Last week we were very happy to have the wonderful Margot, from Margot’s Kitchen hosting one of our workshops. During two fully booked classes, Margot talked about the Mediterranean diet, healthy eating and offered clever tips on how to incorporate more wholesome ingredients into our daily diets.

The workshop, as with all of our workshops was vegetarian and included delicious recipes such as a Butternut Squash Kibbeh with Chickpeas & Caramelised Onions and a gluten-free Banana and Pistachio Teff Cake.

So, this week, we have one of Margot’s recipes for you, made especially with our favourite Oliveology ingredients. This Roasted Antipasti recipe is very easy to make, and will definitely impress your guests!

We’ve got more cooking classes coming up this spring and summer, so watch this space or email us to make a booking!

 

Margot’s Roasted Antipasti with Mixed Olives

Ingredients

350g mixed olives (black and green)
1 jar artichoke hearts
1 jar roasted red peppers
150ml extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, sliced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
a pinch of flaked red pepper

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan).
2. In a medium-sized tray, place the mixed olives along with the roasted peppers and artichokes.
3. Add the sliced lemon and fresh herbs.
4. Toss with the extra-virgin olive oil and roast for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.


When I was a kid, every year there was a day when my mum would come to me and my little sister and give us a thin bracelet, made of red and white strings. This is ‘Martis’ (lirerally meaning March), she would say. And with that care in her voice that only mothers carry, she would add: And you should wear it, so that the sun doesn’t burn you.

As a kid, I wasn’t exactly sure how the Martis would protect me from the sun, but in my mind, this day only meant one thing: the beginning of spring, my favourite season. I knew that while wearing it, the days would get longer, the sun would shine brighter and some of my favourite foods (strawberries!) would start to appear at the markets.

Martis is part of folk tradition in Greece and the Balkans, going back for decades. The phrase my mother would use (I learned as an adult), is associated with the often unexpected changes in spring weather, a reminder that one needs to be careful this month. Its colours, red and white carry various symbolisms in different cultures across the region. The ritual of removing it is equally important in Greek tradition. Folk tales say how one has to remove it at the end of March, and hang it on a tree, so that swallows then collect it and use it to create their nests. Another tradition calls for the Martis to be removed at Easter, and to be tied on the leg of the lamb that is being cooked, burning over the open fire.

As an adult, I rarely bothered to actually take two pieces of string and create my own. So when a few years ago, working at our shop at Borough Market, Marianna came and gave us all a Martis, I was presently surprised. And immediately transported back to my childhood, remembering my excitement about spring.

We used to make this with my grandmother, Marianna told me. We would sit across from each other with long white and red strings and twist them tightly. Then we would cut it in pieces and give to the whole family. Unlike me, Marianna has been wearing the Martis every year. And every year, she gets it for all of us at Oliveology.

So this March, join us at Oliveology, in sharing your childhood memories around Martis and celebrate the beginning of spring that is finally here.

 

by Nafsika


This is a recipe unlike any others. What do we mean? Well, this is a recipe that you can make at home, when your fridge is empty. You know, those evenings when you are too tired or too lazy to go shopping, or those days that you have forgotten to do so -it has happened to us as well!

The secret here is a nicely stocked cupboard and a bit of imagination. Have a look at our bundles, get yourselves some essential cupboard items and we’ve got you sorted.

So this week, we are making lentils. We are not smoking them, but we are using two of our ingredients that will offer some smokey-ness. Smoked salt and roasted red peppers! This recipe will be amazing with some freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest, but as this is a recipe to make with an empty fridge, we are using our lemon olives instead! And of course, our chilli vinegar for some spice and kick.

Freshly cut herbs and / or caramelised onions would also work, you know, just in case you do decide to go shopping! But the recipe words perfectly as is, using just your cupboard staples.

Serves two

150g lentils
½ tbsp smoked salt, plus more to serve
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp chilli vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
150g roasted red peppers
½ pack kalamata olives with lemon and herbs
Fresh parsley or other herbs or caramelised onions (optional)

In a large pot with water, add the smoked salt and lentils. Boil until the lentils tender. Drain and place in a large bowl.

In the meantime, cut your peppers in fine strips.

Place the peppers in the bowl with the lentils. Add the olives, dried oregano, olive oil and vinegar. Toss everything together and add more salt if needed. Add herbs and caramelised onions (if using). Serve hot or at room temperature.


It was Valentine’s day yesterday and we hope you had a wonderful time with your loved ones! Did you make our Valentine’s Orzo with Black Truffle Sauce? If not, go ahead, it’s simple, delicious and between us, it doesn’t have to be Valentine’s day to enjoy something like this!

This week we have a new recipe using one of our products of the month: saffron! Remember our Saffron and Orange Chickpeas from a few weeks ago? If you haven’t used this unique ingredient before, this week’s recipe is ideal.

And I must say, do have a look at our beautiful hamper for the adventurous cook. It includes saffron amongst other intriguing ingredients that guarantee to inspire your daily cooking! Or check our gift bag with saffron and other treats!

This recipe is adapted from the Greek magazine Gastronomos, one of our favourite ones. It is on the sour side, so if you prefer your dressings sweeter don’t hesitate to add a bit of honey or grape molasses. Cooking after all is all about adapting recipes to your own unique preferences!

Serves 2

400g carrots
1 tbsp lemon
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 generous pinches of saffron in 1 tbsp of warm water
1 clove of garlic minced
5 tbsp olive oil
Salt

Wash, peel and cut your carrots in bite-sized pieces. Place them in a large pot with boiling, salted water and boil until tender. Remove from the pot and drain. You can skip this step if you prefer and use the carrots raw.

In the meantime, make your dressing.
In a bowl whisk together the lemon juice, orange juice, red wine vinegar, saffron in water and garlic. Slowly add the olive oil, until the mixture is emulsified. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Toss warm (or raw!) carrots and dressing together and serve immediately.


Valentine’s Day on February 14th is usually associated with romantic love. For us here at Oliveology it is indeed a day of love. Love is not only for lovers, but also for friends, family, yourself. It is also the day to indulge in the pleasures of eating-and cooking for that matter.

So this week we have prepared a recipe for you, using one of our very special ingredients! Black. Truffle. Sauce.

Our truffle sauce is made of champignon mushrooms, blended with black summer truffle, extra virgin olive oil, salt and spices. Each jar contains 10% of truffle, so the aroma is quite intense. You can use this sauce in various dishes, stir into warm pasta, add on omelettes or mix with cream for a delicious sauce. My personal favourite is simply spreading it on warm toast, with fresh herbs on top. Add a poached egg and you’ve got yourselves the most luxurious breakfast -or dinner for that matter!

But back to this week’s recipe. It is possibly the simplest way to use this delicious ingredient. Apart from simply spreading on toast, that is. You can swap orzo for rice, and if you want to complicate it a bit more, use vegetable stock instead of water. But for us, this version is ideal.

Serves two

1 medium red onion
2tbsp olive oil
150g orzo
½ jar black truffle sauce
300ml water
salt pepper
30g kefalotyri cheese, finely grated
springs of thyme (to serve)

Finely slice the onion. In a medium sized dish and over medium-high heat gently fry the onion in the olive oil until translucent and slightly caramelised. Add the orzo and stir until covered in the remaining oil and well mixed.

Add half of the truffle sauce and stir again.

Add the 300ml of water, season with salt and pepper and let it cook, half covered until orzo is al dente.

Remove from the heat, add the cheese and stir, adding a few splashes of water if needed.

Serve with the remaining black truffle sauce and fresh thyme.


This week we’ve got some exciting news to share with you!

The World Association of Journalists of Wine and Spirits announced a few weeks ago their World Rankings for extra virgin olive oil. These are based on a system in which each olive oil amasses points based on analysis of 28 international competition awards.

We are very proud that our Lemongrass and Tarragon Olive Oil received the highest ranking in the 2018 Condimento – Flavored Evoo category. And you have to consider, this was amongst more than nine thousand samples of olive oils from 30 countries! This is the first time that a Greek olive oil lands on the first place in this category. This is also the fifth international award that our Lemongrass and Tarragon Olive Oil receives in 2018.

Our Lemongrass and Tarragon Olive Oil is a special oil is made from semi ripe olives crushed with fresh lemongrass and tarragon. We use 1200g of semi-ripe olives to produce 100ml of this cold extracted oil. It is produced in Sparta using exclusively koroneiki olives, kalamon olives and koutsouroelia olives.

It has a very fresh flavour and intense aromas. And it pairs perfectly with fish and green vegetables. We have already prepared a vibrant zucchini, corn and feta salad with Lemongrass and Tarragon Olive Oil. Stay tuned for many more recipes using our newly awarded Olive Oil!


A few months back, we saw that our lovely Amarylis had made chickpeas with orange, using our olives and capers. What a wonderful combination of flavours, I thought at the time! So when thinking of this week’s recipe, and with all the citrus fruit around, this idea came to mind. Chickpeas and orange! And as winter makes us all feel really cold, we thought of adding something different to our chickpeas. Saffron!

Our organic Greek Saffron comes from the Kozani Cooperative in Northern Greece. It has a unique floral flavour and aroma, while it gives an exquisite amber colour to many dishes, desserts and beverages. Including our chickpeas! Oh and did we mention it has antioxidant properties amongst other things?

Here’s the recipe and check out our hamper for the Adventurous Cook, that includes saffron!

Serves two for lunch

1 small leek
1 medium onion
4tbsp olive oil

100 g chickpeas
1 very large orange, zest and juice
2 pinches of saffron in 1 cup of warm water
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp orange blossom honey
salt

to serve:
Boiled rice or Greek yogurt
Fresh coriander or parsley
Honey

 

The night before, soak your chickpeas. The morning after, boil the chickpeas in plenty of water, until soft.

Preheat the oven at 180C.

Finely slice the leek and chop the onion. In an oven proof casserole, heat fry your leek and onion in the olive oil until transluscent and slightly caramelised. Remove from the heat and add the chickpeas, orange juice and zest, saffron, smoked paprika, salt and honey. Stir well and place in the oven. Bake for an hour to an hour and a half, until the flavours have blended, adding a bit more water if needed.

Serve with rice or Greek yogurt, fresh herbs and more honey if you desire.


This week we are trying out something a little bit different. January days can sometimes feel a bit dull, but not for us here at Oliveology. On the contrary, they often inspire us to think outside the box, add more colours and flavours to our weekly cooking routine. Cooking after all should be more about creativity and less about routine, right?

So what are we making? To begin with, we selected two of our favourite winter vegetables, beetroot and sweet potato. Remember our beetroot dip or our lentil and sweet potato vegan soup? This dish is vegetarian too, you guessed it right.

But these are no ordinary roasted vegetables. Inspired by the Greek cooking magazine Gastronomos, we are making them sweet and a little bit sour. We will use honey to bring out the vegetables’ natural sweetness, and balsamic vinegar to add a very welcome acidic note. And the ingredients that bring everything together: oranges and grapefruits!

Oh, and did we mention that apart from spending a bit of time preparing your vegetables, this recipe needs nothing more? That’s what we call an easy January dinner!

For 4 people (plus leftovers):

700g sweet potatoes
700g beetroot
1 large red onion
1 large grapefruit, zest and juice
1 large orange, zest and juice

100g wild flower honey
50ml aged balsamic vinegar
100ml olive oil
salt

Preheat the oven at 180C.

Peel the sweet potato and scrub the beetroot. Cut in small bite sized pieces (vegetables will cook faster this way). Peel and finely slice the onion.

Place your vegetables in a large baking tray. Add the citrus juices and zest.

In a small saucepan add the honey and warm it up to make it more runny. Remove from the hear and add the vinegar and olive oil. Pour over the vegetables.

Season well with salt and toss everything together so that the vegetables are coated with the honey-vinegar mixture and citrus juices.

Bake for an hour or until the vegetables are soft, sticky and slightly caramelised.


Happy New Year all!

We hope you had a wonderful holiday break and that you are well settled into the new year. January is an interesting month. Sometimes we feel very motivated to change all those things that we were not satisfied about in 2018. Sometimes we feel a bit gloomy, cold weather and all. This week’s recipe is the most wonderful way to energise and motivate you. It is very colourful too, which always makes us feel better! And let us say, it is full of vitamin C, with carrots and citrus fruit.

It is the perfect salad to pair with the citrus dressing we made a few weeks back. But if you are not in the mood to make the dressing, just add a bit of olive oil and a few splashes of white balsamic vinegar with honey.

Serves 4 as a side

500g carrots
1 grapefruit
1 orange
1 blood orange
50g raw pistachios
Salt
Citrus dressing (to taste)
A few parsley leaves (to serve, optional)

Peel and grate the carrots.
Fillet the oranges and grapefruit: Using a sharp knife, cut the top and bottom off the orange. Place your knife where the pith meets the flesh and continue cutting downward in a curved motion and following the shape of the orange. You should be left with a peeled orange with no white stuff around it. Cut between these membranes so as to segment the orange, retaining any juices.

Peel the carrots and then keep peeling, so that you have thin carrot ribbons. If you prefer you can also grate the carrots.

In a bowl place the carrots and citrus pieces. Add a generous amount of dressing (or olive oil and white balsamic vinegar), season with salt and toss well to combine.

Serve with the raw pistachios, roughly chopped and a bit of parsley.


This year we decided to create a very festive recipe using our newest dried fruits and nuts! We selected the word stuffing when categorising this recipe, but this will make for a wonderful side dish, or vegan dinner. It is somewhat a combination of our other Christmas stuffing recipes. It is made with rice, just like our vegan stuffing from a couple of years ago, but also leeks, like the less ordinary stuffing we made last year. But this year we decided to take it up a notch.

We went full on with our dried fruit and used colourful nectarines and cherries. The bright yellow-orange nectarines are very aromatic and sour enough to add an additional dimension to this dish. Our cherries are moist and intense, full of natural sweetness. And what better pairing than our roasted and slightly salted almonds! And of course, many fragrant spices. It is Christmas after all.

We served our stuffing in an old serving dish, as we are somehow feeling more retro and nostalgic during Christmas. Somehow using old platters or bowls to serve our Christmas food brings us closer to all those moments of food sharing of the past. You know, these dishes do carry their own histories.

But before we get carried away, let’s get to our recipe!

Serves 4 as a side
1 large leek
4tbsp olive oil
200g Carolina rice
600ml vegetable stock
50g dried nectarines
50g dried cherries
50g almonds, roasted and slightly salted
1 tsp spices (we used a combination of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg)
salt, black pepper (to taste)
lemon zest and fresh parsley (to serve)

When it comes to the dried fruit or nuts, you can select to finely chop them, roughly chop them, or for the more adventurous out there, leave them whole.

Finely chop the leek. In a medium-sized pot and over medium-high heat gently fry the leek in the olive oil until transluscent. In the meantime, rince your rice under cold running water. Strain and set aside. Add the rice to your pot and stir until coated with olive oil. Add the dried nectarines, cherries, almonds and stir again. Season with salt and pepper. Be mindful, the almonds are slightly salted!

Pour the vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and then turn down the heat and cook your stuffing simmer half-covered until the rice is cooked and the fruits are plump and rehydrated.

Serve with lemon zest and fresh parsley or other fresh herbs.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!