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


What’s your favourite Greek food? Many of you told us how you love our more traditional Greek recipes. Remember Katerina’s arakas from a few weeks ago? So this week we’ve got another classic for you. Fasolakia. This is a dish we usually make in late spring-early summer in Greece.

Fasolakia is the name for green beans in Greece. Strolling around the farmers’ markets one sees many types of green beans at this time of the year. And as tomatoes are at their best, we couldn’t but share with you a recipe that combines both.

As with most traditional Greek recipes, you only need a few ingredients and lots of care. Take your time when preparing Fasolakia, and let them slowly cook, so that they become mellow and tender. This recipe is also my mother’s.

This dish needs, of course, a mature feta cheese and some warm crusty bread. If you eat it al fresco then it’s even better. So come into my family’s kitchen and cook with us this wonderful dish.

Serves 4

650g green beans
2 small red onions
240g grated tomatoes or tomato passata
1 tsp tomato puree, stirred into 1 cup of hot water
4 tbsp olive oil plus more for serving
Salt, pepper

Finely grate or chop your onions. Place your beans, onions and olive oil in a large pot, along with 4 cups of water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes, covered, until your beans are soft. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste in the water, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for another 30-45’, until the beans are very tender, the water has evaporated and you are left with a loose tomato sauce.

Serve with more olive oil, feta cheese and crusty bread.


Is it summer yet? The weather might be a bit confusing still, but we can’t help but feel that one of our favourite seasons is here. We kicked off June (and summer!) with our Greek Islands Cooking Workshop, where we got to taste and make amazing island recipes and wines. Our wonderful chef, Lida shared her passion for island foods, and –sneak peak to September-she is preparing another ‘island’ workshop! A Cretan one this time. Watch this space for updates on this and our other cooking workshops!

So this week, we have the ultimate summer recipe for you: a Horiatiki, also known as Greek salad. But with a twist. If you are looking for something refreshing and filling for those warm summer days or nights, look no further. Our bulgur wheat horiatiki is our go-to summer dish.

In the recipe below, you can cut the tomatoes, cucumber and onions in whichever way you like. We had plenty of time, so we went for small cubes. But if you are more rushed, then go for tomato wedges and roughly chop the cucumber and onions-it is equally delicious. And, as always, do not hesitate to add or omit ingredients! We’ve added fresh herbs for example. You adore feta? Double the quantity! You hate capers? Omit them. But not before you pop by our Borough Market shop to taste ours.

So get into the kitchen and let’s kick off this summer!

Serves 2:

100g bulgur wheat
4 tomatoes
1/2 cucumber
1 red onion
1 tbsp capers and
1/2 tub Kalamata olives or amfissa green olives (we used both)
Dried oregano (to taste)
5 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
100g feta cheese
a small bunch of fresh herbs (parsley, mint or dill – optional)
Salt

Place the bulgur wheat in 250ml of water in a medium-sized pot. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and let it cook until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let it cool.

In the meantime, cut your tomatoes, cucumber and onion in small cubes. Place in a large bowl, along with the capers and olives. If using herbs, finely chop them and add them to the salad. Crumble the feta cheese on top. Add the cool bulgur wheat and oregano. Dress your salad with olive oil and vinegar and season with salt.

Serve with crusty bread. Happy summer everyone!

 


This week we’ve got for you a very traditional Greek recipe. Arakas (which means “peas” in the Greek language), is a dish most Greek households make regularly. As with most Greek vegetarian dishes, it entails slowly cooking vegetables, in olive oil and water, adding herbs and lemon or tomato. There are of course as many recipes for this, as nearly each household has its own. But this one we are making for you today is special.

It is my mother’s. We always love sharing our family’s recipes with you. Remember Mrs Kalliopi’s magic dough? Yum! Katerina, my loving mother, always manages to cook dishes that are airy, soft, comforting. For these classic Greek dishes, she uses a few simple ingredients. She never uses high heat and takes her time in stewing the vegetables, stirring every so often and then sitting in our kitchen, by the pot. It is as if the food needs constant care. And indeed it does. She is a wonderful cook, you see.

Her recipe for Arakas is one of my favourite ones, one that we always make in spring. So last week, when I visited her, we made it together, so that we can share it with you.

Serves 2

350g fresh peas
4 spring onions (only the white part and a little bit of the green)
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice, plus more for serving
1 small bunch of dill
salt, pepper (to taste)

Place the olive oil and spring onions in a medium-sized pot and gently fry over medium heat. Once the onion is soft, add the peas and season with salt and pepper. Stir well, so that your peas are coated in the olive oil.

Add 2 cups of water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to medium and let the peas simmer, covered for 25min. Taste, add the dill, lemon and more water if needed. Cook for another 15min, or until the peas are soft and the water has reduced into a sauce.

Serve with more lemon juice and dill.


This week we’ve got a very aromatic spring recipe for you. We are using one of the most seasonal ingredients, rhubarb. The first time I tasted rhubarb was poached, with cinnamon and loads of sugar. I didn’t think much of it. The second time I tasted it, it was raw, thinly sliced, and with a little bit of sugar, just to take the sourness off. It was an intense experience. It tasted like snails in grass. It was fascinating. Indeed, rhubarb is quite unique and stirs up passionate reactions. There are those who love it and those who hate it. We belong in the second category.

The recipe we’ve prepared is quite unique too. We are not using any sugar to sweeten our rhubarb. Just grape molasses and Corinth raisins. What are we making? The most interesting chutney-like creation. It lays somewhere between jam and chutney. You can have it with bread and butter, but also with cheese and oily fish. You can taste the sweetness of the raisins, the depth in flavour of the grape molasses, the fruity rhubarb notes and there is still a hint of sourness still remaining. And, like last year’s poached pears, we’ve paired these three ingredients with fragrant spices, just to give you a slightly more complex creation.

Makes 2 jars

500g rhubarb
100g Corinth raisins
170g grape molasses
300ml water
¼ tsp cinnamon
10 cardamom pods
¼ tsp ground cloves
5 black peppercorns

Cut the rhubarb in 5cm pieces. Place the rhubarb in a pot, along with the raisins, grape molasses, water and spices. The liquid should just cover the rhubarb. Bring to the boil and then immediately lower the heat. Let it simmer, uncovered, for 30-40 min, stirring occasionally or until the rhubarb has soften, the raisins have soak up the juices and all the flavours have blended together.

Keep in jars in the fridge and serve on toast, with graviera or manouri cheese and oily fish.


Spring is the time of the year with unpredictable weather. As we are all waiting for the warm sunny days, we often wake up to gloomy mornings. Like today for example.

During those cold mornings there is only one thing that brings us comfort: Porridge! You remember our delicious banana and cinnamon olive oil porridge, right?

This time we’ve decided to make it a bit differently. We will bake it in the oven with olive oil, and sweeten it with our Corinth raisins, grape molasses and wild flower honey.

With this recipe we are saying goodbye to the last apples of the season and welcome spring, with its lovely fruit and warm, long days! And of course, we will add some walnuts, our product of the month! Walnuts and apples are best friends after all.

And for those of you who are kinda crazy for porridge like me, this dish makes for a wonderful dessert, with some Greek yogurt or, dare I say, ice cream on top.

So let’s create our perfect morning breakfast and get ready for more spring breakfasts ahead!

Serves 4

1 cup oats
2 apples
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch of salt
50g walnuts
30g Corinth raisins
2 tbsp grape molasses
2 tbsp wild flower honey
6 tbsp olive oil
1 cup milk
1 cup water

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Cut the apples in thin slices.

In a large bowl, whisk together the grape molasses, honey, olive oil, milk and water until well combined. Add the cinnamon and salt.

Add the apples, oats, raisins and walnuts in your bowl and stir with a wooden spoon.

Place the porridge mixture in a baking tray and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes covered. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the porridge is cooked and golden.


Greek Easter is here! It is one of our favourite holidays of the year. Following 40 days of Lent, tomorrow is Easter Sunday, and we are very much looking forward to sitting around the festive table with friends and family.

Every year, we paint red eggs, bake the traditional tsoureki, have lamb and salads with spring greens and, of course, tzatziki! Remember our pink tzatziki from last year? This week we’re making the classic version for you.

As you surely know, this dip can be enjoyed all year round. It is quite refreshing and goes very well with the Easter lamb. But also it makes for a wonderful addition to vegetarian dishes, sandwiches and salads.

So join us, for a celebration of Greek Easter by making the classic tzatziki recipe tomorrow! And a couple of tips: Make sure to use thick Greek yogurt and to squeeze your cucumber, so that you end up with a thick, creamy tzatziki.

500g Greek yogurt
1 large cucumber
1 small bunch of dill
1 clove of garlic
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
salt, to taste
dill, olive oil (to serve)

Grate the cucumber. Squeeze it to remove excess liquid. Finely chop the dill. Mince the garlic with salt. Mix everything together and add the vinegar. Serve with more dill and olive oil.

 

Happy Greek Easter everyone!!

 


Next week is the final week of Lent for us Greeks. As we are all looking forward to the Greek Easter next week, this week, traditionally, we prepare simple recipes that do not contain any animal produce.

But simple doesn’t mean not tasty. And it also doesn’t mean that these recipes can’t be enjoyed throughout the year. Indeed, in the Greek food culture, many of these recipes have become part of the daily diets of people. To learn more about the way us Greeks approach Vegan foods, join our upcoming Cooking Workshop! Our talented Lida is going to be talking about all these foods and has prepared a delicious menu for us. So come along, we have very few spaces left!

This week we’ve prepared something that you can enjoy as a dip or starter -a wonderful addition to your Easter table! But, between you and me, this also makes for a wonderful light dinner, with the addition of some crusty bread. It is spring after all, a cold dinner is sometimes appropriate.

Serves 6 as a starter

150g small white beans
5 sun-dried tomatoes (approx. 25g)
100g roasted red peppers
3 tbsp olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp chilli vinegar
chilli flakes, lemon wedges, chilli vinegar, olive oil (to serve)

The night before, soak your beans in plenty of water. The morning after, boil them until tender. Set aside and let cool, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking liquid.
In a food processor, place the beans, sun-dried tomatoes, red peppers, olive oil, lemon zest and chilli vinegar. Blend until a smooth paste forms. If you prefer, add some of the cooking liquid, to make the paste smoother.

Serve with chilli flakes, lemon wedges, and more vinegar and olive oil. And of course, pita bread or crusty bread!

Happy Easter everyone!


This week is one of our favourites of the year! Why, you ask. This week we are receiving our new olive oil! We are very excited and soon you will get the chance to stock up on your favourite ones.

We usually use our 22 olive oil in our recipes. This mid harvest olive oil is made from semi ripe olives. It has a mellow quality and a silky smooth texture that adds depth and flavour to all of our culinary preparations.

But for this week’s recipe, we’ve prepared a dressing using our lemongrass and tarragon olive oil.

This awarded olive oil is made from semi ripe olives crushed with fresh lemongrass and tarragon. We’ve used it in the past in this wonderful summer salad. As we received the new batch, an idea came to mind. This olive oil pairs perfectly with our sweet balsamic chilli vinegar. Our organic vinegar from the Agioritiko red grape variety has a gentle kick from chilli peppers that is the ultimate pair for the very fresh flavour and intense aromas of our lemongrass and tarragon oil.

You can use this dressing in your salads, fish, prawns or green vegetables. We had frozen some Brussels sprouts a few months back and, on a this cold spring week, we’ve decided to combine a winter vegetable with a vibrant dressing. Hint: it’s great with asparagus that are now in season!

Serves 2 side salads

1 fat clove of garlic
1tbsp sweet balsamic chilli vinegar
1 pinch of dried chillies
1tsp wild flower honey
3 tbsp lemongrass and tarragon olive oil
salt and pepper (to taste)

Mince the garlic using salt. In a bowl, whisk the garlic, vinegar, chillies, honey until well mixed. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking constantly until emulsified.

Toss the dressing in warm vegetables, or poor over your favourite dish.

Happy new olive oil season everyone!