If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you must know that we absolutely love chickpeas. It’s true that chickpeas  take a while to cook. But as many of us are now working from home, a chickpea stew is perhaps the ideal dish to prepare. All you need to do is soak the chickpeas overnight, and in the morning, prep your vegetables and put everything in a nice casserole in the oven. Comes dinnertime and you’ve got yourself the most comforting stew. Plus, the entire house warms up and smells like food during the day, which if you ask me, is the best environment to work in.

In Greece there is a big debate if chickpeas are better with lemon, like in our traditional revithada, or with tomato, like in this not-very-Greek spiced stew. This week we went for tomato, but we’ve used two secret ingredients, which add depth to this wonderful stew: grape molasses and roasted red peppers! Pure organic grape molasses, known as Petimezi in Greece is made from Agiorgitiko grapes. The aroma of light honey and fresh grapes, and its distinctive caramel tones are unbeatable. As for the roasted red peppers, these are organic Florina peppers, cooked over open flame. They are famous for their rich and sweet flavour, and balance perfectly the mild acidity of tomatoes.

Serves 2 with leftovers, or 4 for lunch

150g chickpeas
1 very large onion
1/2 cup of olive oil, divided
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium carrot
5 colourful peppers
½ jar roasted red peppers
1 bottle tomato passata
1 litre vegetable stock or water
1 tbsp grape molasses
2 bay leaves
salt, pepper, to taste
2 tsp baking soda (optional)

The night before soak your chickpeas.
The morning after preheat your oven at 200C.
Finely slice the onion. Mince the garlic. Finely slice the carrot. Cut the peppers in thick strips. Drain and finely slice the roasted red peppers.
In a medium-sized casserole, and over medium-low heat add ¼ cup of olive oil and gently fry until the onions are translucent and slightly caramelised. Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes.
Drain the chickpeas and add to the pot, along with the carrot, peppers, roasted red peppers, tomato passata, vegetable stock, grape molasses and bay leaves. Add the rest 1/4 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and carefully add the baking soda (if using). Stir well, cover tightly and place in the oven for approx. 2-3 hours, or until the chickpeas are tender.

Serve with plenty of feta cheese!

 


As one of our friends always says “you can never go wrong with a big pot of fava in the fridge”. And he is right. For us Greeks fava is comforting, reminds us of home and somehow a big pot of fava makes us feel a bit safer. Especially during a lockdown in the midst of a pandemic.

Fava is very easy to make, but as it only contains very few ingredients, these need to be of the best possible quality. Our golden yellow split peas come from organic farms in northern Greece and have a very robust flavour! You can read more about fava and the beauty in the simplicity of Greek cooking in our blog post from a few years ago.

We have now started making our own fava dip, in our kitchen in Bermondsey. Made with love and packed with veggies, this dip is now available at Borough Market and Spa Terminus!

This week however, we have digressed from the classic recipes. We took inspiration from our new Ginger, Lime & Basil Olive Oil, and created an exciting dish that reinvents the classic recipe! Fava with ginger, lime and basil!

Serves 4

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
1/2 red onion
1 small carrot
60ml olive oil
2 tbsp ginger, lime and basil olive oil, plus more for serving
200g fava
1tsp dried basil 
3 cups of water
salt, to taste
1 lime, zest and juice (to serve)
1 spring onion, finely chopped (to serve)

Rinse the fava under running water, until the water runs clear. Drain and set aside.

Roughly chop the ginger. Peel and roughly chop the onion and carrot. Place the vegetables, the olive oil and ginger, lime and basil olive oil in a medium-sized pot over high heat.

Immediately add the fava and stir. Add the water, bring to the boil and lower the heat to the lowest setting. Cover and let it simmer until your fava breaks down, around an hour.

It may appear loose, but worry not, it thickens up once it cools down a bit.

You can serve as is, or you can blend it until smooth.

Serve with plenty of ginger, lime and basil olive oil, lime zest and juice and spring onions.


It’s apple season all right and this week we’re making a wonderful breakfast – dessert recipe with, what else, apples!

Have you tried our olive oil and apple cake? Or our apple porridge? How about our grape molasses tart tatin?

As you may know, when it comes to fruit, we prefer recipes that bring out the natural sweetness of fruits. We are very excited about this one, as it’s quite simple to make but the flavours are quite complex. What is it? An apple and dried cherries compote!

The secret lies in the ingredients! We’ve used our favourite dried cherries to complement the apples, fig molasses to add depth to our compote, cinnamon for warmth and our apple oil for some aromatic silkiness.

The result is a comforting apple compote, which will brighten up your mornings. It is perfect served over Greek yoghurt, porridge, or on its own as breakfast. It also makes for a delicious pie filling, or a side to pork-based dishes or a simple steamed rice.

Makes 1 jar

2 large apples (500g)
2 tbsp fig molasses
½ tsp cinnamon
75g dried cherries
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp apple olive oil
a small espresso cup of water (80g)

Remove the core and seeds from the apples. You can peel them if you want, but we prefer not to. Dice the apples. Place them in a medium-sized saucepan with the rest of the ingredients. Stir well.

Turn up the heat and as soon as you see the liquid bubbling, lower the heat. Let your compote cook for around 45-50 minutes, until the apples are soft and mellow.

This recipe is not on the very sweet side, as we’ve used no sugar or honey. If you have a sweet tooth, you can add some towards the end of the cooking.

Serve warm or cold.


In our last newsletter a few days ago, we shared with you our the need to reconnect with our roots, to rediscover the smells and tastes that we grew up with, in hopes that they will bring some comfort during this lockdown.

As we are slowly getting used to being more and more at home, we are making dishes that remind us of happier times. Fides is an ingredient that many of us at Oliveology have associated with our childhood. Traditionally, fides is used to make a very simple soup just with lemon and a bit of olive oil, often given to children.

These very thin strings of fides pasta boil in only a few minutes, and they are the perfect addition to soups. So this week we’ve used to is to make a hearty soup packed with green vegetables! For this one, we gathered lots of green vegetables from the market and served it with one of our favourite flavoured olive oils!

Cold-extracted at 21°C with walnuts, purslane, fennel seeds, rosemary and oregano, our 21°C  olive oil adds depth and warmth to this hearty soup.

Serves 4

4 tbsp olive oil
1 medium-sized leek
3 medium-sized courgettes
1 small head of broccoli
1 medium-sized potato
a few celery leaves
60g fides
salt, pepper, to taste
plenty of 21°C walnut oil, to serve

Prepare your vegetables: Finely slice the leek. Cut the courgettes in small cubes. Pull apart the broccoli florets and finely cut the stems. Peel and cut the potato in small cubes. The idea is that all the vegetables should be roughly the same size, so that they cook evenly. Finely chop the celery leaves.

Prepare your soup: In a medium-large pot add the olive oil and gently fry the leek until translucent. Add the rest of the vegetables and celery leaves and stir, so that everything is coated in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add 6 cups of water. Bring your soup to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and let it simmer, for 50minutes, almost fully-covered. After 50minutes, check that all your vegetables are tender. Add the fides and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately with plenty of walnut oil.


November is here and things seem to be more challenging than ever. We hope that you are all taking good care of yourselves and your loved ones. Times are tough, so remember to breathe and relax.

As we seem to be spending more and more time at home, this week’s recipe is one which we started to make on Sundays, so that we can have something tasty – and healthy- to nibble on, during those dull weekday afternoons, when many of us seem to be lost behind a laptop screen. This is a snack you can enjoy with a warm cup of tea by the window. A small sweet break in your routine, if you wish.

We’ve used what is perhaps one of the best dried fruits we’ve ever brought to you: dried pears. They are picked, sliced and dried without the addition of any sugar or other additives. They have a mellow, fragrant taste and soft texture. You can add them to your stews, salads, morning granola or baking. Or, you can use them to make these delicious, no-bake granola bars! And make sure to snack on some as you are cooking. Trust us, it makes the prep so much sweeter!

Makes 5 (one for each workday of the week)

50g raw almonds
100g dried pears 
150g cup oats
100g honey (we used Arbutus honey)
100g almond butter (see here how to make your own!)
¼ tsp each cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves
pinch of salt

Roughly chop your almonds and your pears. The larger the pieces, the more visible they will be in the bars.

In a large bowl place your oats and mix in the spices and salt. Add the chopped almonds and pears.

In a small pot heat the honey until small bubbles start to form. Remove from the heat. Add the almond butter and slowly whisk until blended together.

Pour the almond-honey mixture over the oats and using a wooden spoon, stir well.

Place in a small baking tray, lined with grease-proof paper. Press down firmly until the entire surface is flat. You can use a glass or the back of a large spoon to do so. Cover and place in the fridge for a few hours until firm.

Remove from the fridge and cut in 5 pieces.


Trahanas is a very unique Greek ingredient and an ideal way to take a culinary journey to Greece. It is a combination of fermented milk and wheat. You can use it to make a comforting thick soup, add it to your stews for some texture or have it instead of porridge in the morning.

We love its slightly tangy flavour and comforting smell. In autumn, we always make cook with trahanas. So this week we’ve decided to combine it with our favourite autumn vegetable: mushrooms! And of course, what is the perfect pairing when it comes to these flavours? Truffles. Yes, this week we are making a luscious trahanas soup, with mushrooms and truffles!

For this, we are using our black truffle flakes  a very unique ingredient. These aromatic flakes of dehydrated black summer truffle (Tuber aestivum) only need to be rehydrate in lukewarm water and add an exquisite depth to your dishes. And to make it even more lush, we’re serving this dish with truffle oil!

Serves 2 as main, 4 as a starter

250g large button mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion
1/2 leek
3 tbsp olive oil
100g sour trahanas
4 cups vegetable stock
1/3 pack truffle flakes plus one cup of water
truffle oil (to serve)

Cut the mushrooms in half or in quarters. In a frying pan add 1 tbsp of olive oil, just to coat the bottom of the pan. Place your mushrooms, all in one layer and cook over high heat, turning occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden brown on the outside.

As the mushrooms are cooking, finely chop the leek and onion. Add the rest of the olive oil in a pot and over medium-low heat gently fry the onion and leek, until translucent. Add the trahanas and stir to coat with the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and your stock. Bring to the boil, and then lower the heat and let your soup simmer, covered, for 45 minutes, until trahanas is tender.
A few minutes before serving uncover the pot and rehydrate the truffles in one cup of lukewarm water. When the soup is ready, add the truffles and flavoured water. Stir well and serve immediately, drizzling some truffle oil on top.


What we love most about autumn is the wonderful new colours at the market. Red apples, orange pumpkins, brown mushrooms and chestnuts! Fruit and veg in autumn always make us feel quite comforted and inspired. This week we got plenty of orange carrots from the market and decided to grate them. Somehow the idea of a grated carrot feels like a first step towards a very nutritious meal, wouldn’t you say? We’re making a salad, which is great for lunch, but it also makes for a wonderful side to some roasted chicken or your protein of choice. We’ve added bulgur wheat to make it more filling, raisins for some natural sweetness and a lemon-tahini dressing to add a…warm kick to it.

There is something nostalgic about this salad, as it somehow reminds us of when we first started Oliveology, 11 years ago. Back then, Greek tahini was rare to find, but such salads were gaining momentum, do you remember? Reminiscing of happier times past is comforting, and we couldn’t think of anything better than this recipe, to bring back some happy memories in the midst of this unusual autumn we are all experiencing.

Serves 4

50g bulgur, plus ¾ cups of water
4 large carrots
100g Corinth raisins
1 bunch of fresh herbs (we used dill and parsley)

Dressing
2 tbsp tahini
zest from 2 lemons
juice from 1 lemon
150ml olive oil
2 tbsp grape molasses
4 tbsp water
salt (to taste)

Place the bulgur wheat and water in a small pot and cook over medium heat until tender and all the water is absorbed, around 10-15min. Set aside to cool.

Peel and grate the carrots.

To make the dressing whisk together the tahini, lemon juice and zest. Add the grape molasses. Slowly add the olive oil and then the water, until you have a runny dressing. Season with salt.

In a large bowl toss together the bulgur wheat, carrots, raisins, dressing.
Finely chop the herbs and add just before serving.

Oh and this is great with some feta cheese!

 


The phrase “spoon sweets” sounds a bit peculiar in English, but it’s the actual translation of the Greek phrase Gluka tou koutaliou. The phrase gave its name to a category of “sweets” that are served and eaten with (you guessed it) a “spoon”. It includes fruits (but also vegetables) that are slowly cooked with water and sugar. The fruits are picked when in season, and large quantities of spoon sweet are prepared. They are then carefully stored in jars, and last all year-round, until the fruits are in season again. As the fruits slowly cook in the sugary syrup, they release their natural sweetness and their flavours intensify. The result is quite flavourful, so usually a small spoon is enough to satisfy your sweet cravings. In the past, every guest was greeted with Greek coffee and a small plate of spoon sweet.

So this week, as the market was full of grapes, we decided to go ahead and make Gluko tou koutaliou stafyli (grape spoon sweet). For this, select the larger grapes, as they will better hold their shape. And we used seedless grapes.

Makes 2 jars

675g grapes
350g sugar
200g water
zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp lemon juice
Greek yoghurt (to serve)

Carefully remove the grapes from the vine and wash under cold running water. Drain well and place in a large pot with the water, sugar, lemon juice and zest. Bring to the boil, without stirring. Then immediately turn the heat to the lowest setting and stir carefully so that the grapes are mixed with the sugar syrup.

Cook, half-covered, for 54min to one hour. To test if the spoon sweet is ready, take a tablespoon of the syrup and place it in a small plate. Let it cool and run your finger through it, to create a line. If the syrup stays in place, then you are done.

Remove from the hob and let it cool.
Store is glass jars and keep in the fridge.

Serve with Greek yoghurt!


Have you seen our delicious Greek meze box? It was created with the Greek summer in mind and is filled with Greek delicacies! Think of wonderful marinated artichoke hearts and tender roasted red peppers. A specially selected variety of Greek olives – amfissa green and kalamata! Bright sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese and one other unique Greek cheese complete this wonderful box of goodies. Savour all these delicacies with crunchy kritsini breadsticks. The idea behind it is to just unbox, plate everything and there you have it, you are ready for a Greek meze feast.

But if you want to spice it up a notch, this week we’ve got our own meze recipe, for you to make at home, and share, along with all the other goodies! In this recipe, we are roasting peppers and onions with grape molasses. And the secret ingredient? We are adding roasted red peppers, which act as a condiment, offering depth and a hint of smoke!

4 large peppers (various colours)
2 large onions
2 large cloves of garlic
100g roasted red peppers
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp grape molasses
1 tsp spices of your choice (we used ¼ tsp of chilli, ½ tsp smoked paprika and ¼ tsp cumin)
1 tsp dried oregano
salt, pepper (to taste)

Preheat the oven at 200C
Remove the stem and core from the peppers and discard. Cut each pepper in eight large pieces.
Peel the onions and cut each onion in eight wedges. Peel and finely slice the garlic.
Finely slice the roasted red peppers.
Place all your vegetables in a baking tray.
Drizzle with olive oil and grape molasses and gently toss everything together. Season with the spices and oregano, salt and pepper. Toss again.

Bake at 200C for 30-45 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes, until the peppers are tender and slightly charred. Let cool.

Serve at room temperature with the rest of the goodies from the meze box!


We were so proud to receive the news for the Great Taste Awards! Every year we participate in Great Taste, the world’s largest and most trusted food and drink awards and we are always very excited when the results come in!

A panel of over 500 experts spent time tasting our lovely products and we are very proud to announce that we have five products with star ratings! Below are the awarded products and some of the judges’ comments. We can’t wait to celebrate!

18°C organic extra virgin olive oil *1 star*

This is the first olive oil of the season, made from unripe olives when they are still small and green. An olive oil with intense flavour and a unique grassy taste. Some of the judges’ comments:

Beautiful, richly coloured, green-gold olive oil with its warm, fruity and peppery aromas. Smooth and silky in texture, the oil dissipates on the palate to reveal its flavour profiles. Sweet meadow hay, buttery artichoke and fresh green almond notes are quickly followed by peppery, feisty young fruit flavours, daring and bold. An astringency plays around the edge of the palate leaving a natural vibrancy. This oil is fresh, lively and spirited.

This buttery light oil has a gentleness suitable for light salads.

Young, fun and delicious!

 

Ginger, Lime & Basil Olive Oil *1 star*

This special oil is made from semi-ripe olives crushed with ginger, lime and basil. It has a vibrant flavour and intense aromas. Some of the judges’ comments:

A deep golden coloured, clear oil with a warm ginger aroma. The flavours of ginger and basil are quite soft and mellow, well balanced with the richness of the oil. The oil has a gentle fruity flavour and is soft and smooth.

The basil was fresh and fragrant, and there was a lovely warmth from ginger followed by a little pepperiness from the oil. The texture was rich and smooth.

 

21°C organic extra virgin olive oil *1 star*

This special oil is made from semi ripe olives crushed with walnuts, purslane, and wild aromatic herbs giving a fresh taste that is full of flavour. Some of the judges’ comments:

Thick and buttery on the palate, it has a strong, lingering herbal flavour.

A gorgeous rich green olive oil positively glistening with natural goodness and tantalizing the palate with its aromas of sweet and aromatic fennel. Smooth and silky in the mouth…Brisk walnut flavours are followed by woody, resinous heady notes from rosemary…The peppery fruit flavours are present and bring a feisty little kick on the finish.

An interesting and intensely aromatic oil – the flavours are so clearly Greek. The fennel seeds provide a striking sweetness with a little bit of nutty bitterness from the walnuts.

 

Plain Kalamata olives *1 star*

These are the classic Kalamata olives. They have a great flavour and fleshy texture. Some of the judges’ comments:

A really rich reddish brown and plump, these olives pack a punch. The salt level is excellent and balances well with the bitterness. There’s hints of sweetness towards the end of the olive profile also present in the marinating oil.

Your Kalamata olives have such a wonderful black purple shine, and truly do look inviting… your olives are fruity in texture and flavour and deliver a truly traditional Kalamata taste.

These olives have a beautiful blackish brown colour, a shiny firm looking skin and a fruity aroma. The flesh is meaty but tender in the mouth and there is lots of upfront fruity sweetness and acidity followed by a pleasing touch of bitterness.

 

Kalamata olives with ouzo *1 star*
Kalamata olives, marinated in extra virgin olive oil, ouzo, lemon peel, star-anise and fennel to produce a unique Greek olive taste. Some of the judges’ comments:

Beautifully shiny Kalamata olives. There is a distinct aniseed/ouzo aroma. The olive flesh is soft and giving, coming off the stone well…the combination is very reminiscent of sitting at a harbour side bar with a bowl of olives and a iced glass of cloudy ouzo. The balance at the finish is long and good.

Wonderfully plump, glossy looking olives with a distinct aroma of ouzo. The olives are soft and juicy.

 

Have a look at exciting recipes with olive oil, flavoured olive oils, and olives all around our blog.