When we wrote this end-of-year blog post last December, we definitely did not imagine that we would still be in another wave of the pandemic a year later. But life is unpredictable that way.

2021 was, in many respects, a year of change.

Some of us travelled again for the first time after many months. We felt the magic of being abroad, a magic we’d all but forgotten. Many of us spent time with our family and friends again and, despite the uncertainty of these last few weeks, we realised just how valuable it is to be close to our loved ones. Having spent so much time in isolation, we realised what matters and what doesn’t, and many of us took steps to reassess our priorities and make changes; or simply, to relax and enjoy the absurdity of human existence.

All of us at Oliveology feel grateful that, over the past year, our amazing team has stayed together and grown stronger. We’d like to thank them: Jerry and Christina at Borough Market greeted all of you in good and challenging times. At the warehouse, Yarek and Hubert packed all online orders with care and took care of those who prefer to shop at Spa Terminus. Lauren and Ben prepared our delicious dips, while Klaudia has been taking care of our shop and warehouse whilst also taking wonderful pictures of life at Oliveology, brightening up our timelines. Harry, our little helper in the kitchen, turned two and has already become an expert in testing recipes and cooking with Ben. In the office, Benji has been assisting all of you, caring for queries, concerns and compliments, while Nafsika has been cooking up delicious recipes for our blog and curating our culinary events.

We are grateful for the care and passion our team puts into their work. And finally we are grateful for Marianna’s guidance and support in our daily lives.

We also want to say a huge thank you to all of our wonderful customers. We are so grateful for all the love you’ve shown us over this incredibly turbulent year. Once again, we’ve been humbled by your support, by your kind words, food orders, sustainable gift giving. Thank you for sticking by our side. We hope that your hampers and food boxes made your pandemic days a little more colourful.

We’d also like to thank our amazing producers for their consistently fabulous produce and for their dedication even as things have gotten difficult. We always seek to honour and nurture our relationships with them – to work together to create a better (food) world.

As this year comes to an end, we realise how much we, and the world around us, has changed. As we enter 2022 we hope for a year in which we celebrate successes and accomplishments, big or small. Mostly, we hope for a year full of tables resplendent with good food, overflowing with wine, and surrounded by people we love!

Happy 2022!


Making gingerbread men was one of the most fun baking sessions with little Harry and yiayia Philippa. We used olive oil instead of butter and grape molasses to reduce the sugar needed. The result was truly amazing and the feedback a success from all ages. Check our Instagram post for this super fun child friendly activity 🙂

Makes approximately 20 cookies.

Cookie dough

400g flour
100g brown sugar
120ml grape molasses
80ml extra virgin olive oil
1 large egg
2-3 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt

Icing (optional) 
350g icing sugar
4 tbs of lemon juice

 

Method

Preheat oven to 170ºF and line your baking trays with parchment paper or you can use silicone baking mats.

In one bowl whisk together flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl mix well and bid together brown sugar, molasses, egg, and olive oil until creamy. You can use a blender or mix by hand. It worked fine by hand. Gradually add flour mixture into liquid mixture and beat until dough starts to form together. Gently knead the dough into a ball.

Olive oil cookie dough is sticky, so you can put your dough in the fridge for an hour prior to rolling out.
Alternatively you can also use two sheets of parchment paper to carefully roll out your dough until approximately 1-cm thick. I did both of the steps above and worked out perfect!

Using cookie cutters, cut into fun shapes. Bake for 10 -12 minutes depending on the size and how crunchy you like them. These cookies are naturally brown because of the molasses and won’t brown further with baking. If you bake them for too long, you will have firm, crisp cookies. We like ours slightly softer than crunchy.

When you remove from the oven transfer on a cooling rack.

Serve as is or decorate with icing.
For the icing simply add the lemon juice into the icing sugar until it becomes firm and spreadable. Then pipe the icing on the cookies to decorate.

Store in airtight container for at least 2 weeks.

 


We are so excited for Christmas this year! After what felt like a very long year, we are happy to be able to prepare once again our favourite dishes. In Greece there are many Christmas traditions (such as the melomakarona and kourabie Christmas cookies), but when it comes to main courses and sides, there are endless variations. Stuffing is often found at our Christmas table. Traditionally, stuffing in Greece is made with rice, but we love experimenting, so check out our other stuffing recipes.

This year we are using brown rice for our stuffing. This organic, whole-grain rice comes from Grevena in the northern part of Greece. It is high in fibre and nutrients and has a wonderful, nutty taste that pairs perfectly with the walnuts we are using in this recipe. So come by Borough Market, gather all your ingredients and let’s get cooking for Christmas!

Serves 6

3 leeks
6 tbsp olive oil
small bunch of celery leaves
3 tbsp grape molasses (plus more for serving)
300g brown rice
1 lt vegetable stock
50g Corinth raisins
50g walnuts (plus more for serving)
100g chestnuts
½ tsp cinnamon or other spices such as nutmeg, cardamom etc.
salt and pepper (to taste)

Finely slice the leeks.

In a large pot place the olive oil and the leeks and cook over medium heat until transluscnet but not caramelised. Add the grape molasses.

Finely chop the celery leaves and add them to your pot. Cook for a few more minutes, until the leaves are soft.

Add the rice, vegetable stock, raisins, walnuts and spices. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 30-40min, or until the rice is cooked. Add the chestnuts, adjust for seasonings and cook for 5 more minutes.

Transfer to a serving dish, scatter more walnuts and drizzle with grape molasses. Serve hot.


When it comes to salads and Greek cuisine, the well-known Greek salad is always eaten during the summer. As Greek food is all about seasonality, during winter we switch to what we call the “cabbage-carrot salad”. It is a crunchy and fresh salad made with shredded cabbage and grated carrot, usually dressed with olive oil and lemon. So this week we’ve created a twist to this classic winter dish.

This salad is perfect to feed a crowd and also keeps well in the fridge for a few hours. So you can make it in advance and then simply serve it at dinnertime. It’s also our go-to salad for Christmas, as the combination of sweet Corinth raisins and aniseed Kalamata olives with ouzo always surprises our guests.

Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side

¼ -1/2 cabbage head (around 300g)
2 carrots
2 celery sticks
2 roasted red peppers
40g Corinth raisins
½ tub ouzo olives
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil

Shred the cabbage in a large bowl. Grate in the carrots.

Finely slice the celery and roasted peppers and add them to your bowl. Add the raisins and olives.

Toss everything together. Drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar and toss again.

The salad can be prepared in advance and keeps well in the fridge for a few hours.
Serve with more olive oil and vinegar if desired.