For some reason that we cannot comprehend fully, we very much enjoy cooking chickpeas in the spring. We do feel that chickpeas are for most a winter dish, maybe a summer one if you turn them into a cold salad. But, to reiterate, for some reason that we cannot comprehend fully, we very much enjoy cooking chickpeas in the spring.

This week, as most of us are at home with what we assume is fully-stocked pantries, we thought it was time we made some chickpeas. Maybe to remember that it is spring outside, even if it often doesn’t feel like it.

Our chickpeas come from small farms in northern Greece and have this beautiful softness and intense flavour that is rare to find. They also behave well in cooking. So they have become one of our favourite cupboard staples.

We like experimenting with sweet flavours (have you made these ones with honey?) and spices. This week we are not making a stew. We are roasting them in the oven, using only things you have in your cupboard: fragrant spices and dried herbs! Of course, feel free to omit or replace any herbs or spices you don’t have. Now that time seems to move differently, you can leisurely soak them the night before, boil them the morning after and pop them in the oven just in time for dinner.

Serves two

150g chickpeas
1tsp baking soda
6 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried garlic
½ tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp curry powder
½ tsp salt
Greek yogurt (to serve)

The night before soak your chickpeas. The morning after, rinse them and place them in a pot with fresh water. Add the baking soda and cook until tender but not broken down, around 45 minutes. Drain and let cool.

Preheat the oven at 200C.

In a big bowl, toss together the chickpeas with the olive oil and all the herbs, spices and salt.

Scatter them in one layer in a baking sheet that’s covered in greaseproof paper and place in the oven. In around 15 minutes, the cheickpeas will be tender and slightly crispy. You can remove them then. Or, leave them in the oven for another 5 minutes, until they become very crispy.

Serve with Greek yogurt, drizzling more olive oil and crunchy raw vegetables-we used fresh red peppers!


Most of us are house-bound I suppose. I don’t know about you, but when there is so much uncertainty around, one of the few things I find soothing is going into the kitchen and cooking.

Despite the world being so precarious, the weather seems to have its own way. This week we are feeling that spring is finally here. Or anyway, glimpses of it.

March has been a challenging month indeed. So we decided to use whatever greens we have in our fridge or freezer and create a comforting dish that is perfect for the times we live in. And to give us a sense of control, this dish can be turned it into a soup or stew! For this versatile dish, we used seasonal greens, and bulgur wheat. Mostly because we love the combination of greens and grains, in the traditional spanakoryzo. So we decided to mix it up a bit. Bare in mind, a little bit of bulgur wheat goes a long way.

We’ll have more recipes to come, using cupboard staples. Let us know what ingredients you have available, and we’ll inspire you with recipes! Stay safe and calm.

Serves 6
2 spring onions
1 large leek
2 stalks of celery
5 tbsp olive oil
5 cardamom pods
100g bulgur wheat
4 cups of water
4 cups of seasonal greens (we used a combination of spinach and kale)
A small bunch of parsley (to serve)
17 olive oil (to serve)
lemon juice (to serve)

Finely chop the spring onions, leek and celery. In a large, shallow pot place the olive oil and the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and slowly cook until tender and caramelised, approximately 10 minutes. Add the cardamom and bulgur wheat and stir well. Add the water and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and let it simmer for around 30min, until the bulgur wheat and vegetables are very tender. Add the shredded greens.

If you prefer a more soup-like dish, then along with the greens add 3 cups of water.

Let it cook for another 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve with fresh parsley, the 17 lemon oil and lemon juice.

 

 


During this very challenging time for us all, this week we decided to share a few words, from all of us at Oliveology.

During this crisis, it is important to respond with compassion to others and help each other. We must care of ourselves and our bodies, by following the latest World Health Organisation guidelines. And of course, by eating wholesome foods that nourish the body and the soul.

As you may have read in our latest newsletter, in light of the COVID-19 spread we are closely monitoring the situation so as to ensure that we are taking all necessary precautions, so that our customers and the Oliveology team feel protected and cared for. We also work closely with and supporting our colleagues in the artisanal food industry. We are holding regular meetings with our team and colleagues at Borough Market and Spa Terminus, to ensure that we are all up to date on the latest governmental advice and find collective ways to support our customers.

Our shop at Borough Market currently remains open, and we will keep you updated on any developments. If you choose to visit us, we kindly ask you to maintain the necessary distance from others. There are no more sample produce in our display. Disinfectant wipes available for customer use, and of course we maintain the highest levels of hygiene. We also strongly encourage contactless payments – and make sure to clean your card as soon as you return home.

You can also use click & collect options from Borough Market during regular hours, or our Spa Terminus shop in Bermondsey Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm. Our shop at Spa Terminus is open as usual on Saturdays, while other Spa Terminus merchants are open during the week and some on Sundays.

Remember that you can always shop online at oliveology.co.uk. Our online shop offers delivery throughout the UK and Europe. If you would like to contact us about your order email us.

When shopping, please pace yourselves. Some of our ingredients are temporarily out of stock on our website, but worry not, we are expecting more stock of pulses, nuts and olive oil very soon!

Our neighbour Elysia Catering, is also putting together a selection of food essentials to pick-up or to be delivered by their team on their cargo bike from the 23rd of March 2020, including our Kalamata olives and extra virgin olive oil!

All of us at Oliveology are here to supply you with essential foods and ideas to prepare wholesome meals at home for your family. As well as olive oil and olives, we have stocks of pulses, grains, pasta, honey as well as many other staples. In the next few weeks we will be sharing with you simple, comforting recipes that you can make using your cupboard staples.

Most importantly, now that most of us are at home, it’s important to keep in touch, in any way that we can.

Share your instagram stories with us, tweet us, send us your thoughts on facebook.

Or, send an email to Nafsika, who writes this blog every week, say hi, what you are cooking, let her know what ingredients you have in your pantry, and we’ll think of wonderful recipes for you to try!

Do keep in touch and stay safe.

Marianna & the Oliveology team


All of us at Oliveology love cooking with as little waste as possible. We love putting leftover veggies in hearty soups, to make tarts with whatever jarred ingredients we have in our fridge, and we even make bread with olives and sun-dried tomatoes we don’t feel like eating anymore.

When it comes to overripe fruit, we always go for jams. But I have been for years wondering about banana bread. You see, it’s not a cake, and it’s not a bread either. How does one eat it, really? So last week, when we had some overripe bananas, I knew it was time to see for myself. And when we say overripe, we mean black outside. Don’t bin them, make this recipe!

And of course, as you may know, we love adding olive oil and honey in almost everything. So banana bread could be no exception. This recipe also has Greek yoghurt, and wholemeal barley flour. And we also used a heart-shaped cake tin, no particular reason there.

What to expect: A dark brown colour, very airy, bouncy texture and a wholesome taste that is not at all sweet. So indeed, the name bread is really accurate.

Makes one large loaf (or a heart-shaped tin)

400g very ripe bananas
5tbsp vanilla fir honey
5tbsp olive oil
100g yoghurt (you can find it at our shops at Borough Market and Spa Terminus)
3 eggs
200g wholemeal barley flour
1tbsp baking soda
1tbsp baking powder
30g walnuts, finely chopped

Preheat the oven at 180C.

In a large bowl whisk the bananas until smooth. If you are left with a few banana lumps, that’s ok.

Add the honey, olive oil and yoghurt and whisk again. Add the eggs, one at a time, and whisk until you have a smooth mixture with a few banana lumps.

In a separate bowl, sieve the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add the mixture to the banana bowl and mix well. You should have something that looks like a slightly denser cake batter.

Grease your cake or bread tin with olive oil and dust with flour. Pour the batter in it and sprinkle the walnuts on top.

Bake at 180C for 30-45 minutes. The banana bread is ready when you insert a knife into the centre and it comes out clean.

Serve with Greek yoghurt and plenty of honey!


This week we’ve got a very comforting recipe for you. Soon it will be the beginning of spring, yet some days it still feels like winter. So for those challenging days, there is nothing better than a good casserole dish, to take the blues away.

We are big fans of casseroles, remember our vegan orzo? And then it was the cauliflower with smoked cheese we made a couple of winters ago. This winter, we decided to use beans, as we wanted to feel a bit healthier. And for some reason, beans have that effect. We used small white beans, but you can use gigantes as well.

Our organic beans are harvested every year in farms in northern Greece. You can use them to make your own homemade baked beans, but also add them in soups, stews and grain bowls, like this comforting soup with beans and butternut squash.

This week it’s beans, fragrant pesto and melted graviera cheese. Yum!

Serves 4 with leftovers

200g small beans (you can also choose gigantes butterbeans)
2 bay leaves
2 cups seasonal greens, finely chopped (we used purple kale and spinach)
2 tbsp 17C olive oil
250gr milk or cream
2 eggs
200g graviera cheese, grated
¾ cups pesto (we used our green pistachio pesto)

The night before soak the beans in cold water. The morning after, boil the beans with the bay leaves for around 45 minutes or until tender. Drain the beans and discard the bay leaves.

Steam the greens until soft.

In a bowl whisk together the lemon oil, milk or cream and eggs, adding half of the cheese in the end.

In a casserole, mix together the beans and pesto. Add the eggs-cream mixture and stir everything together, until well mixed. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Bake at 180C for 30min or until hot and bubbly inside.


At this time of the year, too much work and a gloomy weather often makes us feel low in energy. So we often go for colourful food, to balance the grey skies. This week we are making a nutritious salad, with raw fennel and citrus.

First of all, we love crunching on raw vegetables. It is relaxing, I can’t explain it. Do you remember our raw beetroot and apple salad? Or the wonderful galomyzithra and yoghurt dip we made a few weeks ago to accompany raw veggies? And then there’s citrus, the fruits that give colour to winter. And vitamins! Last year we made a wonderful citrus dressing, and a carrot and citrus salad to go with it. This week we found some blood oranges at the market. They are highly seasonal, and we absolutely love foods that you can only find for a few weeks in the year –wild garlic, we are waiting for you!

For this salad, we also used a selection of olives, wild green unripe olives with lemon and our kalamata olives with ouzo, to perfectly complement citrus and fennel! They are a good source of protein, vitamin E, antioxidants and polyphenols and an excellent provider of oleic acid and oleuropein. And yummy!

And as this is a citrus feast, we couldn’t but use our 17C olive oil with lemons and oranges and our mandarin balsamic vinegar. So go on, grab your fruit and veg and join us in making our days more colourful and fresh!

Serves 4

1 bulb of fennel
1 small orange
1 small blood orange
1 small pink grapefruit
½ tub of olives (we used a combination of unripe lemon and kalamata with ouzo olives)
1 tbsp balsamic cream with mandarin
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp 17C flavoured olive oil
salt

Thinly slice the fennel. Peel and finely slice the orange, blood orange and grapefruit.

Place in a large platter and scatter the olives. Drizzle with balsamic mandarin cream, lemon olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and serve immediately.

This salad turns into a whole different dish if you keep it overnight. The fruits and veg soften up and the flavours all blend wonderfully together. So you can have it for lunch the next day!


Valentine’s Day is one of the most wonderful days of the year. Why, you ask? Well, in my mind it’s associated with chocolate and you must know, I love chocolate. All of us at Oliveology as especially excited this year, as we are hosting our first Valentine’s popup dinner tomorrow evening. Our chef Lida has prepared a delicious menu (including a wonderful dessert with chocolate and bee pollen!) and will share with our guests fascinating facts about aphrodisiac foods and the senses. The event is sold out, but we have more exciting dinners coming up!

And for those of you who are looking for last-minute presents, have a look at our selection of Valentine’s treats, and especially our Valentine’s hamper and gift bag of treats.

In the past we have made some fun recipes for this day: A luscious white chocolate slab and an exciting orzo with truffle sauce.

And if you want to read more on wine and chocolate, this is by our very own Lida.

This year we decided to do something special. An olive oil and dark chocolate mousse.

Serves 4-6

200g good-quality dark chocolate
100g extra-virgin olive oil
5 eggs
75g sugar
pinch of salt
bee pollen (to serve)

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or using a bain-marie. Let cool and stir in the olive oil.
Separate the egg whites and yolks.
Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until fluffy and smooth.
Separately whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.

Slowly add the chocolate and olive oil to the egg yolk/sugar mixture. Mix well. If it looks funny, don’t worry, keep going. Gently fold in the egg whites and mix well. You should be left with a smooth mixture.

Transfer to small bowls and refrigerate for a few hours until set. Serve with bee pollen and lots of love!

 


The idea for this recipe came to me a while back. While browsing beautiful food pictures on instagram, there was a picture of a dish that gave me the inspiration for this recipe. I think. Because as I started preparing this blog post, I couldn’t find that original instagram picture. So whoever you are out there, thank you.

This recipe is one of these ideas that gets stuck into one’s head and stays there for weeks or months. Until one day, you decide: Today is the day I’m going to make this recipe.

Tzatziki is possibly one of the most emblematic Greek dips. We absolutely love it. Have you prepared the classic recipe? And how about our unique variation with beetroot? This week we used its key ingredients and cooked up a wonderful, garlicky pasta dish. Because as you may know, we love pasta. For this recipe, we used our favourite trichromo pasta penne. But you can use any other pasta you fancy.

This recipe is perfect served warm for dinner, or eaten at room temperature the next day for lunch.

Serves 4

200g trichromo penne
2 cloves of garlic
4 tbsp olive oil, plus more for serving
125g Greek yogurt
2 small cucumbers
1 small bunch of dill
salt and pepper (to taste)

Cut the cucumbers in small, bite-sized cubes. Finely chop the dill.

Cook the pasta in a large pot with salted boiling water until al dente, for around 5 minutes.

In the meantime, finely slice the garlic. Place in a small frying pan with the olive oil and gently fry over low heat until tender and caramelised.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving a cup of the pasta water. Return to the pot, stirring in the garlic oil. Add the yogurt and stir everything together, adding a bit of the pasta water if needed.

Toss in the cucumber and dill. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

If you are preparing this for the following day, then keep the cucumber and dill separately, and add once the pasta is cool.


“Attica”
“…a less famous grape variety”
“winner of the Sommelier Wine Awards”

…… what picture do these words draw when they are put together? I have to admit, it took me a long time to put all the pieces of the puzzle together, before I finally got enchanted by the charms of this wine.

Attica
Mesogeia, located in East Attica, Greece, is the place where this wine was made. For some, it is better known as the area surrounding parts of Athens. Compared to wine-producing regions such as Santorini or Crete, this area is on the south edge of continental Greece, where the micro climate for grape growth is definitely different from that on those islands. Thanks to the dry and long summers during the grape growing season, grape varieties that are cultivated in the area have to be resistant to heat and drought. Since 1979, this region has had its own geographical indication of origin, which is recognised as a PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) nowadays. One of the most well-known wines from this area is the famous Retsina, which is frequently regarded as the signature wine of Greece by many.

Roditis
Yes, we just mentioned Retsina. In many occasions the grape variety Roditis is added to Savatiano to produce a blended white wine to make Retsina. Perhaps this is the reason why the name Roditis is less well-known. What is even uncommon to see, is Roditis being used solely to produce a dry white wine. And indeed, the Aoton Roditis 2015 was in fact made in only 3,000 bottles.

Sommelier Wine Award Gold
In 2018, the 2015 Aoton Roditis won a gold prize in the UK-based Sommelier Wine Awards competition. It was described as to have a similar style to Chenin Blanc, in the way that this wine stands out for its full body and rich texture.

In the glass, this wine shows a beautiful, clear, bright and medium-to-deep gold colour, demonstrating its well-developed maturation stage. With a high viscosity, it already starts to indicate an inviting oily-ish texture. By gently swirling the glass, it releases a distinctive spicy aroma, a mixture dominated by cumin and touches of clove and aniseed. Following that, are the gradually opened notes of ripe apple and honey, which also announce the wine as being well-matured. There was clearly no trace of oak barrel. On the palate, the wine is dry, with high acidity, full body and rich texture. There are complex flavours of roasted pineapple, subtle melon and honey, together with the smoky and flinty tastes that developed from the cumin and clove aromas. Without the use of oak barrel, this wine has a citrusy finish.

The wine is ready for drink, or can age for another 2-3 years. It is best served in a globe-shape glass, like the ones you would use for an oaked Burgundy white wine, with a temperature of around 12-13°C. While some sommeliers suggest to have it with a vegetable risotto, this wine can also be an excellent pairing to fresh salmon and sea urchins. If you’d like to eat like a Greek, have the wine with a youthful graviera cheese besides fava dip and red onion; if you are a fan of Japanese food, go bold and try it with sashimi.

Order the 2015 Aoton Roditis here!

by Celine

References:
https:// www.sommelierwineawards.com/winners/winners-2018
https:// aoton.gr


For those of you who follow this blog, you’ll know by now that we love cooking with vegetables. We love making flavourful soups, colourful dips and, of course, salads. But we often wonder, how can we find a way to incorporate more raw veggies in our daily lives?

The solution is quite simple, it seems: Just accompany them with something exciting. Not that raw vegetables aren’t exciting on their own. But let’s be honest, a dip of sorts will take them to a whole other level.

Last week we made this hearty mixed pulses and roasted red peppers dip. This week we’ve got something simpler, yet equally exciting for you. This recipe uses ingredients that we don’t yet have on the website –but we will soon! So come by our Borough Market shop or visit our Railway Arch at Bermondsey, we have all of these in stock!

So go on, source these simple ingredients, and within minutes you’ll have the most interesting dip to accompany raw vegetables.

Makes one bowl:
200g Greek yoghurt
200g galomyzithra cheese (or other soft white cheese)
50g kefir
salt (to taste)
chilli oil (to serve)

In a bowl mix together the yoghurt, galomyzithra cheese and kefir. Season with salt. Drizzle plenty of chilli oil and serve with colourful raw vegetables.