Today’s recipe is an ode to Florina peppers. Florina peppers are a specific variety of peppers, cultivated in northern Greece in the region of Florina. This is where they take their name from. As the Greek food writer Evi Voutsina writes, they ripen and turn red after the 15th of August. They are a big part of the local history and culture, and there’s even a yearly local celebration of Florina peppers at the end of August in Florina.

In 1994 they were awarded a Protected Destination of Origin status. They have a distinct flavour, with a rich sweetness and are widely used in Greek cooking. They are perhaps one of the most popular preserves, roasted over open flame and jarred. Vinegar is the key ingredient in preserving here.

In our recipe today, we’ve used our organic roasted peppers to make a delicious and easy recipe. This lays somewhere between a dip and a sauce. You can add it in pasta, in roasted vegetables, or enjoy as a dip on its own. Dakos adds body and complexity to this recipe, but you can use stale bread as well. Don’t omit the tomato paste, it really transforms this dip! Check out our recipe to make your own roasted red peppers!

4 large roasted red peppers (350g)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp grape molasses
1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp tomato puree
50g dakos rusks or stale bread
½ tsp chilli flakes (plus more, to taste)
salt (to taste)

Serves 6

Break the dakos rusks into small chunks.
In a blender whiz together the peppers, olive oil, grape molasses, vinegar, tomato paste and dakos, until you have a smooth dip. Add the chilli flakes and season with salt. Blend for a few more seconds.

Taste and adjust for seasonings, adding a bit more grape molasses, balsamic, salt or chilli if needed.

 


Autumn is officially here and our first recipe for October couldn’t be anything but a comforting soup. If you’ve been following this blog, you must know by now how much we love soups. Remember our luscious celeriac soup? Or our soup with beans and many colourful vegetables? Be it with pulses or just vegetables, soups are our favourite way to get all the nutrients we need. Not to mention, the anticipation of a hot bowl of soup for dinner make us feel wonderful.

This week however we are not using pulses or vegetables for our soup. Instead, we are using trahana, a fascinating ingredient made with wheat and fermented milk. There are two varieties, sour and sweet, and you can opt for either. We selected the sour trahana, as we are serving this soup with dried spiced peppers also known in Greece as boukovo. Boukovo is a blend of various spiced peppers which is widely used in Greek cooking. Because of the variety of the peppers used, it that adds a unique warmth and depth to your dishes. Of course, you can use any other dried chili of your choice. We’ll be serving this soup at our Greek Rural Feast Dinner, this December! Book now, spaces are filling up fast.

Serves 6 as a starter

1 small onion
2 tbsp olive oil
A few pinches of boukovo or dried chilli (to taste)
160g sour trahana
1.5lt vegetable stock
Salt (to taste)
Chili oil (to serve)

Very finely chop your onion.

In a medium-sized pot add the olive oil and onion and cook over medium heat until translucent. Add the boukovo and cook for another minute. Add the trahana and stir well, until the grains are coated in the olive oil.

Add the vegetable stock, season with salt and stir. Bring your soup to a boil, then lower the heat to its lowest setting and cook, covered, for an hour, or until trahana is very, very tender, stirring every few minutes.

Serve immediately with chili oil. If you have leftovers, you can reheat your soup adding some water or vegetable stock, as tranaha tends to absorb all liquid as it cools down.


This recipe belongs to Frantzeska and Froso, two women from the island on Tinos and were featured in the Greek cooking magazine Gastronomos, in a wonderful issue dedicated to old recipes from all over Greece.

The ingredients for this cake are fascinating, as there were no eggs, butter or sugar. The recipe calls for olive oil (you know that us Greeks love baking with olive oil, remember Mrs Kalliopi’s Olive Oil Cake?), which as the two women say can be replaced with tahini. Instead of sugar or honey, grape molasses are used, even though you can also use any leftover syrup from the traditional spoon sweets, for example from this grape spoon sweet. But grape molasses is one of our favourite ingredients to use, and our product of the month for September, so we couldn’t but give it a try. The result truly surprised us. This wonderful cake, with flavours that remind us of Fanouropita, or Petimezopita filled the house with warm, autumn smells. Expect a moist cake with a remarkable depth of flavours.

Frantzeska and Froso add some sesame on top of the batter before baking the cake, but we decided to swap the sesame for our tahini, and created these lovely swirls.

Serves 6
50ml olive oil (plus more for your baking dish)
250ml grape molasses
45ml tsipouro
½ lemon zest and juice, divided
½ tsp baking soda
½ tbsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
200g all-purpose flour (plus more for your baking dish)
2 tbsp tahini
Cinnamon (to serve)

Preheat your oven at 180C.

In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the olive oil, grape molasses, tsipouro and lemon zest.

In a mug add the lemon juice (about 2 tbsp) and the baking soda and carefully stir. It will foam, be prepared.

Add it to your bowl, along with the flour and spices, and whisk until just combined.

Grease your baking dish with olive oil and coat it with some flour, so that your cake doesn’t stick. Add the batter.

Add a few dollops of tahini all around the batter and using a wooden skewer or knife, swirl it through the batter.

Bake at 180C until the cake is cooked through, for 30-40min. You can test if your cake is done by inserting a knife at the centre. It should come our clean.

Serve with cinnamon!


This week we’ve got a very special recipe for you. It is by Mrs Kalliopi, Marianna’s mother. We’ve shared many of her recipes in the past (have you tried her delicious flaounes?) and we absolutely love her food.

Mrs Kalliopi, along with Marianna made a traditional Greek pudding, called Moustalevria. Moustalevria, literally meaning Grape Must & Flour, is a pudding made in early autumn, as the grape must (moustos in Greek) is in abundance during that time. If you don’t have access to grape must, then you can use grape molasses (or petimezi in Greek) which is concentrated grape must. Simply dilute it with a bit of water. This recipe also uses honey instead of sugar, which adds depth and warmth!

Marianna, who comes from the Peloponnese garnishes moustalevria with crushed walnuts. In other regions, sesame is used. But regardless of your selection of nuts or seeds, plenty of cinnamon is a must.

Serves 5

125ml grape molasses (petimezi) (half a bottle of our petimezi)
500ml water
100g honey (you can add more If you want it sweeter, taste as you go along)
25g flour
25g corn flour dissolved in ¼ cup of cold water
Cinnamon (to serve)
Walnuts or sesame (to serve)

In a medium-sized pot and over medium high heat warm up the grape molasses, water and honey. Taste and add more honey if desired. Bring it to a boil and then immediately lower the heat.

Dissolve the corn flour in ¼ cup of cold water and add to the mixture, along with the flour. Stir constantly until it thickens into a creamy texture, for 5-10minutes. You can add a bit more corn flour if you prefer a thicker moustalevria, or even replace much of the flour with the corn flour.

Place your moustalevria in 5 bowls and let it cool down. Place it in the fridge for a few hours and serve cold, or at room temperature.

 


A few years ago, in the beginning of my time in London, I went through what many now Londoners might have experienced: A rough day where I was overworked, exhausted, and a bit hopeless in this big city that I then struggled to call home. If any of you have experienced such a day, then you will relate more with this week’s recipe.

What does one do on such a day? I will share with you what I did. I took a day off work, walked to the nearby market and, feeling slightly guilty and slightly excited I walked around. I had already had breakfast, but decided that breakfast food was what I needed. I bought all the ingredients I needed and in less than an hour, my tiny flat was filled with comforting smells, and I was sitting on the couch having my second breakfast, a wholesome bowl of a very unique ‘porridge’.

So today, we have a very comforting breakfast recipe for you. One that I go to whenever I find myself overworked, or in gloomy autumn mornings. This recipe takes only a bit of time. And love. And it gives back love.

We are using sour trahana, a very unique Greek ingredient.  It is made with fermented milk and wheat. With its slightly tangy flavour and comforting smell, it makes a very unique ‘Greek porridge’. Here, we’ve got inspiration from our olive oil porridge and added some graviera cheese, olive oil and of course a drizzle of honey. Trust us, it works! Top it up with some seasonal fresh fruit and nuts! This recipe is for one, but it scales easily.

Serves 1

75 gr trahana (sour)
250g milk (plus more if needed)
25 g graviera cheese
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp honey (plus more, for serving)
fresh or dried fruit, and nuts (for serving)

In a small pot add the trahana and your milk. Over medium heat bring it to a simmer, then lower the heat to its lowest setting. Let it cook, stirring often (otherwise it will stick to the bottom of the pot), for 15- 20 minutes, until trahana is soft and you have a porridge-like texture. You may need to add a bit more milk to loosen it up.

Grate the graviera cheese and add it to the pot, along with the olive oil and honey. Stir everything together until the cheese melts, for a minute or so.

Serve with fresh or dried fruit, nuts and more honey if desired.


Today is the last day of August, so we are saying goodbye to summer with a very summery recipe using our go-to summer ingredient: tomatoes. We love tomatoes in the summer, as they are at their best during this time of the year. So we pick them to make our tomato passata. Using nothing but tomatoes and no added salt, this ingredient is as close to the flavours of nature as you would expect. We cook with it during the winter, as we wait for the new tomatoes next year.

In this recipe however, we’ve only used fresh tomatoes, as a way to say goodbye to a sweet, sunny summer.

This recipe comes from the island of Santorini, and traditionally the local variety of small cherry tomatoes is used. Look for tomatoes with a thick flesh as they will add structure to your fritters. We’ve added our favourite fresh and dried herbs, but as always feel free to omit anything you don’t like, or add anything you prefer. And yes, us Greeks fry our fritters in olive oil, so do give it a try!

Serves 6

6 medium tomatoes
2 medium onions
1 large bunch of fresh mint
1 small bunch of fresh parsley
½ tsp dried spearmint
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried thyme
salt, pepper (to taste)
2 eggs
70g graviera cheese
150g feta cheese
150g flour
plenty of olive oil (for frying)
chilli vinegar (to serve)

Roughly chop the tomatoes and place them in a large bowl. Very finely chop the onion and add it to your tomatoes. Let it rest until you prepare the rest of your ingredients. The juices of the tomatoes will soften up the onions.

Very finely chop your fresh herbs. Grate your graviera cheese. Crumble your feta cheese.

Add the fresh herbs, dried herbs and cheeses to your bowl and stir well. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the flour and mix everything well together. You should have a thick batter, resembling a slightly thicker cake batter.

Place a large frying pan over medium-low heat and add your olive oil. Start with 5cm. Warm it up until simmering. Add one tablespoon of your mixture, carefully so as not to overcrowd the pan. The fritters should be partially submerged in the olive oil.

Fry until golden on the one side -be patient, it takes a few minutes. Flip and fry until the other side is golden too. Remove your fritters and let them rest in paper towels until you finish frying.

Serve drizzled with chilli vinegar!


Our favourite summer vegetable is aubergine. We love its texture, meaty flesh, comforting bite. This member of the nightshade family has a distinct taste when cooked, and really loves smoke. So if you ever find yourself in a barbeque, get some aubergine in there.

In Greek cuisine, aubergine is widely used (and only during the summer), in a variety of dishes such as briam, moussaka or in the all-famous melitzanosalata. Melitzanosalata, literally meaning ‘aubergine salad’ is a spread made with the cooked or smoked aubergine flesh. It exists in many other food cultures in various combinations of ingredients and flavours.

Today, we’ve prepared the classic Greek melitzanosalata for you. But don’t forget to check our less ordinary take on this summer classic, with tahini and honey.

We used white aubergines because we love their sweet taste, but any kind will do. In a variation of this recipe, you can also add finely chopped roasted red peppers, which we also recommend trying.

Serves 4-6

2 large aubergines (approx. 800g)
1 tbsp olive oil (or more, to taste)
2 tsp aged balsamic vinegar (or more, to taste)
1 small clove garlic (or more, to taste)
1 small bunch of parsley
salt, pepper
1 roasted red pepper, finely chopped (optional)

Preheat your oven at 180C.

Using a fork, pierce your aubergines all around. Place them in a roasting tray and roast for about an hour, until very tender inside. Remove from the oven and let them cool down a bit.

Once the aubergines are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and place it in a bowl. Drain any excess liquid.

Using a fork, mash up the aubergine flesh. Finely chop the parsley and add it to your bowl. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and roasted red pepper (if using). Grate in the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Mix everything well together using your fork.

Taste and adjust for seasoning, vinegar, olive oil or garlic.

Serve with more olive oil!


How are you spending this summer? We were very fortunate to be able to travel around Greece, tasting wonderful food and swimming in the deep blue sea. This week we are bringing to you a recipe for one of the simplest and perhaps one of the most wonderful dishes we tasted while in Greece: wild greens with tomatoes and cheese!

Wild greens are found everywhere in Greece during the summer, sold in large bunches at local markets all around the country. There are endless varieties. The ones we selected are called vlita (amaranth) and have a subtle bitter, earthy taste which pairs perfectly with the sweet summer tomatoes. In this recipe we’ve used our tomato passata, so that you can easily prepare it in the winter, selecting more wintery greens. You can use whichever seasonal dark leafy greens you can find: chard, kale, spinach, collard greens. Anything goes!

In the classic recipe, greens are boiled and then fresh tomatoes are grated on top. A soft white cheese like mizithra or feta is crumbled and, of course, plenty of olive oil is drizzled on top. We followed this classic recipe and kept things simple. It is still summer after all, and we love feeling a bit more relaxed before the hectic winter begins. Do feel free to omit the cheese, to keep this vegan.

Serves 2 as main or 4 as a side

1kg dark leafy greens
1 bottle tomato passata (or 3-4 tomatoes, crushed)
1 tbsp olive oil plus more for drizzling
salt, freshly ground black pepper
150g soft white cheese (we used our organic feta), to serve

Thoroughly rinse your greens and remove any large stems (you can reserve them to make stock). We kept the leaves whole, but if you prefer you can roughly chop them.
Place your greens in a large pot of boiling water and cook for a few minutes until soft and tender. We used a very large pot and boiled the greens all in one go, for around 6 minutes, but you can also work in batches.

Drain and place your greens in a large salad bowl. While they are still warm, pour over the tomato passata, season with pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. Serve immediately with the feta cheese and more olive oil. If you are not using cheese, do add a bit of salt.

This dish is also perfect served cold. If you are serving it cold, let the greens cool down and place them in the fridge. Continue with the tomato, etc just before serving.

 


As you may know, Greek cuisine is all about seasonality. So when summer comes along, we can’t but cook with the produce of the season. Aubergines, courgettes, peppers, tomatoes are all in abundance and at their best during this time of the year. Remember our stuffed peppers with bulgur wheat, or our friend Amaryllis’ stuffed peppers with orzo?

In the spirit of Greek summer, briam is perhaps one of the most loved Greek dishes! It is very easy to make and makes use of all these delicious vegetables. As with most summer foods it is great eaten at room temperature or even cold. In the classic recipe, the vegetables are slowly cooked in the oven, along with crushed tomatoes and plenty of olive oil. The result is a mellow, delicious dish that you can keep in your fridge for when you need an easy supper or lunch. In our version of this dish, we’ve used a few sun-dried tomatoes and their oil which adds depth and flavour. You can add a bit of grape molasses too if you wish!

This dish is great with feta cheese, which we’ve added towards the end of cooking, but you can omit this if you are vegan.

Serves 6

2 aubergines (700g)
2 courgettes (700g)
1 green bell pepper
2 potatoes (400g)
2 onions
3 cloves of garlic
20g sun-dried tomatoes (or more, to taste)
1 tbsp tomato paste in 150ml warm water
2 bottles of tomato passata or 6-8 tomatoes, crushed
150ml olive oil plus more for drizzling
Salt, pepper (to taste)
150g feta cheese
a small bunch of parsley, leaves only, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven at 180C.
Cut the aubergines, courgettes, peppers and potatoes in large bite-sized pieces. Cut the onion in half moons and finely slice the garlic. Finely chop the sun-dried tomatoes.
Place all your vegetables in a a large baking tray.
In a mug, mix together the tomato paste and warm water and stir with a spoon until the tomato paste is dissolved. Add it to your tray.
Also add the crushed tomatoes, olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper. Mix everything together. The tomatoes should just about cover your vegetables.
Cover with tinfoil and bake in the oven for an hour.
Remove the tinfoil, add the feta cheese crumbled, parsley and drizzle with a bit more olive oil, and bake for another half hour or more, until the potatoes are soft and the tomatoes have turned into a mellow sauce.

Serve with crusty bread!


This week we’re really wishing we were on a Greek island, laying on the beach, having dinners by the sea, tasting all these delicious local delicacies Greek islands have to offer. So today’s recipe comes from the island of Kimolos. It lays somewhere between a deep dish pizza and a focaccia. But with no cheese and plenty of olive oil! It is perfect for this time of the year, when tomatoes are juicy and ripe. It is also a great addition to your barbecue or outdoor picnic.

For this recipe, you need an intense, robust olive oil, so we used our Ergani organic extra virgin olive oil. It is a classic olive oil made from ripe olives, produced on a small organic family farm in the Messinia region of the Peloponnese. This versatile olive oil has a full, traditionally rich flavour and tones of cut grass, fantastic for everyday use, and baking.

Serves 6

100ml (1/2 cup) warm water (not boiling)
50ml olive oil
1 sachet dried yeast (8gr)
1 tbsp sugar
1tsp salt
200g all-purpose flour

3 medium tomatoes
1 large red onion
2tsp dried oregano
4 tbsp olive oil+ 4tbsp for the pan
salt, pepper

In a large bowl place the warm water, olive oil sugar and yeast and stir to dissolve. Let it stand for 5 minutes until small bubbles start to form. Add the flour and mix until all the ingredients come together. Knead your dough for 7-10 minutes until smooth. Add a bit more flour if needed. Place your dough back in the bowl, dusting some flour at the bottom so that it doesn’t stick. Let it rest for an hour in a warm place. It should double in size.

In the meantime, preheat the oven at 200C.
Roughly chop the tomatoes and onions and place in a bowl with 4tbsp olive oil, salt pepper and oregano. Toss everything together and set aside.

Oil your baking tray (which, traditionally is rectangular) with 4 tbsp of olive oil and using your fingers, spread out your dough. Place the tomatoes and onions on top, but leave any liquid in the bowl.
(*you can actually eat it with a spoon it’s delicious!)

Drizzle a bit more olive oil and bake at 200C for around 40-45 minutes. You should have an airy dough, moist on top and crunchy at the bottom. Let it cool and serve.