Last Saturday we hosted our vegetarian Christmas feast! Our very own Marianna, along with our resident chef Lida Papamatthaiaki organised a wonderful cooking workshop.

We spent 3 whole hours making delicious food, learning about Oliveology’s ingredients and new cooking techniques. At the end, we all sat around the table, shared all the food we made and was surprised by Oliveology’s Christmas crackers – what a treat!

Our lovely Lida will be hosting more cooking workshops, so watch this space! And don’t forget to make your booking for our Healthier Living Workshop this March with our guest chef Margot Carone. Can’t think of a better Christmas gift!

Our favourite recipe was the stuffed kabocha squashes with mushrooms, spinach & truffle oil. Absolutely delicious and the vegetarian main you are looking for to please your guests. This recipe includes double cream and kefalotyri cheese, but for our vegan dining companions you can simply omit it. Here’s Lida’s amazing recipe.

Serves: 8
Preparation time: 1 hour ~ Total cooking time: 2 hours 45min

Ingredients
2 butternut squashes
2 kabocha squashes
10 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sweet paprika (to taste)
Chilli flakes (to taste, optional)
Salt, pepper (to taste)

-Mushroom and spinach filling:
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
450g mushrooms (ideally a mix of shiitake, portobello and chanterelle)
60 ml white wine vinegar
250g fresh baby spinach leaves
1 small batch of spring onions
Salt, pepper (to taste)

140ml double cream
220g kefalotyri cheese, grated
100g breadcrumbs
white truffle oil (to taste)

Preparation method
-Preheat the oven to 180C.

-Cut the butternut squash in large cubes and place in a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Season the squash with salt, pepper, paprika and chilli flakes and drizzle with half of the olive oil.

-Cut a small slice off the base of each kabocha squash so it will stand up on a baking tray without wobbling. Carefully slice a “lid” off the top of each one too and set aside. Now, with a small, sharp knife, cut into the centre of each squash, then use a teaspoon to scoop out all the seeds and fibres. Drizzle and rub with olive oil the flesh of the squash and season with salt and pepper. Place in a separate baking tray lined with parchment paper.

-Place both trays in the oven and roast the whole kabocha and the diced butternut squash for 45 minutes. Once their flesh is soft, remove from the oven. Set the whole kabocha aside to be stuffed later. Peel and using a fork or potato masher, mash the squash.

-Prepare the filling: Sautee the mushrooms in half of the olive oil, until moisture has evaporated and mushrooms are well browned, about 3 minutes. Add vinegar and stir to combine. Remove from the fire and set aside. Using the same pan, add the spinach and spring onions and cook until slightly wilted and softened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and 40ml of the cream. Add the spinach mixture to mushrooms.

-In a separate bowl, mix the kefalotyri cheese with the rest of the cream.

-Layer the stuffing in each of the kabochas in this order, starting from the bottom-up: butternut squash, kefalotyri cheese and cream, mushroom-spinach mixture, kefalotyri and cream. Gently press mixture down with your hands and repeat layering process with remaining half of stuffing ingredients. Add a generous splash of truffle oil. Finish off with breadcrumbs.

-Place the stuffed kabochas on a baking sheet, without their tops. Roast until the top layer of cheese has melted and the breadcrumbs are lightly browned. Kabochas should be tender and easily pierced by a paring knife, 30-45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before serving with the tops.

 

 


This is a very easy and quick recipe, made with ingredients you have in your cupboard. It is perfect for when you don’t have much time, but makes for a very exciting meal!

For this recipe we’ve used a combination of our capers, kalamata olives with lemon and herbs and sun-dried tomatoes, but you can adjust it of course, using whatever you have available.

When it comes to pasta, we’ve selected our trichromo organic penne. Trichromo means having three colours, which is exactly what this pasta is. It comes from a small producer in Grevena, in the northern part of Greece. It is made with organic durum wheat semolina. The red pepper from Florina region in northern Greece gives this penne its red colour and peppery taste. Organic spinach turns it green and vibrant. Similar to fresh pasta, penne trichromo cooks in a few minutes! We told you it is a quick and easy recipe!

 

Serves four
200g penne trichromo
2tbsp olive oil plus more to serve
30g capers
75g kalamata olives with lemon and herbs
30g sun-dried tomatoes
a small bunch of fresh parsley

Boil the pasta for 5-8 min, or until al dente. Drain and place it in a large bowl. Drizzle the olive oil and stir. Add the capers, olives and sun dried tomatoes, fresh parsley and toss until well mixed.

Serve hot or at room temperature, drizzling some more olive oil.


This week we’ve prepared a classic Greek dish for you. Oven baked gigantes beans is one of the most iconic Greek dishes. With a bit of crusty bread and feta cheese, it makes for an excellent, filling meal.

Of course, this recipe is not the classic one, but has a few interesting new twists. We’ve added a bit of grape molasses to add some sweetness and depth to the tomatoes. And what we are very excited about, we are serving it with our extra virgin olive oil & oregano essential oil!

This is a product that combines the unique health benefits of our Greek oregano organic essential oil with a special organic, extra virgin, cold pressed, single variety Greek olive oil. This unique food pairing tastes like the Greek sunshine. And it is perfect to enjoy with this classic Greek dish!

 

Serves four

5 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp grape molasses
1 tsp dried oregano
200g giant beans, soaked overnight and boiled in plenty of water
1 bottle of tomato passata
salt
extra virgin olive oil & oregano essential oil (to serve)

Preheat your oven at 180C.

Finely slice the red onions and garlic. In a frying pan and over medium heat place the olive oil, onions and garlic. Cook until caramelised, for around 10-15 minutes, adding the grape molasses half way through.

Once caramelised, placed the onions, garlic and all the juices from the frying pan in an casserole. Add the beans, tomato passata, salt, dried oregano and 200ml of water. Bake covered for 20 min. Uncover and bake for another 20min, until the liquid has evaporated and you are left with a mellow bean stew.

Serve with plenty of extra virgin olive oil & oregano essential oil!


As the weather is getting colder and colder, we like adding colours to our dishes. Somehow eating colourful foods makes us feel warmer inside.

This week’s potato salad takes inspiration from the lemon-yogurt dressing we made a few weeks ago. In search of lovely ingredients to pair it with, we came up with this colourful dish.

You need to do a bit of chopping, but we find that the preparation of this potato salad is quite relaxing, as there is no ‘right’ way to chop your ingredients. And if you are like us and always looking for new, interesting ways to make food and get culinary inspiration, we have two wonderful cooking workshops coming up at the end of November and in December. Have a look at our website and book, spaces are filling up fast!

This potato salad is perfect for lunch, as it can be enjoyed at room temperature and makes for a lovely dinner, especially served warm.

Serves 6

1kg potatoes
2 small bunches spring onions
1 handfull of celery leaves
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 cup cooked corn
1 small bunch of dill
50g capers
1 cup lemon-yogurt dressing

Peel the potatoes. In a large bowl with salted water boil the potatoes until tender but not mushy.

In the meantime prepare the rest of your ingredients.

Finely chop the spring onions. Place them in a large bowl (large enough to fit the potatoes afterwards). Cut the peppers in small cubes, strips or whichever shape you like. Add them in your bowl, along with the corn. Finely chop the dill and set aside.

When the potatoes are cooked and cool enough to handle, cut them in large bite-sized pieces. In your bowl, toss together the potatoes, vegetables, capers, dill, and lemon-yogurt dressing.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

 


This week we’ve used our product of the month, our lovely pistachios to make a unique recipe! It brings to mind our green pistachio pesto from last year. But with a few twists of course. For this recipe we have used our raw and unsalted pistachio kernels, but you can use the roasted and slightly salted ones if you wish, to add a bit more depth to this recipe. Greek pistachios are renowned for their wonderful flavour, their beautiful pink exteriors and vibrant green kernels. Fantastic for desserts and a wonderful addition to your breakfast or snack recipes. You can read more about our pistachios. And did you know, our roasted and slightly salted pistachios received a great taste award this year! Same with our 22 olive oil! Have a look at our other awarded products!

This recipe is inspired by Bon Appetite magazine. This is a delicious nutty and garlicky dip to savour with crunchy raw vegetables. Alternatively, spread it on bread for a quick bruschetta or light lunch. And of course, you can mix it in your pasta or warm potatoes for an easy dinner! Can’t think of anything better for those cold winter evenings ahead of us.

For 1 medium-sized jar you will need

100g spring onions
2 fresh green chillies
13 cloves of garlic
100g pistachios
juice of ½ lime plus more to serve
½ cup of olive oil plus ¼ cup of olive oil
salt

Preheat the oven at 200C and set on grill.
Roughly chop your spring onions. Peel the garlic.
Scatter the spring onions and garlic in a baking tray in the oven for about 5min until charred. Let cool.

In a mixer, or using a mortar and pestle blend together the pistachios, spring onions and garlic and half a cup of olive oil. Blend adding the rest of the oil. Season with salt and add the lime juice. Taste and serve with more salt and lime if needed.


Happy Apple Day everyone! Every year we are really looking forward to this day. Even though we are well into autumn, somehow this day feels like the beginning of a more wintery autumn, if that makes any sense. The market is now full of our favourite butternut squash, loads of mushrooms, and of course apples, so many different apples! Our shop is open today, so come by. Next best thing you can do this Sunday other than apple picking!

Every year we are amazed at the variety of colours, flavours and different textures of the apples that we find at the market. For our recipe today we have selected three different varieties. Join us, ‘tis the season to do so! Every year on apple day we are longing for something sweet. Remember our olive oil apple cake from last year? This year we went for something sweet again. And we used olive oil again. Only this time we put our apple oil into the game! This is by far my favourite of all the olive oils that we have at Oliveology. Without getting too carried away, just imagine: semi-ripe olives, apples, honey, sage, lemon, walnuts, cinnamon, all crushed together. Exquisite is an understatement.

But let’s get on to our recipe, an apple tarte tatin with grape molasses instead of sugar!

6 apples (approx. 800g) – we used royal gala, granny smith and sunburst
50g salted butter
50g Corinth raisins
50g walnuts
100ml grape molasses
25ml apple oil, plus more to serve
1 tsp mixed spices (we used a combination of cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, cloves, ginger, nutmeg)
1 sheet puff pastry (approx. 320g)
Greek yogurt (to serve)

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Cut the apples in half and then each half in 4 wedges, removing the cores and seeds. In a heavy bottomed frying pan and over medium heat melt the butter and add the apples. Stir gently and add the spices, walnuts and raisins. Let the apples, raisins and nuts cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring every so often. Apples should be slightly tender and coated with butter and spices. Add the grape molasses and stir for 2 more minutes.

Use the apple oil to oil a baking tray. Arrange your apples very tightly in rows or whichever shape you prefer, making sure the apples are spread out and don’t overlap. Scatter the raisins and walnuts and all the juices from the pan. Cover with the sheet of puff pastry and tuck in the ends. With a fork pierce the puff pastry to a few places, to allow steam to escape.

Bake for 20-25min, or until the puff pastry is golden. Remove from the oven and let it cool a bit. Place a serving platter on top of your tray and with one swift move, invert your tart onto the serving platter.

Serve with a dollop of yogurt and drizzle some more apple oil. Hint: this tart is actually quite good eaten at room temperature the next morning.


This week we are feeling very autumn-y. The weather here in London? Not so much yet. It is sunny and smells like spring. But as we really love autumn, this week we’ve prepared a recipe that will make you feel warm and cozy inside. And it also goes with the lovely weather.

What could we be making that feels both like spring and autumn? Wholemeal pasta with roasted butternut squash! What’s very interesting about this recipe is that this dish is equally enjoyable served both hot or at room temperature. So you can enjoy it on a sunny day too!

When we cook, we always love trying out new types of pasta. Remember our zea penne pasta salad?  What about our zea spaghetti with asparagus?  This week we are trying our new wholemeal spaghetti. It is nutty, cooks in no time and somehow makes us feel healthier. And we’ve paired the butternut squash with our smoked paprika and smoked salt! Yum!

 

Serves 4

1 medium squash, approx. 750g
3 tbsp olive oil
1tsp smoked paprika
smoked salt
a few pinches of cinnamon
a few pinches of grated nutmeg
1 large chilli, finely chopped

320g wholewheat pasta

To serve
4 tbsp olive oil
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 lime
salt (to taste)

Prehear your oven at 180C

Wash and cut the squash in large, bite-sized pieces. You can peel it if you want, but we prefer not to.

Place the squash in a large baking tray, along with the olive oil, smoked paprika, smoked salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, chilli. Mix everything together so that each piece of squash is nicely coated with olive oil and spices.

Bake at 180C for 40min, stirring the pieces half way through. Squash should be tender and slightly crispy on the edges.

In the meantime boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water for 5-10min, until al dente. Drain and place in a large bowl with 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Stir well and add the cooked squash, chilli. Taste and season with salt if needed. Serve with lime wedges and squeeze some lime on top of the pasta before eating.


This week we’re all into cooking. And we are getting ready for our cooking workshops this autumn! The first one is just for kids, at the end of October with the wonderful Amaryllis who makes cooking a fascinating experience for the little ones. And then there is our November one, for adults, with Lia who brings together her Welsh life and Greek heritage. We’ve also started planning our December one, full of Christmas recipes with a special guest chef-details soon to follow.

So yes, we do love cooking this week. And we’ve prepared a vibrant dressing for you. Dressings are our favourite things. They can turn any ingredient or dish into something you look forward to savouring. This one is made with yogurt! You see, we wanted to get a bit away from the vinaigrettes and create something creamy and comforting. Its secret ingredient is our smoked paprika! You can use this dressing in green salads, pour over roasted vegetables or make a delicious potato salad.

This quantity is enough for 6 side salads. You will need:

150g yogurt
1 tbsp mustard
5 tbsp olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp smoked paprika
3 tbsp water

In a bowl mix the yogurt and mustard. Add the lemon zest, juice and smoked paprika and mix well. Add the olive oil and stir, adding the water one tablespoon at a time so that you have the texture you want. If you want the dressing to be more runny then add a bit more water, one tablespoon at a time.


With autumn in its full swing, this week we’ve got something to warm you up and sweeten your mood. Our inspiration came from our succulent figs, one of our products of the month.

These wonderful figs are carefully selected and hand picked. Then they are dried naturally under the Greek sun, with no additives or preservatives. The figs are harvested from the fertile Messinia region in the Peloponnese, which we love.

Searching for recipe ideas with dried figs we decided to go for something we haven’t tried before. A compote. The idea came from our vegan stuffing recipe with raisins. While cooking up the recipe, the raisins soaked up all the juices and got rehydrated. What would happen to our figs in a similar situation? Let’s see, shall we?

For this recipe here we did not use any sugar. Just a combination of spices and fig molasses! It is dried figs that we want to liven up, what better pairing than fig molasses? In full disclosure, we had some leftover from our summer granola and dressing recipe. And there’s nothing more this writer loves most than no-waste cooking. And speaking of no-waste cooking have a look at our cooking class this November. We will learn a lot about no-waste there too!

For 1 jar you will need

300ml water
2tbsp fig molasses
250g figs
1/4tsp cardamom
1 cinnamon stick
25g sesame
Greek yogurt (to serve)

Place all your ingredients in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. As soon as bubbles start to form, turn down the heat and cook on low for 30-40min, until the figs are tender and the liquid has caramelized.

Fig compote is great served warm, as is or over Greek yogurt.


Autumn is here! Usually at this time of year many of us are struggling to leave summer behind. All of us at Oliveology found that the best way to change seasons is to make foods that will make us excited about what’s ahead.

This week we are using the last grapes that we find at the market and some lovely pears that are now beginning to come. If you prefer you can use just grapes or just pears. Or create your own flavour combinations!

But we are not making a sweet tart. We are pairing sweet fruit with our organic feta cheese. And some Greek yogurt! Remember our leftovers tart from a few months back? Or our colourful squash tart from last year?  This lays somewhere in between!

We’ve also added some walnuts. Some fragrant thyme honey and our 21 walnut oil drizzled on top takes this tart into a whole other level. It is perfect with a green salad as a main, or you can cut it into small pieces and serve it at a buffet.

Feeds 4 as main

1 sheet puff pastry (approx. 300g)
150g yogurt
100g feta cheese, grated
2 small pears
150g grapes
25g walnuts
a few springs of fresh thyme
wild thyme honey (to serve)
21 walnut oil (to serve)

Preheat your oven to 180C.

Roll out your puff pastry and place it on a baking sheet. You can use greaseproof paper, or make sure to oil the baking sheet so that your tart doesn’t stick to the bottom.
Using a fork, pierce the puff pastry across all of its surface. Put the puff pastry in the oven and bake for 5 min, until light golden. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Leave the oven on.

In the meantime, finely slice your pears, removing any seeds. Slice each grape in half. Chop your walnuts. Pick the leaves from the thyme and discard the stalks.

Spread your yogurt on top of the puff pastry, so that it covers its entire surface. Sprinkle the grated feta cheese. Make sure it goes everywhere. Place your pears and grapes on top. Sprinkle the walnuts and dried thyme.

Place the tart back in the oven and bake for 20-25min or until the cheese has melted and the fruit is soft. Your puff pastry should be dark gold. Remove from the oven. You can serve warm, but it’s equally good at room temperature.

Before serving drizzle some thyme honey and the walnut oil.