Trahanas is a very unique Greek ingredient and an ideal way to take a culinary journey to Greece. It is a combination of fermented milk and wheat. You can use it to make a comforting thick soup, add it to your stews for some texture or have it instead of porridge in the morning.

We love its slightly tangy flavour and comforting smell. In autumn, we always make cook with trahanas. So this week we’ve decided to combine it with our favourite autumn vegetable: mushrooms! And of course, what is the perfect pairing when it comes to these flavours? Truffles. Yes, this week we are making a luscious trahanas soup, with mushrooms and truffles!

For this, we are using our black truffle flakes  a very unique ingredient. These aromatic flakes of dehydrated black summer truffle (Tuber aestivum) only need to be rehydrate in lukewarm water and add an exquisite depth to your dishes. And to make it even more lush, we’re serving this dish with truffle oil!

Serves 2 as main, 4 as a starter

250g large button mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion
1/2 leek
3 tbsp olive oil
100g sour trahanas
4 cups vegetable stock
1/3 pack truffle flakes plus one cup of water
truffle oil (to serve)

Cut the mushrooms in half or in quarters. In a frying pan add 1 tbsp of olive oil, just to coat the bottom of the pan. Place your mushrooms, all in one layer and cook over high heat, turning occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden brown on the outside.

As the mushrooms are cooking, finely chop the leek and onion. Add the rest of the olive oil in a pot and over medium-low heat gently fry the onion and leek, until translucent. Add the trahanas and stir to coat with the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and your stock. Bring to the boil, and then lower the heat and let your soup simmer, covered, for 45 minutes, until trahanas is tender.
A few minutes before serving uncover the pot and rehydrate the truffles in one cup of lukewarm water. When the soup is ready, add the truffles and flavoured water. Stir well and serve immediately, drizzling some truffle oil on top.


What we love most about autumn is the wonderful new colours at the market. Red apples, orange pumpkins, brown mushrooms and chestnuts! Fruit and veg in autumn always make us feel quite comforted and inspired. This week we got plenty of orange carrots from the market and decided to grate them. Somehow the idea of a grated carrot feels like a first step towards a very nutritious meal, wouldn’t you say? We’re making a salad, which is great for lunch, but it also makes for a wonderful side to some roasted chicken or your protein of choice. We’ve added bulgur wheat to make it more filling, raisins for some natural sweetness and a lemon-tahini dressing to add a…warm kick to it.

There is something nostalgic about this salad, as it somehow reminds us of when we first started Oliveology, 11 years ago. Back then, Greek tahini was rare to find, but such salads were gaining momentum, do you remember? Reminiscing of happier times past is comforting, and we couldn’t think of anything better than this recipe, to bring back some happy memories in the midst of this unusual autumn we are all experiencing.

Serves 4

50g bulgur, plus ¾ cups of water
4 large carrots
100g Corinth raisins
1 bunch of fresh herbs (we used dill and parsley)

Dressing
2 tbsp tahini
zest from 2 lemons
juice from 1 lemon
150ml olive oil
2 tbsp grape molasses
4 tbsp water
salt (to taste)

Place the bulgur wheat and water in a small pot and cook over medium heat until tender and all the water is absorbed, around 10-15min. Set aside to cool.

Peel and grate the carrots.

To make the dressing whisk together the tahini, lemon juice and zest. Add the grape molasses. Slowly add the olive oil and then the water, until you have a runny dressing. Season with salt.

In a large bowl toss together the bulgur wheat, carrots, raisins, dressing.
Finely chop the herbs and add just before serving.

Oh and this is great with some feta cheese!

 


The phrase “spoon sweets” sounds a bit peculiar in English, but it’s the actual translation of the Greek phrase Gluka tou koutaliou. The phrase gave its name to a category of “sweets” that are served and eaten with (you guessed it) a “spoon”. It includes fruits (but also vegetables) that are slowly cooked with water and sugar. The fruits are picked when in season, and large quantities of spoon sweet are prepared. They are then carefully stored in jars, and last all year-round, until the fruits are in season again. As the fruits slowly cook in the sugary syrup, they release their natural sweetness and their flavours intensify. The result is quite flavourful, so usually a small spoon is enough to satisfy your sweet cravings. In the past, every guest was greeted with Greek coffee and a small plate of spoon sweet.

So this week, as the market was full of grapes, we decided to go ahead and make Gluko tou koutaliou stafyli (grape spoon sweet). For this, select the larger grapes, as they will better hold their shape. And we used seedless grapes.

Makes 2 jars

675g grapes
350g sugar
200g water
zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
Greek yoghurt (to serve)

Carefully remove the grapes from the vine and wash under cold running water. Drain well and place in a large pot with the water, sugar, lemon juice and zest. Bring to the boil, without stirring. Then immediately turn the heat to the lowest setting and stir carefully so that the grapes are mixed with the sugar syrup.

Cook, half-covered, for 54min to one hour. To test if the spoon sweet is ready, take a tablespoon of the syrup and place it in a small plate. Let it cool and run your finger through it, to create a line. If the syrup stays in place, then you are done.

Remove from the hob and let it cool.
Store is glass jars and keep in the fridge.

Serve with Greek yoghurt!


Have you seen our delicious Greek meze box? It was created with the Greek summer in mind and is filled with Greek delicacies! Think of wonderful marinated artichoke hearts and tender roasted red peppers. A specially selected variety of Greek olives – amfissa green and kalamata! Bright sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese and one other unique Greek cheese complete this wonderful box of goodies. Savour all these delicacies with crunchy kritsini breadsticks. The idea behind it is to just unbox, plate everything and there you have it, you are ready for a Greek meze feast.

But if you want to spice it up a notch, this week we’ve got our own meze recipe, for you to make at home, and share, along with all the other goodies! In this recipe, we are roasting peppers and onions with grape molasses. And the secret ingredient? We are adding roasted red peppers, which act as a condiment, offering depth and a hint of smoke!

4 large peppers (various colours)
2 large onions
2 large cloves of garlic
100g roasted red peppers
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp grape molasses
1 tsp spices of your choice (we used ¼ tsp of chilli, ½ tsp smoked paprika and ¼ tsp cumin)
1 tsp dried oregano
salt, pepper (to taste)

Preheat the oven at 200C
Remove the stem and core from the peppers and discard. Cut each pepper in eight large pieces.
Peel the onions and cut each onion in eight wedges. Peel and finely slice the garlic.
Finely slice the roasted red peppers.
Place all your vegetables in a baking tray.
Drizzle with olive oil and grape molasses and gently toss everything together. Season with the spices and oregano, salt and pepper. Toss again.

Bake at 200C for 30-45 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes, until the peppers are tender and slightly charred. Let cool.

Serve at room temperature with the rest of the goodies from the meze box!