This week we’ve got a very aromatic spring recipe for you. We are using one of the most seasonal ingredients, rhubarb. The first time I tasted rhubarb was poached, with cinnamon and loads of sugar. I didn’t think much of it. The second time I tasted it, it was raw, thinly sliced, and with a little bit of sugar, just to take the sourness off. It was an intense experience. It tasted like snails in grass. It was fascinating. Indeed, rhubarb is quite unique and stirs up passionate reactions. There are those who love it and those who hate it. We belong in the second category.

The recipe we’ve prepared is quite unique too. We are not using any sugar to sweeten our rhubarb. Just grape molasses and Corinth raisins. What are we making? The most interesting chutney-like creation. It lays somewhere between jam and chutney. You can have it with bread and butter, but also with cheese and oily fish. You can taste the sweetness of the raisins, the depth in flavour of the grape molasses, the fruity rhubarb notes and there is still a hint of sourness still remaining. And, like last year’s poached pears, we’ve paired these three ingredients with fragrant spices, just to give you a slightly more complex creation.

Makes 2 jars

500g rhubarb
100g Corinth raisins
170g grape molasses
300ml water
¼ tsp cinnamon
10 cardamom pods
¼ tsp ground cloves
5 black peppercorns

Cut the rhubarb in 5cm pieces. Place the rhubarb in a pot, along with the raisins, grape molasses, water and spices. The liquid should just cover the rhubarb. Bring to the boil and then immediately lower the heat. Let it simmer, uncovered, for 30-40 min, stirring occasionally or until the rhubarb has soften, the raisins have soak up the juices and all the flavours have blended together.

Keep in jars in the fridge and serve on toast, with graviera or manouri cheese and oily fish.


2016 Markou Kleftes Savatiano Sulphur Free, 12.5%

How much do we know about natural wine? In the April issue of Decanter magazine last year, the rise of natural wines was brought to the attention of wine consumers. The ‘trend’ of drinking natural wine is gradually becoming a matter of lifestyle for many enthusiastic wine lovers.

So, what exactly is the natural wine? How different is it from the wines we are used to drinking? According to the Oxford Companion to Wine, what we call natural wine is a relative rather than an absolute term. It differentiates these types of wine according to the winemaking processes (or philosophies). Typically, the grapes are grown by small-scale, independent producers, they are harvested by hand from sustainable, organic, or biodynamic vineyards. The wine is fermented without any extra yeasts (meaning only the natural yeasts existing on the grapes are used) or additives, and little or no sulfites are added for refining. This definition, unfortunately, indicates that the term “natural wine” is quite vague and we have to uncover in what specific ways a bottle of such wine is indeed “natural”.

The 2016 Kleftes from Markou Vineyards, is a sulfur dioxide (SO2) free wine made from grapes grown in organic vineyards in the Koropi area of Attica, Greece. The name “Kleftes” in Greek is also the name for dandelion seeds, which carry your thoughts and dreams to the loved ones and present hope, dream, and the uncertainty of a new journey. If you have read our earlier wine review about Shinopefko Retsina in this blog, you will find that this wine is made with the same grape variety, from the same region as the retsina. In this case, what can we expect from a sulphite free wine to taste differently?

Normally, sulfur dioxide in winemaking is necessary to preserve the wine from oxidation and to refine the wine by preventing bacteria and unwanted yeasts. This is the same element as you may find in dried fruits from supermarkets. Without sulphite, Kleftes is obviously more oxidised  and displays more characteristics of oxidation. In the glass, it shows a slightly hazy yet bright gold colour with a lemon rim. On the nose, the wine has moderate aromas led by cooked apple, ripe pear and citrus flowers. Swirl the glass gently, it may also reveal some notes of roasted nuts and honey. There is no hint of the oak barrel. On the palate, it is dry, with crisp acidity, light body  and relatively low alcohol level. The flavour intensity is high, dominated by tastes of grape fruit, citrus flowers and crushed apple, accompanied by a long finish.

The wine is best drunk around 8-10 °C, which is about 5-10 minutes after being taken out from the fridge. Because it is sulphite free, it is not an ideal wine for aging. To prevent the oxidation, my suggestion is to consume this wine as soon as possible. It is a good wine to pair with food such as fried fish pie, green salad, or risotto with asparagus and parmesan cheese. An amazing pairing with wild capers, fava and bread.

by Celine

References: Oxford Companion to Wine


Spring is the time of the year with unpredictable weather. As we are all waiting for the warm sunny days, we often wake up to gloomy mornings. Like today for example.

During those cold mornings there is only one thing that brings us comfort: Porridge! You remember our delicious banana and cinnamon olive oil porridge, right?

This time we’ve decided to make it a bit differently. We will bake it in the oven with olive oil, and sweeten it with our Corinth raisins, grape molasses and wild flower honey.

With this recipe we are saying goodbye to the last apples of the season and welcome spring, with its lovely fruit and warm, long days! And of course, we will add some walnuts, our product of the month! Walnuts and apples are best friends after all.

And for those of you who are kinda crazy for porridge like me, this dish makes for a wonderful dessert, with some Greek yogurt or, dare I say, ice cream on top.

So let’s create our perfect morning breakfast and get ready for more spring breakfasts ahead!

Serves 4

1 cup oats
2 apples
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch of salt
50g walnuts
30g Corinth raisins
2 tbsp grape molasses
2 tbsp wild flower honey
6 tbsp olive oil
1 cup milk
1 cup water

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Cut the apples in thin slices.

In a large bowl, whisk together the grape molasses, honey, olive oil, milk and water until well combined. Add the cinnamon and salt.

Add the apples, oats, raisins and walnuts in your bowl and stir with a wooden spoon.

Place the porridge mixture in a baking tray and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes covered. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the porridge is cooked and golden.