This is a very summery dish, that is both filling and very refreshing! It is great served hot, at room temperature, or even cold as a salad. Which, if we are being honest, is one of the things we love most about summer: being able to make simple dishes that you can eat at any temperature according to our mood!

For this dish, we used summer vegetables and orzo. In Greek cuisine, orzo is usually associated with oven-baked tomato-based dishes. It usually accompanies Sunday’s slow cooked meat dishes, but can also be prepared as a dish on its own, as in our vegan version!

As such, in the past we’ve usually prepared it in winter, mixed with black truffle sauce for valentine’s, or oven-baked with saffron, sun-dried tomatoes and galomyzithra cheese.

So we were very excited to try it in a summer recipe! We used peas and courgettes, and our very summery 17C olive oil! A perfect dish for al fresco dining. Needless to say that a bottle of crisp white wine would be the ideal pairing.

Serves 4 for lunch

3 tbsp olive oil
4 fat cloves of garlic
1 cup peas (approx. 150g)
2 medium-sized courgettes, with blossoms if you can find (approx. 300g)
250g orzo
2tbsp 17C olive oil
80g graviera cheese, grated (you can find our graviera cheese in our Greek cheese selection)

Finely slice the courgettes and blossoms. Set aside the blossoms.

In a large frying pan and over medium-low heat gently fry the garlic in the olive oil until transluscent.
Add the peas and courgettes and gently fry for another 7minutes, until everything is covered in the oil.

In the meantime, boil orzo in plenty of salted water until al dente, exactly as you do with pasta. Drain and return to the pot, drizzling the lemon oil, while the orzo is still hot. Stir well.

Add your vegetables, garlic and remaining oil from the pan in the orzo. Toss everything together and add the graviera cheese and blossoms. Serve hot or at room temperature.


This week we’ve got a very fresh, summery recipe from Ligia from TheDaringKitchen. Ligia shares our passion for fresh, healthy food – with a Greek twist of course! You can check out many of her recipes here, and of course follow her on instagram. So here it is, words and recipe by Ligia, right below. Enjoy!

Summer is here, which means fresh produce abounds! Make the most of the season’s finest veggies with this summery Greek Kale Salad. It’s filled with briny kalamata olives, juicy tomato, sweet onion, creamy feta, and finished with a simple vinaigrette flavoured with fresh oregano.

The salad is best if it’s left to marinate for a few minutes before serving. This softens up the kale, making it a bit more digestible and flavourful. It also uses two kinds of kale for a bit of flavour and textural variation, but you can always use just one, depending on what’s available near you.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes

Dressing:
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
Cracked black pepper, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste

Salad:
1 bunch curly kale, de-stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 bunch lacinato kale, de-stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 tomato, sliced
½ white onion, sliced
¼ cup Kalamata olives
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
Fresh oregano, minced, for garnish

In a large serving bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, oregano, mustard, oregano, garlic, pepper, and salt.

Add the kale, tomato, and onion. Toss to coat fully in the dressing.

Let the salad sit for at least 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Toss in the olives and feta cheese, just before serving.

Enjoy your salad!


It’s all about tomatoes these days! The market is full of aromatic tomatoes, of various varieties, colours and sizes. In our June newsletter we had a selection of summer recipes with tomatoes for you.

Now. Are you ready for the simplest, yet most fascinating summer recipe ever? This week’s recipe was a spontaneous creation. Which, as most spontaneous creations go, ended up being spectacular.

The inspiration for this recipe was simply a half-full jar of sun-dried tomatoes.We often use sun-dried tomatoes in our recipes, and always keep a jar in the fridge. Our sun-dried tomatoes are organic, and come from a small Greek cooperative in Northern Greece. They are naturally dried in the sun, placed in large wooden trays with sea salt. They are then preserved in a delicious extra virgin olive oil with oregano, pepper, vinegar and bay leaves, which we will use in this recipe!

This is a recipe made with juicy summer tomatoes, but if you want to prepare this tomato sauce in the winter, you can use our tomato passata instead, which is made with fresh tomatoes picked now in the summer!

Makes 1 large jar

½ jar (100g) sun-dried tomatoes and their oil
2 tomatoes, or 400g tomato passata
½ teaspoon dried oregano
salt (to taste)

Cut the tomatoes in large pieces and place in a blender. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and their oil, oregano and salt. Whizz everything together until smooth. Taste and season with more salt if needed.

This makes for a delicious dip, which you can enjoy as is, with some crusty bread. You can also use it as a sauce, in your home-made pizzas, on top of Dakos rusks or bruschettas, add it in your gemista stuffing, and of course enjoy hot or cold with any pasta!

 


As we are slowly getting back to some sort of new normal, this week we have a baking recipe for you. The other day we got some lovely strawberries from the market and made a delicious strawberry compote! And what pairs perfectly with strawberries? Scones of course!

But these are no ordinary scones. They are made with kefir! They have a beautiful texture and a more complex flavour. We also used our beloved Corinth raisins. They come from a small unique variety of grape endemic to the Corinthian region of the Peloponnese. They are small in size, which makes them perfect for baking. And they have this toffee-like flavour that you’ll never forget. So let’s bake these unique scones and get ready for afternoon tea in the park!

Makes 10-12

50g Corinth raisins
250g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 pinch of salt
65g butter
100ml kefir, plus a bit more for baking (You can find our Kefir in our Borough Market shop)
50ml water

In a large bowl, sieve together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
Add the butter and using your fingers, rub the butter and flour mixture together until it looks like breadcrumbs.

Mix the kefir and water together, so that you have a milk-like liquid.

Add the liquids into your bowl and mix using a fork until just about combined. Kneed it just a bit so that your dough comes together, but do not overmix!

Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it’s 4cm thick. Using a round cutter or a glass, cut off rounds of dough.

Place on a baking sheet that you’ve covered with greaseproof paper.

Brush the top of each scone with a bit of kefir. Bake at 200C for around 13 minutes, or until your scones are golden.

Serve with Greek yoghurt and last week’s strawberry compote or with butter and honey!


This week we’re using the first strawberries of the season to make a unique recipe. You must know by now how much we enjoy poaching fruit in grape molasses. Remember our spiced pears from a few years ago? And the spiced rhubarb recipe we made last year? So this year we couldn’t but use one of our favourite fruits: strawberries!

We love using grape molasses, it’s such a unique ingredient. We often use it instead of sugar. It adds depth and a complex sweetness to both sweet or savoury dishes. It is also perfect for dressings, drizzled over porridge and added to your morning coffee. Read more about it here and find more recipes here! And definitely have a go at this delicious grape molasses cake! 

For this recipe, we decided to take it one step further and added a bit of honey in the end, for a slightly sweeter result. Do not expect the sweetness jam has. But do expect mellow strawberries and a warm, complex flavourful liquid. So without further ado, grab some strawberries from the market and join us in our Oliveology kitchen!

Makes 2 jars

600g strawberries
½ cup (150ml) grape molasses
½ cup water
3 tbsp honey

 

Hull the strawberries and cut the large ones in half. Place in a medium-sized saucepan with the grape molasses and your water.

Bring to the boil and then lower the heat and simmer for around 40min, until the liquid is reduced –but is still plenty, and the strawberries are soft and tender.

Remove from the heat and immediately add the honey, stirring well until all is combined.

Place in jars and keep in the fridge. Serve with Greek yoghurt.


Roasted red peppers really are the easiest thing to make. Don’t get us wrong, we love the jarred ones equally. Our organic Florina peppers are cooked over open flame. And this specific variety of Florina peppers is famous for its rich and sweet flavour! But as we now have a bit more time, we decided to go ahead and cook things we don’t ordinary prepare. And this recipe works well with any type of peppers you’ve got.

Roasted red peppers are excellent when stuffed with rice, shrimps, mince meat and of course, feta cheese! Finely chop them and add in sauces, salads, pasta and risotto for a boost of flavour. Blend them with some extra virgin olive oil and make your own dip.

10 large red florina peppers (around 1kg)
3 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar or sweet balsamic chilli vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil

Pierce the red peppers all around with a fork. Make sure you do not skip this step!

Remove the tops and gently tap the peppers so that you remove all seeds as well.

If you have a gas stove, you can roast them directly over the gas flame. Turn them around regularly for 10min or so, depending on how large your peppers are, until there are charred bits all around and the flesh is soft when pierced with a fork.

If you are using a conventional oven, place the pierced peppers in a baking tray and bake at 160C (no fan) for about half an hour, or until tender.

Remove from the gas flame or oven and place in a bowl. Cover with cling film and let the peppers steam a bit, until they are still warm, but cool enough to handle. Using your hands or a small knife, remove the skins and discard.

Place the pepper flesh in a jar, tupperwear or serving platter and add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Keep in the fridge.


This week we’ve got a fascinating recipe for you, which we prepared using the last nettles of the season. We love nettles! A few weeks ago we made a wonderful nettle pesto, so this week we decided to go for something a bit more unusual. In Greece we usually put nettles in pies, but it’s rare that we would ever make something sweet.

But there was Mrs Kalliopi’s delicious olive oil cake recipe, which called for fresh fruit -we had originally made it with graded apples, if you remember? So we thought, why not try with nettles? So there you have it, a bright green olive oil cake with nettles –and a bit of apple. Nettles have a unique flavour, imagine something between spinach, cucumber, a bit grassy, this sort of thing. So now imagine a sweet version of this, and that’s our cake!

As always, make sure to use gloves when handling nettles and to blanch them before using them in cooking.

Makes one small tin

½ cup olive oil
1 large bunch of nettles
1 large green apple
zest from 1 lemon (optional)
1 cup of sugar
1 egg
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
Apple oil (to serve)

Preheat the oven at 180C.

Using gloves, pick the leaves from the nettles and discard the stalks.
In a large pot with boiling water blanch the nettles for 3-5 minutes. Drain and let cool.
Place the nettles in a clean tea towel and squeeze out as much water as you can. Finely chop or (better), blend them into a smooth paste. You should be left with roughly ¾ cups of nettle pulp.

Peel, core and grate the apple. Mix together the apple, nettle pulp and lemon zest if using. Set aside

In a separate bowl sieve together the flour and baking powder and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the sugar and olive oil. Add the egg and whisk again until fully incorporated. Slowly add the flour and mix until incorporated. Add the nettles and apple and stir well with a wooden spoon.

Transfer to a greased and floured baking tin. Bake at 180°C for approximately 25 minutes, or until the cake is golden-brown on top and cooked through. To check, you can insert a knife and see if it comes our clean.

Serve with Greek yoghurt and our fragrant apple oil!


As we were preparing this recipe, we debated a lot on whether bee pollen reminds us more of winter or spring. You see, bee pollen is known as nature’s living superfood, as it is a source of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids and enzymes including iron, protein, Vitamin B1, B2 and B3. So it’s our go-to ingredient during winter, when we feel we need an immunity booster. At the same time, it really reminds us of spring, of flowers blossoming and bees buzzing, as it is collected by honeybees from the forests and flora of Northern Greece.

So we decided to settle the debate, by making a spring granola with bee pollen. Eating this granola for breakfast also feels great for our body during these challenging times. And what goes best with bee pollen? Honey, of course and crunchy, beautiful almonds.

Makes 1 jar

200g oats
100g almonds
pinch of salt
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp orange blossom honey
1 tbsp sesame seeds
3 tbsp bee pollen

Preheat the oven at 150C.
Roughly chop the almonds.

In a large bowl, place the oats and almonds. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey and salt. Pour the liquid mixture over the oats and nuts, and gently toss everything together, until the oats and nuts are all covered with honey and olive oil.

Place the granola on a baking sheet, nicely spread out and bake in the oven for around 20’, tossing regularly. Be careful not to burn it!

Once the granola is golden remove from the oven and let cool. Toss in the sesame and bee pollen. Store in an airtight jar.


This week we’ve got a trick and a recipe for you. The trick is something we have been doing for years, and it came out to be quite handy during those challenging days. We read recently that it is indeed a very popular Greek trick.

Nowadays it is often difficult to maintain our regular shopping habits and visits to the market. One of the things we miss the most is fresh herbs. Enter the trick. What you need to do is get large bunches of herbs, wash and finely chop them (I like to keep the stems separately for stocks). Then, place them in small bags in the freezer – make sure to label them, trust me! These herbs are perfect to use in your cooking, in soups, stews and so forth. Simply add straight from the freezer. It is, of course, not the same things as having fresh herbs around, but it is the next best thing. And if you want to take it to the next level, you can do so with spring onions and leeks, too.

That said, this week we have a recipe using this trick!

So what are we making? We took the well-known falafel recipe technique of blending together raw chickpeas with herbs and spices, and gave it a Greek flavour-twist! So we’ve used a selection of our favourite fresh and dried herbs and, of course, lemon. This flavour combination really reminds us of Greece, ahhh. And because the frozen herbs have a different level of moisture inside, we ended up with very fluffy little balls. Bliss!

Makes around 14 small balls

100g chickpeas
4 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
4 tbsp finely chopped parsley
3 tbsp finely chopped spring onions
1 tsp dried spearmint
1tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt (to taste)
olive oil or other oil for frying
yoghurt and chilli oil (to serve)*

The night before soak your chickpeas. The morning after rinse with fresh water and drain. The chickpeas will have absorbed plenty of water and you should be able to easily cut one in half -but always be careful!

In a food processor add the raw chickpeas, fresh and dried herbs, spring onions, lemon juice and salt. Whizz together, adding a couple of tablespoons of water if needed. There’s no need if you are using herbs straight from the freezer. The texture we are going for is finer that the classic falafel texture. We are aiming for pieces smaller than bulgur wheat. But you do not want to end up with a paste, so blend pausing regularly and checking.

You can then go on and fry the mixture or keep in the fridge until you are ready to do so.

To fry: In a small pot, place plenty of oil. As the oil is heating up, roll small balls the size of a tablespoon. Be careful as the mixture is quite delicate.

When your oil is hot, add a few balls at a time, frying until golden-brown on the outside, around 4 min. Rest in a towel to absorb any excess oil and serve with plenty of yogurt, and chilli oil.

Enjoy!

*You can find delicious Greek yoghurt and chilli oil at our Borough Market shop


One thing we love about veg boxes, is that you never know what you will get. For the last couple of weeks we’ve been getting nettles. Last week we made a spinach pie, adding the nettles for a different twist. This week however, we got two bunches. So we thought, let’s make pesto!

If you are following our recipes, you will know by now how we love making pesto. I don’t know if I’ve written this before, but realising that you can make pesto using anything you’ve got around was life-changing for me. So in the past we’ve made a pistachio pesto, a sun-dried tomato pesto with almonds, and the uber-seasonal wild garlic pesto!

One must be careful when handling nettle, as this lovely green can sting. The way we usually go about with nettle, is blanching it for a few minutes, and then use it in recipes such as pies, or in this pesto here. That way, it will not sting you. But do use gloves beforehand, to separate the leaves.

Makes one jar

2 bunches of nettle
¾ cups olive oil
½ cup raw nuts (we used walnuts, but pistachios are great too! – you can use whatever you have)
2 tsp white wine vinegar or 2 tsp lemon juice (or one of each)
salt (to taste)

Using gloves, separate the nettle leaves and thin stems.
Place in a large pot with boiling water. Blanch for 3-5 minutes. Drain and let cool.
Place the nettles in a clean tea towel and squeeze out all excess water. You should be left with 1 cup of nettle pulp.

In a large frying pan, dry-toast the walnuts and let cool.

Whiz together the nettle, olive oil, walnuts. Season with salt. Add the vinegar or lemon juice (we used a teaspoon of each), and whiz again until smooth. Taste and adjust for salt or acidity.

Serve with pasta, veg or simply crusty bread!