Pasteli is perhaps one of the most summery Greek snacks. Many of us have memories of large trays of pasteli being sold by an older man on small seaside villages, while today it’s often found in most small shops on the islands. Pasteli is the classic accompaniment to tea or coffee, but also a healthy snack. In the sense that – if properly made- contains only two ingredients: honey and sesame. You can read all about its health benefits, along with some interesting stories in our blog post here.

You can find our pasteli at Borough Market and on our website (select from the classic with sesame and honey, or the sesame, honey and nuts one with raisins, sunflower seeds, almonds, linseed, and roasted chickpeas.

Or if you are feeling like taking on a fun summer activity, you can make your own. It is really easy to make. Just make sure to wait for it to cool down before digging in!

Makes one 20×20 tray

250g sesame
250g honey (we used wild flower honey)
pinch of salt, orange or lemon zest (optional)

In a skillet and over medium-low heat slowly toast the sesame in batches. Stir constantly and be careful as it burns easily. Once the sesame is golden in colour, set aside and let cool.

Place the honey in a medium-sized pot and over medium heat. Warm up the honey until it reaches 120-125C. To test if it’s ready, drop a small amount of honey in cold water. It should not be sticky, but hold together in a ball.

Immediately add the sesame in your honey pot and stir everything together for 3-4 minutes. Add the salt and citrus zest (if using), stir well and remove from the heat.

Lay a tray with greaseproof paper and pour in your pasteli. Be careful not to burn yourself. Let it cool down a bit and slice it with a knife. It will harden as it cools down.

Serve with Greek coffee.

This week, we are celebrating our 13th birthday! 13 years have gone by since our little stall opened in Borough Market. What a journey it has been!

It’s a journey that wouldn’t have been possible without all those who have stood by us all these years. Our gratitude goes out to all of you. You have been so supportive and enthusiastic, and continue to inspire us to keep marching forward, being creative, and doing what we do best.

Over the years, we have chosen to grow our business slowly, keeping our small team at our Borough Market shop and at our warehouse & shop in Bermondsey. It’s a team that continues to bring joy to our daily lives

We have been working hard to keep sustainability at the forefront of our purchasing, importing, packaging, sales, production, marketing, workshops, and events. Its most important expression though is in how we choose our producers. We look for small, artisan farmers who share our philosophy of sustainability and care for the environment, and they have been the backbone of our small business. We are also working hard to find more ways to increase our sustainability credentials.

As a small family business, we have faced many challenges over the last few years: Covid-19, Brexit, the war in Ukraine, increased energy costs, and so on. We’ve tried to adapt and reinvent ourselves while keeping honest and true to our roots. We’ve worked hard to not compromise on sustainability or quality, and continued our commitment to offering good value, highly nutritious, pure, traditional and simple produce. We hope that the years ahead will usher in a new era of respect, compassion, peace, and freedom.

But, in the midst of these unsettling events around the globe, it does feel as though our worlds are slowly opening up again. We have been gathering around the table in our dinner experiences, and sharing Greek wine at our wine tastings. And we can’t wait for all the other amazing events and workshops that we have planned including a Harvest Dinner in September, a Cretan Cooking Class, a Kid’s Workshop, and our Holidays in Greece! We’re also looking at introducing sustainability workshops dedicated to sharing the deeply Greek values of sustainable, seasonal and no waste cooking. Watch this space!

Marianna and the entire Oliveology team look forward to seeing you all again, so pop by our shops, send us your recipe pictures, come to our Greek dinners and classes, and join us as we travel around Greece. Let’s all come together again and celebrate life around a table of food made with love and care – for the environment and for us all.

This week we’ve got a very summery rice salad for you. It is great for picnics or barbecues, makes for a delicious lunch or light dinner and makes use of July’s seasonal vegetables that we so love.

This rice salad with various variations of vegetables, and with a mustard-olive oil-lemon dressing is a classic in Greek households. In my family we always prepare it on Clean Monday (the day which marks the beginning of lent in Greece), along with taramosalata. Then we use spring vegetables, so I’ve been very excited for this summer take on a family classic.

In this recipe, we used our Carolina rice, which comes from the area of Grevena in the northern part of Greece. Carolina rice is high in amylopectin (starch), making it the perfect ingredient for a creamy risotto or a rice pudding. But here, we’ve rinsed it well, so that we can use it as our base for this summer salad. For our dressing we’ve used a very special oil, made from semi-ripe olives crushed with fresh lemongrass and tarragon. It has an especially fresh flavour and intense aroma, pairing perfectly with our summer vegetables. This salad is great as is, but you can also add some grilled chicken or prawns if you prefer.

Serves 2
100g Carolina rice
1.5 cups of water
250g cherry tomatoes
1 large cucumber
1 small tub of Amfissa green olives
1 lemon, zest and 1 tbsp juice
1 tsp mustard
2 tbsp olive oil with lemongrass & tarragon
dried spearmint (to taste)
salt, pepper (to taste)

Rinse the rice thoroughly, until the water runs clear. Place the rice and 1.5 cups of water in a medium-sized pot and over medium heat. Cook, covered, for around 20 minutes until all the water has been absorbed. Rinse under cold water and set aside.

Cut your cherry tomatoes in half and the cucumber in bite-sized pieces. In a large bowl whisk together the lemon zest and juice, mustard, olive oil with lemongrass & tarragon and spearmint. Add the rice to your bowl, along with your tomatoes, cucumber and olives, and gently toss everything together. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve cold or at room temperature.