Summer is the time of the year when we can’t stop eating tomatoes. We usually love them as part of a dakos salad. Or any salad for that matter. Every year I contemplate making my own passata, and preserve the tomatoes’ bright flavour for winter. But since we brought this tomato passata in store I have happily swapped to it. My point is that tomatoes should be enjoyed all year round, either fresh in summer, or beautifully preserved in winter.

As summer is coming to an end, the inspiration for this recipe came from Bon Appetit magazine as the writer of this blog post spends her summer days browsing old cooking magazines. We have used our wonderful chickpeas that pair perfectly with tomatoes and spices (remember our winter spiced chickpea stew?)

If you are making this recipe in winter, you can swap the fresh tomatoes for passata.

Feeds 2 people

200g cooked chickpeas, cooled down
3 medium tomatoes or tomato passata
3 cloves of garlic
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil (plus more for serving)
zest of 1 lemon
Greek yogurt and fresh herbs (to serve)

In a pestle and mortar place your garlic, coriander, cumin, chilli, salt, lemon zest. Crush everything together. Slowly add the olive oil until you have a thick paste. Loosen it up with a bit more olive oil if you prefer.

Cut your tomatoes in thick slices. Lay them on a tray. Rub the paste on the tomatoes, so that each piece has been touched by the spices (but without forming a layer on top of each tomato as the spice mix is quite intense). If you are using passata, mix it with the paste. Let your tomatoes marinate for an hour (or better overnight) in the fridge, covered in cling film.

To prepare your dish, place the chickpeas in a bowl and pour in the juices that will have been released by the tomatoes. Gently toss. Place on a plate, with the tomatoes on top. If you are using passata, mix everything together.

Drizzle some more olive oil and serve with Greek yogurt and fresh herbs.


Fig molasses (or sykomelo in Greek) is our new favourite product! We generally love all types of molasses as they add a discreet sweetness and depth to all of our dishes-have you tried our grape molasses?

With fig season in its full swing, we are all inspired to create lovely recipes with this amazing product. We recently made a very nutty Greek granola, with fig molasses, tahini, walnuts and dried figs. Absolutely yummy!

This week we decided to go for something on the savoury side. So we are making a dressing. We love making dressings, especially using interesting ingredients: enter fig molasses.

This dressing is delicious on a green salad. It is also perfect with grilled manouri and seasonal fruit.
And of course, it is great with roasted vegetables. Grill or fry some aubergine, smother them in this dressing, sprinkle some parsley and feta cheese and you’ve got yourselves a delicious summer dinner. And for the meat eaters amongst us, this makes for a wonderful marinade for beef. Simply marinate the beef for a few hours and your summer barbecue will be glorious!

This quantity is enough for 2 people, so if you are preparing food for more, multiply accordingly.

2 tbsp fig molasses
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt

In a bowl whisk together the fig molasses and balsamic vinegar. Slowly add the oil, whisking until emulsified. Season with salt.


This week we’ve got for you an amazing recipe. Well, let me explain what makes it amazing. Until today I had only read about adding nut butters to fruit smoothies, but had never attempted it. It seemed a bit strange. But as I was researching recipe ideas for this blog post, I came across a few recipes of banana-date smoothies with tahini. So, on a hot afternoon I spread some tahini on a slice of bread and topped it with pieces of banana. It was actually delicious. I was going to make this smoothie.

As bananas are quite creamy, this recipe lays between a smooth drink and thick porridge. So it’s up to you to make it more liquid adding a bit of water, or leave it nice and thick. We find these measurements are perfect, but as always feel free to add more lime or more tahini if you feel like it. It is perfect for breakfast or afternoon snack!

Serves 2 or 1 very hungry person

2 large bananas (approx. 250g)
3 tbsp tahini
3 large dates, pitted (approx. 50g) or other dried fruit
juice of 1 lime
Chia seeds, cocoa nibs, fresh fruit (to serve)

There are two ways to go about with this recipe.

Option one is to cut your bananas in small pieces and place them in the freezer, on a plate without touching each other. Leave for a few hours until frozen. Alternatively you can skip the freezer part and move on to the step below. This is what we did, as we prefer non ice-cold foods for breakfast. But the freezer option is also nice.

So, place your bananas in a blender. Add the tahini and dates, along with the lime juice. Blend until smooth.

Now, you can add the water and blend some more, so that you have the consistency of a loose smoothie. Or skip the water (this is what we did).

Serve in a nice mug. Add some chia seeds, cocoa nibs and fresh fruit. Trust us, the mug option is better than a glass or a bowl. You know why, because it’s between the two. Just like this recipe.


This week, our wine writer Celine tastes the 2016 Moraitico Rosé, 11.5% and shares it with us.
Taste this unique wine from the island of Paros, along with other Aegean Island wines –and food pairings! at our September Wine Tasting.

 

Nothing goes better on a sunny and hot summer day than a light and fruity rosé.

You may have heard about the benchmark set by the refreshing and light-bodied Bandol rosé from Provence, with its romantic color as well as the elegant flavours on the palate. Just imagine having a wonderful holiday by the Mediterranean sea and leisurely sipping a glass of this zesty drink. If that sounds like you, then you cannot miss this 2016 Island Rosé produced by Moraitico winery.

The winery Moraitico is located on the island of Paros in Greece, on the Aegean sea, southeast of the Greek mainland. Just like Santorini, this windy and mountainous island has a hot and dry Mediterranean climate that contributes to the tropical fruit notes of the wine. Thanks to the cooling effect of the mountain slopes and the strong wind during the growing season, grapes are able to ripe slowly and accumulate the balanced amount of sugar and acidity. This is the reason why crispy and refreshing wines come from this region.

Generally, rosé wines can be made following three different methods, very rarely involving the use of oak barrels. For some inexpensive New World wines, red wines and white wines (not grapes) will be blended to make a rosé. Another way of rosé winemaking, is to shorten the maceration period- compared to normal winemaking of dry red wines. Depending on how much colour and tannins the producer plans to extract, the length of this maceration period varies. Hence the unique colour and taste of the rose wine. The last method is direct pressing, which crushes and presses black grapes, but in the same way as when making white wines rather than red wines. This avoids the extraction of colour and tannins that are necessary in red wine production. As a result, a more delicate colour is usually achieved.

Two local grape varieties are used in this rosé. Malagouzia (aka. Malagousia) is gaining popularity throughout Greece after being rescued from extinction in the 1970s. It is a versatile variety that can make both dry and sweet white wines. The other grape, Mavrotragano, is a dark-skinned black variety that has been traditionally used to produce sweet red wine. This variety has thick skins and small berries, leading to deep-colored wine but with soft tannins.

The Island’s Rosé demonstrates a graceful colour between pink grapefruit and salmon, and has exquisite aromas including grapefruit, melon, peach, red rose, and some hints of grape — just like the Muscat grapes you may get from the market. On the palate it is dry with high acidity, with low alcohol and light body. The flavours of grapefruit and tropical fruit stand out, surrounded by other fruity notes such as melon, rose, and the Muscat grapes. Although some sweetness may be felt in the beginning, this rose has a very citrusy finish. As a dry wine, the sweetness seems to be a result of its intense flavours of tropical fruit, just as what a ripe Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc may present.

Overall it is a very fruity and light rosé wine. It is not complicated but excellently refreshing, undoubtedly the greatest match for this summer. It is best drunk at 8-12°C, approximately 10 minutes after being taken out of your fridge. This wine can be paired with a wide range of dishes, including light salads and seafood. Squeeze some grapefruit and olive oil dressing on your lightly cooked or cured salmon, tuna or lobster and accompany it with this wine. You will find that a hot summer’s day will become more pleasant than ever.

Buy the Island’s rose 

References:
wine-search.com
Vivino.com

 


This week we’ve got some exciting news to share with you! Four of our wonderful products received Great Taste Awards! We are very proud to share them with you, as well as some of the judges’ comments. We look forward hearing your own comments –or tell us which of our products is a winner for you!

Pistachios – Roasted & slightly Salted
2 stars **

Greek pistachios are renowned for their wonderful flavour, their beautiful pink exteriors and vibrant green kernels. The area surrounding the island of Aegina combines optimal soil conditions and a perfect maritime climate. A pistachio growing zone par excellence, Aegina offers fresh, vibrant flavoured nuts. The judges commented on the rich, full, long lasting flavour and were impressed by their pink and green colour.

Some of our judges’comments write:
An unusually pink nut. The flavour is creamy and well balanced with just the right amount of salt; soft on the palate with the expected pale green interior’
‘Lovely charring which gives character and the fresh vibrant green of the nuts is very enticing..delightful crunch into a perfectly salted almost meaty nut was a sheer unadulterated pleasure’

Kalamata Olives with Ouzo
1 star *

These olives are from our single estate farm in Sparta, Greece. They are hand picked, unpasteurised and cured in fresh water. They are marinated in extra virgin olive oil, ouzo, star-anise and fennel to produce a unique Greek olive taste.

Some of our judges’comments write:

Very unusual innovation, and one we enjoyed. The olives are good quality and the ouzo goes right through the fruit until the last drop. The aniseed is very complementary and we loved them!’

22°C Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 star *

This mid harvest olive oil is made from semi ripe olives. It comes from our single estate farm in Sparta, Greece. It is single variety (koroneiki), and harvested by hand. Cold extracted up to 22°C and unfiltered, this olive oil has a mellow quality and a silky smooth texture.

Some of our judges’comments write:

‘A creamy mouthfeel. The flavour was subtle but with a good balance of spice and some herby, woody notes’
‘Lovely cut grass aroma; you are almost transported to the olive grove just by the nose’

Wild Thyme Honey
1 star *

Our wild thyme honey comes from the Taygetus mountains in Greece. It is a monofloral nectar honey from predominantly wild thyme flowers. It is, of course, raw: unfiltered and unpasteurised. With a lovely, golden colour, its intense, aromatic flavour lends it to a wide range of culinary uses.

Some of our judges’comments write:

‘Rich dark caramel colours with a herbaceous nose’
‘The palate is sweet with citrus notes running through it with a depth of flavour that transports you to the dusty depths of the bee keepers shed!’

 

We look forward to stocking up our pantry and cooking up wonderful recipes with these (awarded!) Greek products. Join us!

 


For some reason summer is the time when we most enjoy making granola. Maybe because the weather is nice and we get inspired to have nice breakfasts al fresco. Last year’s granola was with our succulent dried nectarines and almonds. This year we’ve got something different for you.

We have in store an amazing new product (and you know how much we love it when Marianna brings in new ingredients). Our fig molasses is produced and packed for Oliveology by Moschoutas Farms in Evia Island. It contains only organic figs, water and a touch of organic lemon juice to balance the figs’ natural sweetness. It is a very unique product that adds depth to all your dishes. You can use it as you would use any other molasses.

This week we’re using fig molasses to make our granola. We paired it with walnuts and (of course!) dried figs. And we’ve also added some tahini, to add some depth and nuttiness. Our secret ingredient is cloves. We have my mum to thank for this, since I grew up with her making every summer fig jam spiced with cloves.

For 3 cups you will need:

2 cups oats
½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
½ tsp cloves
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp fig molasses
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp orange blossom honey
1 cup dried figs, finely chopped
pinch of salt
Greek yogurt (to serve)

Preheat the oven at 150 C.

Place your oats, walnuts and sunflower seeds in a bowl.
In a separate bowl whisk the olive oil, fig molasses, tahini, honey, cloves and pinch of salt, until all ingredients are blended together.

Pour the liquid mixture onto your oats. Using your hands or a spoon gently stir everything together until everything is covered in the liquid mixture.

Spread the granola onto a baking tray, covered in greaseproof paper. Bake, for around 20 minutes, checking and stirring every 5-10 min until golden.

Once golden, remove from the oven, and let your granola cool down. Once cool add the chopped figs and stir.

Serve with Greek yogurt and fruit and keep the rest in an airtight container.