed (save them for soups or salads)
150g lentils
50g feta cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped plus more for garnish 4g

For the dressing:
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp sweet vinegar
salt to taste

Place the beetroot in a roasting tray, drizzle some olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 200°C, covered, for around 45 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Alternatively, boil with plenty of water, until tender when pierced with a fork. When they are still warm, peel them and cut into cubes.

Place the lentils in a small cooking pot with lots of water and boil until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. 

To make the simple dressing, whisk together the olive oil and sweet vinegar with a pinch of salt and the chopped mint.

Mix together the lentils, beetroot, feta cheese and dressing. Garnish with more mint if you want. Say goodbye to autumn and welcome the winter that’s coming.


There are some foods that we are used to buying ready-made. It’s easy and effortless. But have you ever thought that it might be really simple to prepare them at home? When you make something at home you know exactly what goes into your food. No added salt. No added sugar. No additives or preservatives. None of the things that you have no idea what their names mean.

This week, we are sharing with you a great recipe for baked beans. You can have them for breakfast, on toast or with eggs. You can have them for lunch with some feta cheese. You can enjoy them as part of your dinner, filling a baked potato.

So step away from the isle of tins at the supermarket. Get some good quality beans. When the ingredients are good, you have to let them shine. Especially with something as simple as baked beans. Trust us, you’ll never go for the ready-made stuff again.

Serves 3-4 (as a main course or 5-6 as side)

You will need:

250g of beans
5 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tbs of grape molasses
1 tsp of thyme
1 tbs of smoked paprika
1 tsp of smoked chilli (optional)

Place the beans in a large pot with water and leave overnight. The next day boil them until cooked but not soft. Drain and keep aside.

In a frying pan, gently fry the onion and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until soft. Add the chopped tomatoes, a few splashes of water, the spices and grape molasses. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes so that flavours develop.

Then transfer into a roasting tray. Add the beans and stir, drizzling with the remaining olive oil.

Bake at 180C for approximately 40min until the beans are very soft, adding some water if needed.

Now, would you really go for the tin again?


On this blog we have mostly been writing about food. With the Greek wine culture in renaissance, we are really excited we can finally share these wonderful ancient elixirs with the world. So, we decided to start a series of blogposts focusing in this very subject sharing out knowledge and passion. On a previous blogpost we introduced you to four flagship Greek varieties, Assyrtiko, Moschofilero, Agiorgitiko and Xinomavro which are from Cyclades (Santorini), Peloponnese and Northern Greece.

This time we focus to another wine producing region, Crete. The main wine growing area in Crete are the mountain foothills behind the (capital of the island) Heraklion, which actually is the country’s second biggest wine producing zone. The region was nominated as Wine region of the year 2016 according to the prestigious Wine Enthusiast magazine along with Champagne, Provence and Sonoma County.

We find the magazine’s description of the region, to the point: One of the world’s oldest wine regions, dating back about 3,500 years, this Greek island has recently begun to gain international acclaim for its quality and affordable pricing. A Phylloxera outbreak followed by very limiting laws about which grapes could be planted held the region back, but it has solidly hit its stride with unique island wines and a burgeoning wine-tourism industry. Wines of Crete is a network including about 31 wineries, 27 of which export wine around the world.

According to the experts, Cretan wines are considered a great combination of value and intrigue and are on the rise both in Greece and abroad. The last 15 years are considered really important for the wineries of the region, as the new generation of producers revitalised and upgraded the production. Most of them were trained in important wineries across the world and share ambitious future plans. The Cretan production includes international varieties, as well as 11 indigenous varieties with a lot of potential including Vidiano and Thrapsathiri (white varieties), Liatiko, Mandilari and Kotsifali (red varieties) but forgotten varieties that are being rediscovered, as well. Oinotika, a Cretan wine fair organised by Wines of Crete at the Hotel Grand Bretagne on 30/10/2016, with 23 wineries across Crete and around 200 labels; destined for wine professionals and wine enthusiasts to discover Cretan varietals and blends. The fair was quite successful, with organisers counting around 1500 visitors. We noticed that most of them were young people, a quite encouraging fact we believe.

One of our favourite things about the fair was a table set up sampling different aromas and flavours one notices when tasting these special varieties, as well as the different soil that they grow on. This set up was really helpful in order to understand the Cretan terroir. In case you’re not familiar with this (mostly wine) term, it describes the complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography and climate.

Among others we tasted and highly recommend: Toplou Aged Syrah, an organic wine from the Toplou Estate (part of the Toplou Monastery), Melissokipos, an organic Kotsifali and Mandilari blend from Domaine Paterianaki as well as Skalani, an aged Kotsifali and Syrah blend from the Boutari winery. This post would be incomplete without a special mention for the appetising small barley rusks which were offered throughout the fair, a perfect snack while tasting all this glorious wine.

By Lida P.


What if you had to pick between an apple and a pear? It’s most likely you would choose the apple. Maybe because most people think of pair as a dainty fruit – hard to tell when it’s ripe, hard to know what to do with it – it is rather overlooked, nowadays.

Whilst once thought as a superior fruit: “gold to the apple’s silver” and prized for its luscious texture and exotic perfume, in present day commercial reasons limit the range of available varieties. The most widely known varieties, worldwide, seem to be Conference and Comice. Of course, the local ones like (the superstar) Williams and Perry in the UK or Krystalli and Kontoula in Greece are cherished as well. Dr Joan Morgan, who published “The Book of Pears – The Definitive History and Guide to over 500 Varieties” argues that “varieties are the footprints of a journey through the fruit’s history”. The pear case reminds us that, protecting biodiversity is not only allowing us to lead delightful lives but also protects all these wonderful journeys in history.

Searching for pear recipes, we found out that Nigel Slater is quite fond of it and has written a number of wonderful ones in his stunning book “Tender”. He contends that it is perfect when cooked with strong flavours; makes an incredible sorbet and loves cream and butter. This recipe for a pear and chocolate cake makes us super happy.

When it comes to spices, we love it with cinnamon, anise or cardamom, wonderful with blue, hard and goat’s cheeses. Great autumnal pairings include walnuts, almonds and prosciutto. Let’s not forget, it loves red wine, too.

After all these delicious ideas, you might be feeling hungry. This warm salad with the leftover chicken, is an easy way of enjoying pears while still a great answer to all those wondering whether it’s too cold for salad.

For 2 persons, you need:

2 portions of chicken, (breast or thighs, grilled or boiled), 130 gr of salad (lettuce, iceberg, spinach leaves, rocket or a combination of the above),
a pear, 4 spring onions (or a red onion),  100 g of nuts (walnuts, almonds or cashew nuts or a combination of the above), and for the vinaigrette: 2 table spoons vinegar, 60 ml evoo, half teaspoon of English mustard and a couple of drops of petimezi.

Prepare the chicken, by cutting it into bite size pieces and warming it up in the oven or the microwave. Wash, chop and toss the salad in a large serving bowl. Crush, toast and sprinkle the nuts on top. Prepare your vinaigrette by whisking all the ingredients together. Thinly slice and put the onions, both white and spring into the mix. Finally the warm pieces of chicken are added in the salad as well as the pear; which was previously thinly sliced. The slices can be sautéed with butter (optional) for a couple of minutes before added in the salad or alternatively add the pear slices raw at the end.

In case you want to enhance the pear’s flavour, you can add some red wine and rosemary while in the pan. We do love this salad with rusks; they add texture and flavour and have fewer calories than croutons.

So what do you think? If we founded a pear appreciation society, would you join us?


Fish and shellfish are foods that many of us associate with healthy eating, not to mention they are delicious! But it’s important to choose them wisely. We always go for fish that is suitable; line caught or harvested by sustainable methods; and we avoid endangered species.

You can begin by finding a good fishmonger (Sussex Fish or ShellSeekers). They tell us what’s in season, where fish and shellfish come from, how they’ve been caught. Not to mention they will recommend new things for us to try!

And of course, buy local. Buy in season. It’s usually cheaper, with a smaller carbon footprint. And it tastes so much better!

As we enter into November, our fishmonger recommends shellfish such as cockles or clams. They are now in season and hand gathered. Do avoid eating them during breeding season from March to July.

These lovely heart shaped shells go perfectly with, what else, fresh pasta. Here’s how!

For a meal for 2 you will need:

Two cloves of garlic, minced
One leek, finely chopped
Two glasses of white wine
Two handfuls of cockles or clams
Two tbs extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
250gr fresh pasta
Smoked dried chilli (to taste)
Capers (to taste)

In a large pan heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Fry the garlic and the finely chopped leek. Season and cook until tender. Add two glasses of white wine. Once reduced, add the cockles and clams, but discard any that are open already. Cover with a lid and let them steam until they have opened. Discard any closed ones.

Meanwhile, boil some fresh pasta. When the pasta is ready serve on two plates and scatter the cockles, clams and juices from the pan. Sprinkle some dried red chilli (we used smoked), and capers.  The salty and sour flavour of these dark green flower buds, goes perfectly with this pasta. Drizzle some olive oil. Enjoy with a glass of white wine.