With summer in full swing, this week we have for you a very fresh salad. It is great served cold, but equally delicious at room temperature. We are using bulgur wheat, an ingredient we love, as it turns all salads into filling, nutritious meals. Remember last year’s salad with almonds and prunes? Or the oven-baked bulgur wheat with feta cheese and tomatoes?

And we can’t think of a better way to celebrate summer than with a selection of summer vegetables: Zucchini and green beans are at their best at this time of the year. And so is cucumber. And we loved using them raw in this recipe. Chop them into small pieces and add them to your salad for more crunch and freshness. Plenty of fresh herbs and a simple olive oil and vinegar dressing are all you need. It is summer after all, cooking should be very simple and enjoyable!

You can serve the salad with some yogurt, feta cheese, or roasted summer vegetables like aubergine.

Serves 4 as a main

Salad:
1 small onion
3 tbsp olive oil
100g bulgur wheat
1.5 cups of water
150g zucchini
150g green beans
1 cucumber
1 small bunch of dill
1 small bunch of coriander
1 large bunch of parsley

Dressing:
5 tsbp olive oil
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
salt

Finely chop the onion. Place the onion in the frying pan with the olive oil and over medium-low heat and cook until translucent. Add the bulgur wheat and stir until the bulgur is coated in olive oil. Add the water and cook until all the water is absorbed for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside until cool.

Finely chop all the herbs and place in a large bowl. Chop the zucchini, beans and cucumber in small bite-sized pieces and add them to your bowl. Add the bulgur wheat, season with salt and and mix everything together.

In a separate bowl whisk together the olive oil and vinegar. Dress the salad making sure that everything is coated with the dressing.

Serve immediately with more olive oil.

 


Did you hear the wonderful news about our 17°C olive oil?
Yes, it has been awarded with three stars, the highest accolade in Great Taste 2019!

We are σο excited and proud.

And of course, this week we couldn’t but create a recipe using our awarded olive oil. Cold extracted with fresh lemons, oranges and thyme, it has always been one of our go-to summer staples, perfect with grilled white fish, or drizzled over fresh vegetables. The salad we’ve created for you today uses a classic summer vegetable combination, but adding our 17 olive oil transforms these familiar flavours.

What is it, you may wonder? Tomatoes and corn, of course! We absolutely love cooking with fresh corn on the cob during the summer. Remember our zucchini, corn and feta salad made with our lemongrass and tarragon olive oil from last summer?

So go on, give it a try, cooking with fresh produce when in season is the most wonderful thing to do! And if you make any of our recipes do take a pic or two. We have an exciting competition coming up, more info soon to follow!

Serves 6
900g grape tomatoes
2 pieces of corn on the cob
1 large red onion

4 tbsp 17°C olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
a few pinches of dried thyme
salt

fresh herbs such as parsley (to serve)
lemon and orange wedges (to serve)

Following the same instructions as last year, place the corn in a large pot of salted water. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to medium and cook until the kernels are tender, around 20 minutes. Remove and let cool. Once the corn is cool enough to handle, remove the kernels. To do so, place your corn vertically against your chopping board. Running the knife parallel to the corn, remove all kernels. They should fall on your board. Collect and place in a large bowl.

Cut your tomatoes in half lengthwise. Place in the bowl. Finely slice the onion. Toss everything together. Season with thyme and salt. Drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar and mix well.

Serve with lemon and orange wedges and fresh herbs.

 

 


Today we are extremely proud and excited to share with you some wonderful news! We are thrilled to announce that this summer of our 10th anniversary, we have received our very first 3-star award in Great Taste 2019! Our favourite 17°C organic extra virgin olive oil has been rated as a 3-star product, the highest accolade in Great Taste 2019. From a record 12,772 entries only 208 products achieved a 3-star award, so as you can imagine this feels like the most beautiful anniversary present!

Our 17°C extra virgin olive oil is a limited production olive oil made from unripe olives, crushed with fresh lemons, oranges and thyme. It is single estate and single variety, made exclusively from Koroneiki olives, in our farm in Sparta, Greece. It is hand-harvested in early December every year, cold extracted and unfiltered.

Awards of the past include the LA International Olive Oil Competition of 2015 and of 2017 (Silver Medals), The Great Taste Awards of 2015 (1-star), and the Olive Japan in 2017 (Silver), gaining the second place in ranking for the Best Flavoured Olive Oils 2017 Worldwide.

We love pairing this olive oil with fresh white fish, roasted colourful vegetables and use it to create wonderful dressings for our summer tomato salads. We will have more recipes on our blog very soon, so watch this space!

And some of the judges’ words:

The epitome of what is possible when a product is made honestly with the highest quality ingredients. Simply superb. The lemon, and orange come through separately, but with symbiosis, to deliver a long silky citrus aftertaste.

The explosion of the individual flavours is really attractive, and yet the oil is piquant but also balanced and smooth, lacking the peppery hit at the end. This oil gives a flavoursome experience…The aromas are clean and a good length on the palate.

This oil has a beautiful golden colour and a smooth, rich buttery texture with clear discernible aromas of lemon and orange rather than any generic citrus. On the palate it’s a delicious, complex oil with the same citrus notes clearly apparent as well as the presence of thyme. There is a pepperiness that is well-balanced and not overpowering, so the other flavours can still be enjoyed. A true flavour journey and a great product that is long on the palate and leaves you wanting more.

And we are even more proud to share that this is not the only awarded produce!

Two of our olives received a two-star award! Our Kalamata Olives with Herbs and our Kalamata Olives with Lemon and Herbs received two stars each.

The judges’ words for the Kalamata Olives with Herbs:

Good shiny appearance and a pleasing aroma of herbs…The vinegar used with its addition of herbs adds fragrance and acidity, offsetting the olives’ richness…Beautiful soft texture with a pleasing meaty natural texture and flavour complemented by notes of herbs. A delight!

And for the Kalamata Olives with Lemon and Herbs:

…appealing to look at, uniform in size and a nice colour. We liked the zesty aroma in the oil. …they have an enjoyable texture and a juiciness and bite. We loved the zesty lemon flavour, the aromatic herbs and notes of honey blossom.  The kalamata olives here are tender, plump, and delicious, and worth an an award in their own right. The olive oil in which they sit, is simply delicious, and delivers a really authentic citrus edge. Overall a quite wonderful flavour combination. 

Have a look at exciting recipes with olives all around our blog.

And last, but definitely not least, our Orange Blossom Honey was also awarded with one star! Read a few of the judges’ own words below and find exciting recipes with honey here.

A beautiful texture, golden colour and a very elegant floral aroma of the orange blossom. The texture was smooth and melted in the mouth nicely. The flavour was rather beautiful, with lovely balance – plenty of the orange blossom flavour comes through, and there is a rich sweetness making for a very rounded and delicious honey.  

We promise to continue to offer you unique foods of exquisite taste, crafted with respect for the land and the people.

 


Halloumi is in store! A few weeks ago, we received our amazing halloumi from Cyprus, made purely from goats’ milk. For some reason, I have associated halloumi with summer. I am not sure why, it is equally tasty during winter: grated into pies, placed on top of winter vegetables and roasted in the oven, or as part of our winter salads. But this season somehow makes me crave it even more.

When thinking what to pair it with, my mind went back to summers past. A few summers ago, I worked for a brilliant Greek chef called Chrysanthos Karamolegos. He is a larger-than-life man, full of creativity and love for Greek cuisine. A cosmopolitan creature, he always takes unusual ingredients and puts them together, resulting in the most amazing flavour combinations. The recipe we have today for you is from my memories of his flavours, of my time with him, memories of life-changing culinary experiences that made life sparkle, bite after bite.

So if during summer, like me, you sometimes lose yourself in the slower pace of life, in the heat, or in the holidays away from home, this recipe is to remind us that there is always a bite of food that can let the light in.

Serves two as main
250g halloumi cheese
500g very cold cold melon
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp honey
3 tsp white vinegar
1 red chilli
a few fresh basil leaves

Cut the melon into bite-sized pieces. In a bowl, mix together the remaining olive oil, honey and vinegar. Finely chop the chilli and basil leaves. Add to your dressing. Toss together the melon and dressing and place on a plate. Slice the halloumi into thick slices and grill in a frying pan or griddle, using 1 tsbp of olive oil. Place the grilled halloumi on top of your melon and serve immediately. Enjoy!

 

 


Exactly this day today, 10 years ago, Marianna, our owner, started Oliveology. What was initially a dream, to be able to cook with Greek ingredients that feel like home, slowly became part of our lives.

Marianna spent a year travelling around Greece, meeting producers, thinking of everything that would make this dream come true. From designing the lovely labels that make our food stand out, to spending nights over spreadsheets with orders, to cooking and tasting all those ingredients that would slowly arrive in London from all over Greece.

Soon after, Marianna was offered a stall at the prestigious Borough Market. With the help and support of her loved ones, family, friends and collaborators, both in London and in Greece, Oliveology had begun.

Weekdays, weekends and holidays were spent at Borough Market, with vibrant Thalia, Marianna’s friend helping out from day one. Ben, Marianna’s partner in life has always been there, be it in his beekeeping suit with a honey jar in hand, or on the Oliveology cargo bicycle.

From our stall, Oliveology invited all of you to taste the exquisite – and now awarded- olive oil and olives that Sakellaropoulos farm has been sending us every year since. A long-standing collaboration and friendship, based on mutual love and respect for the land and its foods. Olives were also placed in large bowls, for everyone to taste. Honey and nuts were offered. Soon, more produce followed.

Our website became an online home of all these ingredients, and thanks to our supporting team from Greece, it grew more and more. It now has a glossary that educates us all and this blog with delicious vegetarian recipes.

Years passed, and in 2016 the small stall became a shop, the first and only offering Greek produce at Borough Market. We couldn’t be more grateful for their support during all those years and more proud for our produce. We hope they feel proud of us too.

As we were looking at the photos from years past, all of us at Oliveology got a bit emotional. For some of us, this was our first job in the big and sometimes scary city that London is. For some of us, it was the first time we worked around something we were passionate about. For some of us, this was the first time we felt like home at work and made real friends.

And we couldn’t have done all of this without the love and support of all from you. Thank you.

Thank you for coming to our shop at Borough Market, for visiting our Railway arch/warehouse in Bermondsey, for tasting our ingredients and cooking our recipes. Thank you for signing up for our cooking workshops and wine tastings, for coming by just to say hi.

Mostly, thank you for making our dream come true.

Happy 10th Anniversary!!


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!

 


Youthful and fruity, the well-structured 2017 Sant’ Or Krasis presents a classic Bordeaux style with unique Greek grape varieties. I am deeply surprised that a red wine with the vintage of 2017 has already developed to that extent.

Produced in Santameri, Greece, this wine is made from the local grape variety Mavrodaphne, a grape that was mostly often used in producing sweet or fortified wines. Nowadays, however, modern winemaking philosophies and approaches have contributed to the reinvention of oak-matured Mavrodaphne, as is the case of this wine.

The town of Santameri sits in the mountainous area in north-west Peloponnese Peninsula. Generally, wine lovers may be more familiar with the other two famous Denomination of Origin appellations in the peninsula: Nemea and Martina, both situating in the eastern side and enjoying a slightly more ‘continental’ climate for viticulture. Santameri, in contrast, is located in the Patras region where the climate is definitely more ‘Mediterranean’. This means that the long and dry summers with short and rainy winters have created warm climate conditions with relatively small temperature variations, ideal for the Mavrodaphne grapes to grow and ripe. As a result, the wine usually displays distinctive aromas of ripe dark fruits.

The wax seal of the bottle may add extra points to attract your attention. Just in case you are not sure how to open a wax-sealed bottle, here is a tip: Pretend the wax does not exist and use the corkscrew as usual. But make sure to spend a few seconds clearing the wax pieces around the very top bit of the bottle before you pull the cork out, so as to avoid small pieces falling in the wine as the cork is coming out.

At first glance, you may easily find out that this is a very youthful wine, for it has a clear and bright deep purple colour with blue-ish hints in the purple rim. The viscosity is high. On the nose, it exhibits clean and intense aromas of ripe fruits such as black cherry and black plum. Following these initial aromas, the wine also has noticeable traces of oak barrel: toast, cocoa, toffee and tobacco. Gently swirling the glass, the wine also releases notes of wood, cedar box and a very small amount of hay. This suggests that the wine is in a developing stage, in spite of the youthful colour it shows. On the palate, this wine is dry, with high acidity, smooth firm tannins, medium alcohol level and a medium body. The finish is long. The intense flavours it brings include ripe black cherry, cigar, wood, toast, cocoa, and dark chocolate. It is slightly savoury, and shows characteristics of a developing wine. Combining with the outstanding flavours of a cigar box this wine reminds me of a typical red Bordeaux, and also surprises me for the range of flavours it has, considering that it is a 2017 vintage.

This wine is ready to drink, but may benefit from another 1 or 2 years of bottle maturation. It is best served at 18 – 20°C, in a large tulip shape glass. For such a youthful wine with firm tannins, I suggest to decant it for at least 10 minutes. This wine is suitable to drink on its own, but also will be fantastic to pair with grilled red meat, game dishes, and tomato-based sauces, for example with pasta.

 

By Celine