People often wonder what Greek food is all about. For us here at Oliveology, and for most Greeks maybe, it’s about two things. Greek food is about simplicity. Dishes usually use few ingredients. This is why one should be very careful when selecting these ingredients. When there are only onions, fava and olive oil in a dish, these better be some damn good fava (split yellow peas; not to be confused with fava beans).

The other thing is about simplicity in the cooking method. With a few exceptions recipes don’t usually require spending hours in complex preparations or involve elaborate steps in the cooking process. However, cooking takes a long time. Why is that? Well, we Greeks associate cooking for a long time with care. The food needs to spend a good time in the oven or hob. It needs to become soft and mellow. You need to keep an eye on it, show your care.

This recipe we have for you this week combines both these elements. It only has three main ingredients. Fava, olive oil, onions. You may add some thyme, and of course salt and pepper. Having this solid base, then you can really let yourself be creative with what you pair it with. Caramelise some onions. Chop some raw red onions for an extra kick. Add salty juicy capers. Try different oils. Definitely lemon juice. How about truffle oil even? There are many things you can do with fava. We like onions, capers and lemon. But it’s really up to you.

400g fava (yellow split peas)
200ml olive oil 
2 medium onions, finely grated
salt
fresh thyme (optional)
lemon (to taste)
capers (to taste)
red onions (to taste)

Rinse the fava under running cold water, until water runs clear. Place the fava in a large saucepan and add cold water. The volume of water you add must be approximately the same as the volume of fava. Bring to the boil, removing any white foam as the fava heats up. Once your fava starts boiling, lower the heat to the lowest possible setting. Add the onions and olive oil, thyme if you are using. Salt to taste but bear in mind, the flavours will concentrate. You can add more salt later.  Let the fava cook at very low heat, until it looks like mashed potatoes, stirring occasionally. Yes, fava magically breaks down into mush. If needed add a bit more water as you go along.

Serve with olive oil and lemon juice, capers and raw onions.


Unsalted Kalamata olives are a very interesting ingredient. They are very different than any other Kalamata olives you’re used to eating. The lack of salt makes all other flavours become more intense. What do we mean by that? Imagine an olive with a more fruity olive-y taste. An olive with the acidity of vinegar biting you gently. And that olive paired with mellow Spartan extra virgin olive oil and wild herbs from the Mt. Taygetus. Add to that the fact that they have been hand picked, hand selected, cured in fresh water and they have not been pasteurised. You see where we are going with this?

Unsalted Kalamata olives are a very unique ingredient.

And sure you can enjoy them plain or in salads. But because of their unique flavour they change anything plain to super interesting. They add colour to a white canvas and they do not overpower the dish with added saltiness.

What is the whitest of canvasses for a cook? White bread of course.

So here it is, for this week, a recipe for bread that comes to life with the unsalted olives. Oh and we’ve added some sun dried tomatoes and oregano, too. But we’ll tell you more about the beauty of our sun dried tomatoes and oregano another time.

Makes 1 loaf

500g strong bread flour
1 sachet (7g) of yeast
1 tbs of salt
1-2 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
375ml of lukewarm water
1 tbs oregano
50g unsalted olives, finely chopped
50g sun dried tomatoes, finely chopped

Mix the yeast with water and stir gently until it dissolves. Add the olive oil. Mix the salt with the flour on a clean surface. Make a hole in the middle and slowly incorporate the water-yeast, stirring with a fork or with your fingers until all ingredients are combined together. Dust a bowl with flour and place your dough inside. Let it rise for a few hours, until double in size.

Dust a surface with flour and kneed the dough, adding the olives, sun dried tomatoes and oregano, until all ingredients seem to have combined evenly. Don’t kneed too much though. Shape a loaf (shape it as you wish) and let it rise until again doubles in size.

Bake at very hot oven (250oC), by placing your loaf on a pre-heated baking tray. It takes about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven once your bread is golden brown and responds with a hollow noise when you tap its bottom. Wait until it cools down to cut. Or don’t. Hot bread makes right all that’s wrong in the world.


Voroina is organised annually by the winemakers and members of the wine producers association“Wines of North Greece”. The event features an impressive selection of indigenous and international grape varieties cultivated at the famous vineyards of the area.

It is a wonderful opportunity for Greek and foreign wine professionals and wine lovers of course, to meet with producers and taste wines as well as wine spirits. In the event context, a series of other events such as workshops, seminars, tastings and special dinners in restaurants or hotels took place, too. Voroina is a first class opportunity to watch the Sommelier of the Year 2017 competition, but that’s a whole different story.

This year, this brilliant trip to the region of North Greece culminated to the tasting event at Hilton Hotel on 30/01/2017. You might remember reading about its Cretan equivalent, Oinotika wine fair previously. With Greek wine on the rise, warm and exhilarating wine tasting events like this get really popular. This makes absolute sense since with an 8€ entrance fee (or 5€ for pre-registered visitors) the visitor can taste the best that 25 regional wineries have to offer. Especially, when it takes place at the central located Hilton hotel there’s no doubt it’s going to be a smashing success.

Wine producers are thought to be generous and charismatic and the Greek ones especially -if we may add- as they choose to go against all odds and create wonderful products with passion and ingenuity. The visitors seemed quite delighted and kept engaging in conversations with the producers mostly about the winemaking procedure as well as regarding food pairing.

The vineyards of Northern Greece, Drama, Kavala, Halkidiki, Goumenissa, Naoussa, Amynteo, Rapsani, Zitsa, Metsovo and other areas, cover a total of approximately 100,000 acres. These areas have many international varieties, producing some of the best wines from Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Syrah in Greece, but also indigenous varieties such as Debina, Savvatiano, Limnio. Topography, soil, climate, varieties are all the necessary ingredients to create a great wine that coexist harmoniously in North Greece.

The flagship variety of Macedonia is Xinomavro, the “Greek Nebbiolo” is considered aggressive, austere and complex. Its high acid, high tannin character as well as its vegetal, rose petaly and sun dried tomato aromas make it a brilliant food wine. This multifaceted variety can yield different types of wine. We are quite excited for the future as sommeliers contend that the variety hasn’t reached its full potential, yet.

White wines, rosés and reds, fresh and older vintages, varietals or blends, dry, sparkling and sweet, as well as wine spirits, were presented at the event, from internationally recognised to niche boutique producers, introducing their newest and finest selections.

We allowed ourselves to indulge in a number of other varieties as well, indigenous and international, always for research purposes, of course. While I am writing these lines, I am still smitten with the glorious wines I tasted. Beyond the classics, I highly recommend the following wines: Oneirikos (Malvasia aromatica) by Foundi Estate, Rapsani Grand Reserve 2010 (Xinomauro, Stavroto, Krasato) by Tsantali winery, Chrysogerakas (Gewurztraminer, Malagouzia) by Kyr Yianni winery.

We’re off to Peloponnese wine festival next, stay tuned!


Or else, what’s the easiest way to cook chickpeas. Well, it’s this one here. I know many of you don’t really go for dried chickpeas. Maybe the tinned ones seem easier. But they are not, really. The only thing you need to do with chickpeas is plan ahead. Which means decide the night before that you will have chickpeas the day after. And soak them in cold water.

To make the revythada all you need to do is gather the ingredients and place them in an oven dish. Then slowly cook them in the oven. On Greek islands revythada is traditionally cooked in wood fire ovens. Unfortunately we don’t have one, so we will go for the next best thing here. Our conventional oven. The result is still a very comforting stew that requires almost no active cooking time. Can you think anything better than that?

Feeds two people

200g chickpeas
1 large red onion
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 spring of rosemary
salt to taste

Soak the chickpeas overnight in cold water. Drain and rinse. Place them in an oven dish and cover them with water. Roughly chop the onion and add it to the chickpeas, along with the rosemary and olive oil. Season with salt. Stir. Cover the lid and bake at 170C for approximately 2-3 hours, until chickpeas are tender. Check every hour or so, adding a bit more water if needed. Once ready, serve on a plate and generously squeeze lemon juice. Enjoy hot or at room temperature. Even cold they are really nice!


Pesto is one of the things we love. And we also love playing around with it. Use different herbs. Different nuts. Different types of cheese. Always keep the extra virgin olive oil though.

This week we got inspired by our pistachios. With beautiful pink exteriors and vibrant green kernels, these little gems from the island of Aegina are sweet and intense in flavour. Nothing to do with your supermarket stuff.

This recipe is so versatile. You can make a large batch and then use it in so many different recipes. Mix with warm pasta shells, put a dollop over baked potatoes, mix it into your favourite soup, mix with some Greek yogurt for an easy dip. The combinations are endless. These are the recipes we love. Few, good ingredients. Easy to make. Easy to use.

Makes one cup of pesto
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 
½ cup unsalted pistachios kernels
½ cup basil
½ cup parsley
1 tbs grated St Isidoros cheese* (or parmesan)
lemon juice to taste
pinch of salt

Pick the leaves from the herbs and save the stalks for stock. You can dry fry the pistachios in a frying pan if you like, but raw are better if you ask me. In a blender or with a pestle and mortar place the herbs and pistachios. Blend, adding slowly the extra virgin olive oil until your pistachios are crushed and combined with the herbs. Add the cheese and stir. Season with salt and squeeze generously the lemon juice to balance the nuttiness of pistachios. If you don’t use it right away, store in a jar in the fridge, pouring some olive oil on top.

*St. Isidoros is a goat’s milk hard cheese from Naxos Island. Come and try it at our shop at Borough Market.


Few trivia you might not be familiar with:

Not quite animals, not quite plants, not quite bacteria either; fungi received their own classification since 1969. Not all fungi are mushrooms but all mushrooms are fungi. Mushrooms are the fruit or the flower of the fungi.

Humankind has a long history of the use of mushrooms; in Ancient Egypt, they were considered food for royalty and that no commoner could ever consume them. One of the healthiest foods you can eat; they have anti-bacterial and anti-viral agents, very rich in protein and essential nutrients as well. Not only are they, one of the most commonly bought foods in the UK but there more types of cultivated mushrooms available here now than there has ever been, too.

Few tips for getting the most out of this flavourful ingredient:

• Chefs recommend cleaning the mushrooms by peeling them. This makes the food lighter in colour and improves the flavour as well, as mushrooms are crunchier when cooked after peeling. Alternatively, clean them with a damp cloth. If you want to wash them anyway, avoid soaking them in water but ran them under a quick shower, instead.

• Remove the stems for a yummier result. You can always use those stems for broths with wine, herbs and vegetables in order to enrich risottos, soups or stews.

• Cook them in medium high –high temperature. Also, don’t overcrowd them for their liquid to evaporate. Otherwise, they will only simmer in their liquid. While cooking, make sure they have enough fat and add more, if needed. Not only do mushrooms absorb fat fast but, you’ll avoid burning them, too. We recommend using evoo, not only for the precious polyphenols but for the wonderful flavour, as well.

Creamy vinaigrette* marinated mushroom recipe

1. Prepare 3-4 cups of mushrooms and slice them into medium-sized pieces. We used pleurotous from Northern Greece but portobello or button mushrooms would work, too.

1. Marinate your mushrooms for at least an hour with evoo, salt and pepper, oregano, thyme, marjoram (if desired).

3. Sauté or Grilling time: you can use a skillet or a grilling pan for a better result. Sauté until mushrooms are slightly brown and all water has evaporated.

4. Prepare your vinaigrette by whisking 1⁄2 tbs mustard and 15ml water and preparing a loose mixture, initially. Next, put 10-15 ml vinegar at a slow pace and whisk in 30 ml evoo until the mixture is emulsified. Finally, sprinkle salt, pepper; add oregano, parsley and chives to taste. Dress your mushrooms and enjoy!

* A vinaigrette is a mixture of vinegar/ lemon, oil, mustard and herbs for flavour. Usually three parts oil to one part vinegar and a tbs of mustard. Feel free to experiment with the recipe and let us know how you get on!


Valentine’s day is almost here! A celebration of love as they say. This week calls for chocolate of course. And what a better way to show your love than a home-made gift? Made of chocolate of course.

But one doesn’t have to be in love to indulge. This is perfect to give to any loved ones, friends, family, whoever really. Even yourself.

What are we making this week? A chocolate slab of course!

In our very own valentine’s slab, we are using pistachio nuts to add some crunch. And raisins for a chewy texture. Plus, both of these go great with white chocolate which we secretly love.  This white chocolate has vanilla as well!

Chocolate slabs are also a brilliant way to use whatever leftover chocolates that you have sitting around. Same goes for nuts and dried fruit. Or marshmallows. Anything really. This recipe idea is so versatile, you can use whatever you’ve got available.

Three-ingredient chocolate slab

1 bar of good quality white chocolate

a small handful of pistachios and raisins

Melt the chocolate of your choosing in the microwave or using a bain-marie. Be very, very careful to melt but not burn the chocolate. Don’t forget to stir very often as you go along.

Once melted, gently spread the chocolate on a greaseproof paper. Lick the spatula. Place the pistachio nuts and raisins on top of the chocolate. Here you can either sprinkle them or carefully place them one by one. Let the slab cool down so that the chocolate hardens. Once hard, break into pieces and indulge. Or give as gift, we forgot about that!

   


Winter is the time of the year when we need to be most careful. Eat well, everyone says. It’s cold outside. In the dark and gloomy days of February, protect yourselves from the cold with what we think is a pretty healthy combination of foods. What is healthy of course changes every few years, but let’s not get side-tracked.

Our inspiration for this week is the newly arrived favaki. What is that you say? Well, thank you for asking. Favaki is a genius (yet so simple) idea of our producer’s (Mr. Nestoras) wife , to combine lentils and yellow split peas (fava we call it in Greece). The result is a bit of yellow sunshine breaking the wintery brown of lentils.

What do we do with favaki? Once again, following the seasons, we grabbed some citrus fruit, our favourite pink grapefruit. Packed with vitamin C (as a nutritionist might say), pink grapefruit also has, what else, pink colour!

If you haven’t yet understood, yes we are going for colours this week, to brighten up February. And for another healthy kick, we also got some mackerel. Somehow eating fish makes us feel healthier, no?

The recipe is as always simple and easy to prepare.

For 2 people
150g favaki
2 Mackerel fillets
1 pink grapefruit or other citrus fruit of your choosing
a handful of rocket or other green leaves
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil

Boil the favaki until tender but not soft. You can boil it in vegetable or chicken stock if you want to flavour it more. Although really, it is amazing as is.
While your favaki is boiling, peel the grapefruit, getting rid of all the white. Slice horizontally or cut into triangles. Flake the mackerel or keep the fillets as they are, and debate with your partner whether to keep the skin on or not. Drain your favaki and place it on a beautiful platter. Place the mackerel and pink grapefruit. Scatter some rocket or other green leaves (finely sliced onions or black Kalamata olives would also work here).
Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.


Some flavour pairings are very familiar to us. Take chocolate and nuts for example. It’s everywhere you look, from the artisan hand crafted truffles to the cheap candy-store bar. You probably have thought of pairing honey and nuts. Being used to these flavours it so happens that often we crave for something different. Something completely new. Something that we haven’t tasted before.

Indeed, the thought of pairing tahini, chocolate and honey may never have entered your head. Until now. Until you taste them together. Then you will be in love.Put together the exciting bitterness of dark chocolate, the comforting nuttiness of the tahini and nuts, and the sweetness of honey and you have something truly unique. Oh and gluten free!

As always, we’re here to inspire you. So go ahead, gather your ingredients and as you are melting the dark chocolate think of how exciting experimenting can be. And you know what they say, once you’ve tried something so exciting, you are already on the other side.
For a small tray you will need:

140g tahini
60g honey
100g dark chocolate (we used 85%)
40g pistachios, walnuts or other nuts
200g oats

In a saucepan on very low heat or using a bain-marie melt the chocolate, tahini and honey. Be very careful not to burn the ingredients. Remove from the heat and add the nuts. Stir with a wooden spoon. Add the oats and stir until all oats are covered in chocolate and mixture is compact. Place in a baking tray and press the mixture firmly together. Let it cool. Once cooled down, cut in the shape of your choosing (rectangular, squares). Savour with your eyes closed.


Coming in to our shop at Borough Market, you might have noticed a snail. It is called “Snail of approval” and it is the seal of Slow Food approval. The award criteria are the following: quality (food must taste good and be good for us), authenticity (food produced is true to its source), sustainability (paying attention to the consequences of how food is produced and distributed).

We are honoured to have earned such an outstanding seal of approval from a movement like Slow Food that celebrates good, clean and fair food. We started off about 6 years ago inspired by our great love for Greek products, organic farming and fuelled by our producers’ passion and commitment. Our star ingredients are unique, limited number products, harvested with traditional methods and kind to nature. These handmade goods are the labour of love, and not only do they represent the uniqueness of the craftsman but also the uniqueness of the Greek terroir.

For example, our family-owned independent smallholding has strong traditional farming roots and dedicated organic values. We source among others, a unique cultivated type of pistachios from Aegina, as well as Corinth raisins; both been awarded a Protected Designation of Origin (P.D.O) product status.

You might be familiar with Slow Food, a grassroots international movement (1) which manifests that one can access a kind of cultural authenticity via local food. The movement encourages local food produced by “centuries-old traditions” in an attempt to counter the invasion of fast food and mass produced food. It also seeks to replace mass produced, artificial and sometimes tasteless fast food by whole-some foods produced in known placed by identifiable people.

Borough Market is filled with traders whose approach to producing or sourcing has gained them official accreditation from Slow Food UK. Slow Food philosophy closely mirrors that of Borough Market, and in recent years the ties between these two organisations have become increasingly close. Let’s not disregard the number of local –as well as international- foodstuff that would be at risk of survival if it weren’t for those hard- working to keep them relevant.

During October we celebrated quality, sustainability and ethical standards during Slow Food Week with fellow Borough Market traders. Slow Food Awards are a wonderful reward for either producing or sourcing products in a sustainable, small-scale, environmentally sound way. Those products not only do they respect culinary traditions but they also taste excellent. We were really proud to be runner up for the Best Individual Product in Slow Food Awards with our unpasteurised olives.

Join us at Borough Market and find out more about our products!

(1)  An excellent reference for further reading: Meneley, Anne. “Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Slow Food.” Anthropologica , vol. 46, no. 2, 2004, pp. 165–176. www.jstor.org/stable/25606192.