Halloumi is in store! A few weeks ago, we received our amazing halloumi from Cyprus, made purely from goats’ milk. For some reason, I have associated halloumi with summer. I am not sure why, it is equally tasty during winter: grated into pies, placed on top of winter vegetables and roasted in the oven, or as part of our winter salads. But this season somehow makes me crave it even more.

When thinking what to pair it with, my mind went back to summers past. A few summers ago, I worked for a brilliant Greek chef called Chrysanthos Karamolegos. He is a larger-than-life man, full of creativity and love for Greek cuisine. A cosmopolitan creature, he always takes unusual ingredients and puts them together, resulting in the most amazing flavour combinations. The recipe we have today for you is from my memories of his flavours, of my time with him, memories of life-changing culinary experiences that made life sparkle, bite after bite.

So if during summer, like me, you sometimes lose yourself in the slower pace of life, in the heat, or in the holidays away from home, this recipe is to remind us that there is always a bite of food that can let the light in.

Serves two as main
250g halloumi cheese
500g very cold cold melon
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp honey
3 tsp white vinegar
1 red chilli
a few fresh basil leaves

Cut the melon into bite-sized pieces. In a bowl, mix together the remaining olive oil, honey and vinegar. Finely chop the chilli and basil leaves. Add to your dressing. Toss together the melon and dressing and place on a plate. Slice the halloumi into thick slices and grill in a frying pan or griddle, using 1 tsbp of olive oil. Place the grilled halloumi on top of your melon and serve immediately. Enjoy!

 

 


Exactly this day today, 10 years ago, Marianna, our owner, started Oliveology. What was initially a dream, to be able to cook with Greek ingredients that feel like home, slowly became part of our lives.

Marianna spent a year travelling around Greece, meeting producers, thinking of everything that would make this dream come true. From designing the lovely labels that make our food stand out, to spending nights over spreadsheets with orders, to cooking and tasting all those ingredients that would slowly arrive in London from all over Greece.

Soon after, Marianna was offered a stall at the prestigious Borough Market. With the help and support of her loved ones, family, friends and collaborators, both in London and in Greece, Oliveology had begun.

Weekdays, weekends and holidays were spent at Borough Market, with vibrant Thalia, Marianna’s friend helping out from day one. Ben, Marianna’s partner in life has always been there, be it in his beekeeping suit with a honey jar in hand, or on the Oliveology cargo bicycle.

From our stall, Oliveology invited all of you to taste the exquisite – and now awarded- olive oil and olives that Sakellaropoulos farm has been sending us every year since. A long-standing collaboration and friendship, based on mutual love and respect for the land and its foods. Olives were also placed in large bowls, for everyone to taste. Honey and nuts were offered. Soon, more produce followed.

Our website became an online home of all these ingredients, and thanks to our supporting team from Greece, it grew more and more. It now has a glossary that educates us all and this blog with delicious vegetarian recipes.

Years passed, and in 2016 the small stall became a shop, the first and only offering Greek produce at Borough Market. We couldn’t be more grateful for their support during all those years and more proud for our produce. We hope they feel proud of us too.

As we were looking at the photos from years past, all of us at Oliveology got a bit emotional. For some of us, this was our first job in the big and sometimes scary city that London is. For some of us, it was the first time we worked around something we were passionate about. For some of us, this was the first time we felt like home at work and made real friends.

And we couldn’t have done all of this without the love and support of all from you. Thank you.

Thank you for coming to our shop at Borough Market, for visiting our Railway arch/warehouse in Bermondsey, for tasting our ingredients and cooking our recipes. Thank you for signing up for our cooking workshops and wine tastings, for coming by just to say hi.

Mostly, thank you for making our dream come true.

Happy 10th Anniversary!!


This week we’ve got the ultimate Greek summer dish for you! Kolokuthokeftedes. Or, as this dish is also known zucchini fritters. This is one of the quintessential Greek summer dishes, that one finds in every taverna by the sea. They pair perfectly with a crisp dry white wine and are one of our favourite things to order when eating al fresco, by the beach, under the shade of trees and with cicadas all around us.

So this week, we decided to bring you some Greek sunshine to our urban table and make it ourselves. Marianna and I spent quite some time discussing different variations of this recipe and going through cookery books. You see, as you may know about Greek food, there are endless variations for each recipe.

So without further ado, here is the recipe for Oliveology’s Kolokuthokeftedes! And, to make things a bit more interesting, we have served this dish with our lemongrass and tarragon olive oil. Trust us, it works! And of course, with plenty of tzatziki!

Serves 6
1kg zucchini
1 large bunch of parsley
1 small bunch of spring onions (approx. 5)
100g feta cheese
100g graviera cheese
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
2 eggs
150g all-purpose flour
salt, pepper
olive oil (for frying)
lemongrass and tarragon olive oil (to serve)

Grate your zucchini and place in a clean tea towel. Squeeze it, so that all liquid is released and you are left with a dense ball of grated zucchini. Place in a large bowl.

Finely chop the parsley and spring onions and place in your bowl.

Grate the feta cheese and graviera cheese and mix into your bowl with the vegetables.

In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs with the dried herbs, oregano and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Add the egg mixture to the zucchini mixture and stir very well, until everything is combined.

Add the flour, one tablespoon at the time, stirring well. You should be left with a moist mixture that can be shaped as a ball without falling apart.

In a frying pan place plenty of olive oil, so that the entire bottom of the pan if covered.
Using your hands or two spoons, form small, flattened patties and place in the frying pan, a few at a time. Fry until golden brown, flipping them half-way through, about 4 minutes in total.

Serve with lemongrass and tarragon olive oil and tzatziki.


According to the European Union laws on geographical indications and traditional specialties, Greek wines often carry the classifications of PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication). Nemea, among all the most established PDO regions for wine, is famous for its high-quality wines made from Agiorgitiko grape.

Located in the north of the Peloponnese, Nemea has a long tradition of history-engraved viticulture and is the home of the largest single vineyard in Greece. The Barafakas winery, in spite of being a young and boutique producer, has been deeply influenced by the history and culture of this region. Nemea is also the place, in Greek Mythology, where Hercules performed his first labour by killing the Nemea lion which had ravaged the area and threatened the locals. Knowing that, the lion in the winery’s logo absolutely has made the brand more identifiable in term of its origin.

To be classified as a Nemea PDO, a wine is required to be made from the Agiorgitiko grape exclusively. The name Agiorgitiko, in fact means ‘St. George’s grape’. This variety, among more than 200 Greek native varieties, is rarely grown or seen elsewhere outside Greece. Being extremely versatile, Agiorgitiko is used in the winemaking of a wide range of wines, from light rosé to full-bodied oaked red wines.

In glass the wine shows a clear, bright, vibrant purple colour with a purple rim, suggesting it’s a youthful wine, with a high viscosity. On the nose it is dominated by the aromas of cherry jam — really ripe red cherries — and liquorice. Besides the outstanding ripe cherry jam and liquorice flavours, there are also other notes of fresh red fruits, such as strawberry and a subtle hint of pomegranate, which help keep it fruity and refreshing. It then gradually releases hints of herbs and spices. The wine has no trace of oak barrel, thus making it a fruity and easy-drinking wine. On the palate the wine is dry, with high acidity, soft tannins and a medium long spicy finish. It has a medium alcohol level and body. If I had to compare it with another, more famous wine, I would say it is close to a riper and unoaked version of German Spätburgunder / Pinot Noir.

This red wine is ready to drink now. My suggestion is to enjoy it as soon as possible, since it is not a wine that is suitable for aging. With its unique characteristics, the Barafakas Idea red is an ideal table wine to pair with food, even on a summer day. This lovely red wine is best to be served at 16°C which is slightly lower than room temperature. Unquestionably pleasant on its own, the wine is equally delicious when paired with herb roasted chicken, chicken liver, roasted duck breast, or even quail. To be bold, you might want to try having this wine with pappardelle pasta with a porcini ragu. However, my advice is to avoid foods with too much umami taste such as soy sauce — this will clash with the wine on the palate by making it more bitter and astringent.

Click here to order the Barafakas Idea Red!

Source: https://www.facebook.com/pg/BarafakasWinery/about/?ref=page_internal wine-searcher.com; visitgreece.gr; WSET – Greece

by Celine