This year we decided to create a very festive recipe using our newest dried fruits and nuts! We selected the word stuffing when categorising this recipe, but this will make for a wonderful side dish, or vegan dinner. It is somewhat a combination of our other Christmas stuffing recipes. It is made with rice, just like our vegan stuffing from a couple of years ago, but also leeks, like the less ordinary stuffing we made last year. But this year we decided to take it up a notch.

We went full on with our dried fruit and used colourful nectarines and cherries. The bright yellow-orange nectarines are very aromatic and sour enough to add an additional dimension to this dish. Our cherries are moist and intense, full of natural sweetness. And what better pairing than our roasted and slightly salted almonds! And of course, many fragrant spices. It is Christmas after all.

We served our stuffing in an old serving dish, as we are somehow feeling more retro and nostalgic during Christmas. Somehow using old platters or bowls to serve our Christmas food brings us closer to all those moments of food sharing of the past. You know, these dishes do carry their own histories.

But before we get carried away, let’s get to our recipe!

Serves 4 as a side
1 large leek
4tbsp olive oil
200g Carolina rice
600ml vegetable stock
50g dried nectarines
50g dried cherries
50g almonds, roasted and slightly salted
1 tsp spices (we used a combination of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg)
salt, black pepper (to taste)
lemon zest and fresh parsley (to serve)

When it comes to the dried fruit or nuts, you can select to finely chop them, roughly chop them, or for the more adventurous out there, leave them whole.

Finely chop the leek. In a medium-sized pot and over medium-high heat gently fry the leek in the olive oil until transluscent. In the meantime, rince your rice under cold running water. Strain and set aside. Add the rice to your pot and stir until coated with olive oil. Add the dried nectarines, cherries, almonds and stir again. Season with salt and pepper. Be mindful, the almonds are slightly salted!

Pour the vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and then turn down the heat and cook your stuffing simmer half-covered until the rice is cooked and the fruits are plump and rehydrated.

Serve with lemon zest and fresh parsley or other fresh herbs.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!


This week we’ve got something different for you. With December in full swing, the weather is now properly cold. During those cold winter days, we always think of citrus fruit. Somehow all their vitamins make us feel stronger.

So when thinking of this week’s recipe, we couldn’t but use citrus. And what a better way to incorporate all these healthy juices into your daily food routine, than with a delicious citrus dressing! But healthy doesn’t mean not festive. You can use this dressing for your seasonal greens, roasted squash and even in a simple bulgur wheat salad! Can you think of anything better for your Christmas table?

In this recipe, we have balanced the acidity and bitterness of the citrus with a bit of honey and used our favourite red wine vinegar to pump up the flavours. After all, winter requires intense flavours, right?

Makes enough for a side salad of 4

1 lime, zest and juice separately
2 grapefruit, zest and juice separately
1 orange, zest and juice separately
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp orange blossom honey
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
5 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Combine all citrus juice together. Measure 5 tbsp of juice and set aside. Drink the rest, it’s good for you. In a bowl whisk together the zest, juice, the garlic, honey and vinegar. Slowly add the olive oil and whisk until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Taste and if you feel it needs more sweetness, add a bit more honey.


Last Saturday we hosted our vegetarian Christmas feast! Our very own Marianna, along with our resident chef Lida Papamatthaiaki organised a wonderful cooking workshop.

We spent 3 whole hours making delicious food, learning about Oliveology’s ingredients and new cooking techniques. At the end, we all sat around the table, shared all the food we made and was surprised by Oliveology’s Christmas crackers – what a treat!

Our lovely Lida will be hosting more cooking workshops, so watch this space! And don’t forget to make your booking for our Healthier Living Workshop this March with our guest chef Margot Carone. Can’t think of a better Christmas gift!

Our favourite recipe was the stuffed kabocha squashes with mushrooms, spinach & truffle oil. Absolutely delicious and the vegetarian main you are looking for to please your guests. This recipe includes double cream and kefalotyri cheese, but for our vegan dining companions you can simply omit it. Here’s Lida’s amazing recipe.

Serves: 8
Preparation time: 1 hour ~ Total cooking time: 2 hours 45min

Ingredients
2 butternut squashes
2 kabocha squashes
10 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sweet paprika (to taste)
Chilli flakes (to taste, optional)
Salt, pepper (to taste)

-Mushroom and spinach filling:
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
450g mushrooms (ideally a mix of shiitake, portobello and chanterelle)
60 ml white wine vinegar
250g fresh baby spinach leaves
1 small batch of spring onions
Salt, pepper (to taste)

140ml double cream
220g kefalotyri cheese, grated
100g breadcrumbs
white truffle oil (to taste)

Preparation method
-Preheat the oven to 180C.

-Cut the butternut squash in large cubes and place in a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Season the squash with salt, pepper, paprika and chilli flakes and drizzle with half of the olive oil.

-Cut a small slice off the base of each kabocha squash so it will stand up on a baking tray without wobbling. Carefully slice a “lid” off the top of each one too and set aside. Now, with a small, sharp knife, cut into the centre of each squash, then use a teaspoon to scoop out all the seeds and fibres. Drizzle and rub with olive oil the flesh of the squash and season with salt and pepper. Place in a separate baking tray lined with parchment paper.

-Place both trays in the oven and roast the whole kabocha and the diced butternut squash for 45 minutes. Once their flesh is soft, remove from the oven. Set the whole kabocha aside to be stuffed later. Peel and using a fork or potato masher, mash the squash.

-Prepare the filling: Sautee the mushrooms in half of the olive oil, until moisture has evaporated and mushrooms are well browned, about 3 minutes. Add vinegar and stir to combine. Remove from the fire and set aside. Using the same pan, add the spinach and spring onions and cook until slightly wilted and softened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and 40ml of the cream. Add the spinach mixture to mushrooms.

-In a separate bowl, mix the kefalotyri cheese with the rest of the cream.

-Layer the stuffing in each of the kabochas in this order, starting from the bottom-up: butternut squash, kefalotyri cheese and cream, mushroom-spinach mixture, kefalotyri and cream. Gently press mixture down with your hands and repeat layering process with remaining half of stuffing ingredients. Add a generous splash of truffle oil. Finish off with breadcrumbs.

-Place the stuffed kabochas on a baking sheet, without their tops. Roast until the top layer of cheese has melted and the breadcrumbs are lightly browned. Kabochas should be tender and easily pierced by a paring knife, 30-45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before serving with the tops.