Leftovers can be the best and the worst part of a festive meal. Yes, let’s be honest, after a couple of days of luscious Christmas food, returning home to reheated turkey or mash doesn’t sound very appealing. But if Christmas is the time of the year to be merry and bright, then the days after Christmas are there to get us ready for the New Year.

This week is for us to reflect on the year ending and the new one beginning. And of course to sort out all the leftovers from the last few days. We’re here to inspire you for both.

Below is a recipe for leftover potatoes. But not only that. It is also something to inspire you to be different in the new year. To not waste food. To treat leftovers with care and see them transform. To begin 2017 with a new, no-waste philosophy.

But we wouldn’t want you to eat dry old potatoes. We want you to turn these potatoes into a new dish. To not waste anything and at the same time enjoy the food that you create. For this recipe you can use any potatoes you’ve got. Roasted, boiled, already mashed. Take them out of the fridge, gather the few ingredients listed below and get ready to be amazed.

We will use truffle butter to transform humble leftovers into yet another festive dish. With real truffle pieces inside, this butter is so aromatic that only a couple of teaspoons work wonders.

Truffle Butter Potato Croquettes
(For 2-3 people)

350g potatoes, mashed
3 eggs
30g of truffle butter, melted under gentle heat
30g flour
Salt and pepper to taste
A cup of breadcrumbs
Extra virgin olive oil for frying

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Serving homemade condiments is a brilliant way of showing your guests that you have made an extra effort cooking for them. Pairing the main course with homemade chutney will make your guests, really intrigued. It can be made in advance but if not, it will fill your kitchen with wonderful smells, which your guests will find extra appetising.

According to its definition, this spicy condiment contains fruit, vinegar, sugar and spices. It can vary in texture from chunky to smooth and in degrees of spiciness from mild to hot. Chutney is a delectable companion to curried dishes. The sweeter chutneys also make interesting bread spreads and are delicious served with cheese.

Toast 70g of Aegina pistachios in a preheated oven in 160°C for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the yellow skin from a mid-sized quince with a vegetable peeler and and peel it chunky.

Sauté a finely chopped onion in a pan, with 40ml evoo. Keep stirring in low heat until it caramelises. Add the peeled quince, a teaspoon of chilli flakes, 2 teaspoons of honey, 50g sugar, a cinnamon stick, a star anise, a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and 50ml of apple juice. Simmer for 30-40 minutes until it forms a jam-like texture. Check the mix frequently and add water only if there is no liquid left.

Add the pistachios to a food processor (or blender) and pulse it to chop them coarsely. Add some freshly ground pepper, stir it well and serve. Alternatively, pour into sterile jars and use within six months.

We can’t help but thinking the wonderful sandwiches you can have with your leftover Sunday roast, Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey. Of course, we find this quince condiment perfect with a cheese board and/or charcuterie. Enjoy!

A while ago we wrote a blogpost on pistachios explaining what makes our Greek pistachios from Aegina Island (P.D.O) so special. You can find them online or on site in three different forms: roasted and lightly salted, roasted and unsalted and raw unsalted kernels.


Christmas is the time of the year when families and friends come together around the table. Back in the day things were simpler. There was meat, potatoes, vegetables, maybe stuffing.

Today things are a bit more complicated. People love different things. People hate different things. People have food prohibitions they bring to the table. Each guest may need something different.

Yes, cooking for different people can be tricky. But we’re here to help you with that. Choose easy dishes that will satisfy everyone. And maybe bring to the table some of your own food memories.

In Greece stuffing is made traditionally with mince meat, turkey liver and rice, amongst other things. This Christmas however we opt for a vegan version. A simple, delicious recipe with the aroma of tradition. Minus the meat and liver that is. Try it and you will see your vegan and non vegan guests with full bellies.

In the recipe which follows, the measurements are indicative. You can add or substitute according to your taste. Add more nuts, more raisins, chestnuts. Or remove anything you don’t like. It’s up to you. It is Christmas after all.

This quantity is for stuffing one medium turkey.

A few gulps of olive oil
200g rice
50g raw pistachios
50g walnuts
40g raisins
20 chestnuts
1 small stick of cinnamon
5 cloves
6 tablespoons of olive oil
1lt of vegetable stock
salt and black pepper to taste
½ bunch of parsley, leaves only (use the stalks for stock), chopped

In a large casserole over medium heat pour the olive oil. Add the rice, nuts, raisins and stir until the rice is translucent. Pour the stock and stir. Season with salt and black pepper. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and let it simmer until the rice is cooked but not cooked through. Add the cinnamon, cloves, chestnuts, fresh parsley and stir.

Stuff the turkey or continue cooking in the hob until all liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through, adding more stock if needed. Remove the cinnamon stick and serve. Merry Christmas!


Symbols of Greek hospitality, spoon sweets were created to preserve fruits, vegetables, nuts and flowers, in excess. The practice of preserving fruits goes all the way to Ancient Greece. Their name comes from the habit to serving them on a small plate, in the quantity of a teaspoon along with a glass of fresh water. The raw material preserves its original shape, colour, flavours, aroma as well as its nutritional properties. This happens by using few simple ingredients: fruits or vegetables (most commonly), sugar, herbs and a touch of lemon. Try them on your toast, porridge, yoghurt, ice cream or with your afternoon coffee. They are perfect pair to cheese; teaspoon desserts can also be the secret ingredient to your baking and a brilliant way to add flavour to your cocktails.

Butternut squash teaspoon dessert with cinnamon and walnuts (1)

This is an easy introduction to teaspoon desserts through a vegetable not that commonly preserved in Greece. This recipe is inspired by the special cuisine of the vibrant community of the Greeks who have origins from (or still live) in Istanbul.

Preparation: 30’ Waiting time: a night Cooking: an hour

Ingredients (for about a kilo of finished product):

1 kilo (net weight) butternut squash cut in cubes (about 4cm each)
250g sugar
2 small cinnamon sticks (you can also add ground nutmeg, if desired)
About 50 g walnuts/ almonds roughly chopped for serving (2)
Cinnamon powder for serving

Method

Place the butternut squash cubes in a large pot, from the night before. Sprinkle the sugar, close the lid and let it sit throughout the night so it can release its juices. The next day, turn on the heat and cook it over low heat; add the cinnamon sticks and cook for approximately an hour until all juices are absorbed and the butternut squash is soft and tender (3).

Check the mix frequently and add more liquid only if there is none left. It is not advised to stir the pot with a utensil as the pieces of squash may be destroyed. If needed, shake the whole pot carefully.

Remove from the heat and let cool down. Serve with walnuts and cinnamon or pour into sterile jars. Store in the refrigerator and use within one year. Enjoy this sunshine!

(1)  Inspired by “Eleni Fili Nioti, The lady of Istanbul”, Gastronomos , December, 2014: p.100. (2)  For more flavour, lightly toast the walnuts/ almonds for a few minutes in a small frying pan until fragrant. (3)  In Greek we would probably describe this mellowed state of the squash as “honeyed”, a term widely used in Greek cooking.


Christmas is just around the corner and here at Oliveology we are getting ready for the day. Very interesting cheeses have arrived from artisan cheesemakers from all over Greece. They are made mostly with sheep’s and goats’ milk. Soft white galomyzithra from Crete, Ash Cheese and St. Isidore from the island of Naxos, matured feta cheese from Attica, these are just some of the options. Of course you can use them in cooking, preparing delicious festive recipes. But there is no better way to enjoy such excellent cheeses than on a cheese platter.

And what better to accompany them than a home made chutney. This one is easy to make, as it doesn’t require much chopping or preparation. Gather your favourite spices and get cooking. We are using of course our succulent dried figs. Carefully hand-picked and selected for top quality, they are dried naturally under the Greek sun, with no additives or preservatives. The figs are harvested from the fertile Messinia region in the Peloponnese, which is famous for its high quality figs. Together with our aged balsamic vinegar and grape molasses, this chutney is both sweet and vibrant.

Just one bag of our figs makes a jar of chutney!

You will need:

1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1tbs ginger, peeled and finely sliced
1tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 bag (250g) coarsely chopped dried figs
160ml balsamic vinegar
70ml grape molasses
200ml water
Salt and pepper

Preparation

In a saucepan add the olive oil and in medium heat stir in the ginger and coriander, until fragrant. Add the dried figs, vinegar, grape molasses and water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and let your chutney simmer. Add more water if needed until the figs are soft and the liquid is thick and glossy. Let cool and place in sterilised jars. Enjoy with your cheese platter or offer it as a delicious edible gift.


The countdown for Christmas has started. In preparation for this year’s celebrations we are bringing in store many delicious ingredients. Ingredients to cook with; ingredients to offer as gifts; ingredients to indulge yourself with.

Corinth raisins and dried figs have arrived from the Peloponnese, organic walnuts from the island of Eboea. They are a great addition to your morning cereal, yogurt or porridge. They are a very healthy snack between meals. They are amazing to add to any Christmas cheese platter. You can use them as ingredients in myriad festive cakes, puddings and bread.

But most importantly, they are what turns a salad dish from everyday, to festive. The small black raisins punch above their weight in terms of their sweetness and taste. Dried naturally under the Greek sun, the figs are succulent and intense. Pure, nutty walnuts add crunch.

Walking around the market we selected delicious green leaves to create this festive salad, and our very own artisan galomyzithra cheese, a soft white cheese made in Crete from goats’ and sheep’s milk. Of course, any salad that respects itself has a good quality extra virgin olive oil (we chose our 22oC). And finally, an aged balsamic vinegar will add the much needed acidity and sweetness. Read below the list of ingredients, we have a little secret in the end.

So here goes:

Festive Salad (For two people)

1 bunch of green leaves
A small handful of raisins (approx. 20g)
3-4 large dried figs, cut in half
A small handful of walnuts (approx. 50g)
100g of galomyzithra cheese
3 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs of balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper (to taste)
grape molasses (to serve)

Place your leaves in a large bowl. Add the raisins, figs, walnuts and gently toss. In a separate bowl mix the olive oil and vinegar together with a pinch of salt and pepper. Dress the salad and place in a beautiful serving platter (it is festive after all). Add the cheese and serve, drizzling some grape molasses to add sweetness.


Melomakarona is one of the most popular treats throughout Greece during the festive season.Their intense homely smell makes every house smell like Christmas! This is an easy, healthy and easy recipe based on olive oil and honey.

Makes: 20-25 cookies

½ cup olive oil (175ml)
½ cup brown sugar (100g)
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (120ml)
1 tbs orange zest
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda

2 tbs brandy
4 cups flour (about 450g)
1 cup (120g) chopped walnuts
(½ for the mix ½ for topping)
2 tbs cinnamon (½ for the mix ½ for topping)
½ tsp powder clove (½ for the mix ½ for topping)

For the syrup:
1 cup honey
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup of water

This is a traditional Christmas cookie recipe. You will find it in every home in Greece at Christmas time.

Mix the flour, baking powder in to a bowl. Mix baking soda into the orange juice. Mix the oil, sugar, orange juice, brandy and orange zest and pour gradually into the flour mixture. Mix all the ingredients gently, without kneading to create a soft dough. Add cinnamon and clove in the mixture.

Make the dough into little cookie balls. Remember that these will rise so keep them small. Put the cookies into a tray covered with greaseproof paper. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown.

Meanwhile make the syrup. Put the honey, sugar and water into a large pot. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes skimming off the froth. Let it cool down a little bit. Take the cookies out of the oven and put them in a large plate. Pour the syrup immediately over them while they are still hot. When all the syrup is absorbed turn them over. Repeat the same procedure a few times until almost all of the syrup is absorbed.

For the topping mix cinnamon, clove and chopped walnuts and sprinkle over the top of the cookies. Let them cool down and store them away. They usually taste better a few days later and as they age. They can last up to 3 weeks.


A while ago, some of you were given a complimentary beetroot spread with the following note: We hope you enjoy this FREE BEETROOT SPREAD Email us your feedback* info@oliveology.co.uk and get the chance to WIN a 3 day trip to visit the vineyard & meet the producers in the Nemea Region, Peloponnese, Greece.

The three day trip to Sofia tis Fisis in Nemea (Wisdom of Nature) HQ, Greece is for two persons and includes the following: two overnight stays at House Venikos, breakfasts, picnics, dinners, wine tastings, visit of Sofia tis Fisis, visit of wineries, visit of the temple of Hercules and a visit of the Corinth Canal.

This trip is an excellent opportunity to visit one of the most famous areas in the Peloponnese -where most of our producers are based – give you an overview of the area’s history and heritage, visit ancient sites as well as wineries and try local food and wine. Nemea has been a viticulture area since antiquity. Today, this tradition is continued by veteran vine and wine growers possessing a deep knowledge of the region, passed from generation to generation as well as young producers that have invested in education and technology.

This tour is a wonderful opportunity to witness these centuries of experience as well as how viticulture is inseparable to the life and development of the local society. Wisdom of Nature, the company that has been supplying us with grape products, only produce organic products, without preservatives or additives and their production unit runs according to the latest quality assurance systems. They mainly use the variety “Agiorgitiko” (St George’s, a flagship)

Greek wine variety, integrated into the myth and history of the local region of Nemea, Peloponnese, as well as its local culture and legends of Hercules. After all this essential information about the trip as well as the area, it’s time to announce our winner: Congratulations to Sandra and Gerald! We are wishing them the best of time, can’t wait to read their review of the trip and see the lovely photos.

Thanks to everyone who participated and helped make this competition a success. We really enjoyed reading your reviews and appreciated your thoughtful input. We are glad that most of you really liked the spread and used it in a number of brilliant ways. It seems that having it on bread, pita or crackers (loved the potato bread idea from our Finnish friends, of course!) was the most popular way as well as with charcuterie and cheese (where you mentioned pairing it with smoked goat’s cheese as well as blue cheese). You enjoyed in salads –mostly potato salad, pasta, fish and meat dishes. We found the idea of combining it with smoked salmon on rye bread superb as well as the one with roast chicken and steamed Romanesco.

Stay tuned for our next contest!


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as they say. And porridge is the king of breakfast foods. But it can be quite bland and time consuming. Unless you dress it up. It really is very easy. You just need some inspiration.

We love this recipe because it doesn’t require much time. And it doesn’t require much work in the morning. For we know that an easy morning start is what makes our day.

So let us motivate you. Let us inspire you. With a nutritious, healthy and most importantly, delicious breakfast recipe to start your day!

We will not use only oats, but add some nuts, fresh fruit and spice. And extra virgin olive oil! Yes, you heard right. Olive oil is one of the healthiest foods to add to your breakfast. We will use our 18°C extra virgin olive oil. Single estate, unfiltered, and cold extracted at 18°C. This is the first olive oil of the season. It is made from small and green unripe olives. With its intense flavour and unique grassy taste, it goes perfectly with your morning oats!

For a warm bowl of porridge you will need:

50g oats
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of ground cinnamon
2 tbs 18°C extra virgin olive oil 
1 banana or any other fruit you like
walnuts or other nuts
honey 

Bring the oats to a boil with a pinch of salt and 350ml milk or water. Add the ground cinnamon and nuts (if using), crushed. Lower the heat and stir for 3-4min. If needed, add some milk or water until it reaches your desired consistency.

Serve with a sliced banana or any other fruit you like, honey (if using). Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of the aromatic olive oil on each bowl.

Serve with hot tea or coffee and start your day happy and healthy!