This week we are feeling quite autumn-y. And what goes better with autumn, than wonderful baking activities on a Sunday afternoon!

So this week we are making a recipe that is something between a bread and a cake. What do we mean? It is a dough made with flour, nuts and dried fruit! It is very moist and not at all sweet. You can have it with tea, butter and honey for a filling breakfast, serve it as part of your cheese platter alongside crackers, or even enjoy as is.

For this recipe we used dried apricots and cherries. As our dried fruit have no added sugar, the result is dense and flavourful. But do not expect it to be sweet. It is more on the bitter/sour side. So if you wish, you can add a bit of honey or sugar in the recipe, or omit the balsamic vinegar. But first, try this one, it really is something special, especially served with plenty of honey.

Another idea would be to get our Autumn Baking bundle and use all of its ingredients for this recipe!

This recipe is adapted from a recipe created by Nena Ismirnoglou, whose recipes always surprise us with their simplicity and flavour.

Makes a medium-sized cake tin

200g all-purpose flour
8g dried yeast
300g dried fruit (we used a combination of apricots and cherries)
50ml balsamic cream with mandarin
120ml water
100g nuts (we used raw almonds and raw hazelnuts
2 tbsp oak honey, plus more to serve
½ tsp ground cloves, cinnamon or other warm spices

Finely chop the dried fruit. Warm up the balsamic cream with the water and pour over the fruit. Let them soak for 30minutes.

Ground the almonds and hazelnuts. Mix together your flour, ground nuts and spices.

In a large bowl whisk together the yeast with 2tbsp of warm water. Add to the bowl the flour-nuts mixture and dried fruit. Knead well until you have a slightly sticky dough. Cover with a tea-towel and let your dough rest in a warm environment for 30minutes.

Preheat your oven at 180C.

Place some greaseproof paper on a cake tin and drizzle it with 1 tablespoon of honey. Place your dough in the tin and push it gently. Drizzle the rest of the honey on top of the dough.

Bake for 30min. Remove from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature.


As we all are now well into autumn, gloomy mornings are this week’s inspiration for our recipe. Let me explain. I love autumn- and autumn weather for that matter. But I am not really a morning person. As a child, I remember wonderful breakfasts served at our family table to be the thing that made me excited about leaving the comfort of my bed. As an adult, I really don’t know how my parents managed to create such delicious things in the mornings.

Maybe they planned ahead. Like we are doing this week! So we need something exciting to make us craw out of bed and give us energy to get on with our busy days. And since this summer we didn’t make a granola, as we did last summer and the summer before that, we decided it’s time.

So here you go, this week’s recipe is our autumn granola. For this one we used our favourite raw hazelnuts, pure cocoa powder, and oak honey. This is a honey that is not too sweet and perfectly complements the nuttiness of the hazelnuts and the sweetness of the chocolate. Because yes, we decided to indulge a bit, and used a tiny bit of dark chocolate. You can of course omit it if you want, the recipe works great without it. And as always, we made our granola with olive oil!

Makes one large jar:
200g oats
100g raw hazelnuts
2 tbsp raw cocoa
3 tbsp oak honey
2 tbsp olive oil
50g dark chocolate (optional)
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven at 150C.

Roughly chop the hazelnuts and the chocolate (if using).

In a large bowl mix together the hazelnuts, chocolate pieces, oats, cocoa and salt.

Lay some greaseproof paper in a baking tray and place your oat mixture.

In a separate bowl whisk together the honey and olive oil.

Drizzle the olive oil/honey on top of the oats mixture and using your hands, mix everything together until well-mixed.

Bake in the oven, stirring every 10 min and for about 30min or until the granola is golden-brown. Let it cool and store in an airtight jar.

Oh, and did we tell you? This is perfect simply served with milk!

 


It was autumn a few years ago, when I first joined Oliveology. I was about to make one of my first recipes for this blog. Marianna had given me a few produce to experiment with. I looked at the tin with our apple oil. I was fascinated. Who would think of that, I wondered. Who would combine apples with olives? I loved it before even opening the tin. And when I finally tasted it, and poured it over this pumpkin soup, it was, and I am not exaggerating here, one of the most interesting things I’d ever tasted in my life.

It is perfect with sweet things, of course: drizzled over cake, and over your morning porridge -yes, try it!

So this week, we’ve used our favourite apple oil to make soft oven-baked sweet potatoes! We just love this autumn ingredient. Do you remember our vegan lentil soup with sweet potatoes? Or our sweet and sour winter vegetables? Delicious!

Serves 4 as a generous side

1kg sweet potatoes
1/3 cup apple oil
5 spring onions
smoked salt
black pepper
50g roasted hazelnuts
balsamic creme with mandarin (to serve)

Preheat the oven at 200C.

Finely chop your spring onions. Scrub your potatoes under running water. You can peel them, but we’ve left them with their skin. Cut them in rounds, around 1cm thick. Roughly chop the hazelnuts and set aside for serving.

Place the sweet potatoes and spring onions into a baking tray. Drizzle the apple oil. Season generously with the smoked salt and pepper and toss everything together. Cover with tinfoil and bake at 200C for around 30-40min or until the sweet potatoes are tender.

Serve with the hazelnuts, drizzling some balsamic cream with mandarin.

 


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 wholemeal spaghetti

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

Preheat 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.


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.


It sounds quite philosophic, doesn’t it? It’s mostly because we love freshly baked bread and the moment it comes out of the oven, hot and crusty you can’t help but feeling pure bliss. And it is also that feeling -that you accomplished a simple but glorious task- that boosts your confidence.

How can you not love bread? Of course we Greeks have a special affair with it –you can’t really have a meal without it. That’s why we were thrilled when Michael Pollan devoted a whole episode in his brilliant series Cooked, about it. He argues that bread is the product of civilisation and the enabler of the civilisation, as well. But related to the title of the post, he explains that air is mostly what you’re eating when you eat bread.

Have you ever considered that air is one of the reasons we love bread? And as far as this very recipe is concerned, what a fine air that is, with grape molasses, mastiha, orange and cinnamon?

Petimezodakos
Ingredients
1 cup of grape molasses
3 pieces of mastiha
1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup of olive oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 kg all-purpose flour (sieved)
30 g of fresh yeast
Olive oil for glazing
1 egg for glazing

Method
Dilute yeast in lukewarm water. As soon as it’s done, add the mix to a small portion of flour in order to create very soft dough. Cover it and let it sit in a warm place in order to double its size.

Freshly ground mastiha using mortar and pestle. When the initial dough is increased add grape molasses, orange juice, olive oil, mastiha, cinnamon and salt. Mix it well until the initial form changes and add flour gradually until a homogenous fluffy dough is created. Cover it once more and let it sit for 40-50 minutes until it’s double the size.

Knead the dough and form loaves cut in 4-5 cm pieces. You can also knead individual loaves –this amount of dough makes about 12 small loaves. Place them in baking pans, let them rise and they’re double the size. Drizzle some olive oil (or an egg and water mixture, alternatively) and let them bake in a preheated oven for approximately an hour about 180°C. Remove from the oven, let them cool and cut the pieces you have already carved –or your individual loaves.

Petimezi makes the dough quite moist, so keep checking your oven so they won’t get dry. If you still have some left from the day before, taste them and see the difference – we felt they tasted less sweet the day before. Liked our thoughts on Michael Pollan’s Cooked? We’ll get back to it, soon as we were quite inspired by this series! Have you watched it? Would love to know your thoughts on that.


This week’s recipe is a bit stranger than the others. Not the recipe itself, the way we ended up creating it.

As you know, we love discovering interesting ingredients. And surely, there are many ways to prepare a beautiful cauliflower like the one we found at the market this week. But, I thought, there is no better way to enjoy it than in its purest form. Raw. Of course, you need something warm, spicy and comforting to balance the cold, crunchy nuttiness of the cauliflower. What else than a hot, spiced chickpea stew?

This stew takes a while to boil. This is because unlike many recipes we didn’t boil the chickpeas first. Why? Well, because we wanted them to absorb all the goodness from the spices, vegetables and tomatoes, so as to become little balls, bursting with flavour. However, you can of course boil them first (add a bit of baking soda to speed up the process). In the end, you will have a chickpea stew that will taste like Christmas in the Middle East!

Serves six hungry guests.

You will need:
1 beautiful cauliflower
2 tbsp grated ginger
2 tbsp grated cumin
2 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp cinnamon
2 bay leaves
150ml olive oil
250g chickpeas
2 medium carrots
2 stalks of celery
2 medium onions
50g raisins
1 bottle tomato passata (680g)
salt, black pepper
fresh coriander leaves and lemon wedges (to serve)

 

The night before soak your chickpeas.

The morning after, finely chop your onion, celery and carrot. We went for pieces the size of the chickpeas, but you can really roughly chop your vegetables if you prefer.

Pour your olive oil in a large pot and over medium low heat warm up all your spices. Yes, the bay leaves too. Once they have released their aromas, add the chopped vegetables and stir until coated in oil. When they become softer and translucent, add your chickpeas, raisins, tomato and 1lt of water. Season with salt and pepper. Stir everything very well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let them simmer for a couple of hours, or until chickpeas are cooked. Check occasionally and add water if needed.

To serve, cut your beautiful cauliflower into florets. In a bowl serve your hot chickpea stew. Place the cauliflower on top. Sprinkle the coriander leaves and squeeze some lemon juice. How about that for satisfying your senses?


It’s this time of the year again -around Thanksgiving- that the web seems to be exploding with pumpkin pie recipes. This year the food world went crazy over a clear pumpkin pie prepared by the Alinea wizards. Some found this version of the classic American dessert “creative”, others “nonsense”. Let’s be honest, we would love to try it -would you?

The following recipe is one of our favourite ways of preparing this pie: Baking the pumpkin first, lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg (sometimes we also use ginger and cloves) and mashing it up. The filling is quite delicious as it includes grape molasses for depth of flavour, walnuts for crunch, Corinth raisins for texture, and orange peel for the citrusy effect. Feel free to modify if you prefer it sweeter or add more grape molasses in case you follow a sugar-free diet. We choose to use phyllo pastry as we love its versatility –have you checked Despina’s recipes with it during our cooking workshops?

Ingredients
1 kg yellow pumpkin
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground nutmeg
½ cup ground walnuts
2 tsp fine semolina
2 tbsp grape molasses
5 tbsp cognac
½ cup sugar
½ cup butter at room temperature
½ cup of Corinth raisins
Peel from an orange
1 egg for glazing
½ kg phyllo pastry
Olive oil
A pinch of sea salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Cut the pumpkin in big pieces, peel, deseed it and cut in small cubes. Coat the bottom of a tray with olive oil and lay the squash. Sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon. Cover the tray tightly with a double layer of tinfoil and bake to 170°C until soft (approximately for 45 minutes).

Remove from the oven and allow the pieces of squash to cool. Put the pumpkin in a food processor and whiz until smooth or mash it with a spoon. Transfer to a big bowl.

Combine the walnuts, semolina, orange peel, half portion of the sugar, sea salt and grape molasses to that mix, as well. Drizzle the raisins with cognac and let them sit for 10 minutes. Drain them and place them to the mix.

Coat the baking pan with butter and place 5 sheets of phyllo-each coated with butter and sprinkled with sugar. Turn the ends inwards and glaze the pie with an egg and water mix. Carve the pieces and bake in a preheated oven to 170°C for 45 minutes.

Enjoy with a warm cup of tea or coffee!


Eating vegetables can be quite tricky for some. You see, many of us grew up eating boiled vegetables. Or deep-fried. Boiled vegetables can be quite bland. Deep fried vegetables can often be very heavy. So what does one do?

When you decide to incorporate more vegetables in your diet, your mind often goes to boring food. And at wintertime one needs bold, interesting flavours to balance the gloomy weather outside. How do you go from a hearty beef stew to a meatless Monday?

When it comes to vegetables, there are two things you need really. A different way to cook them. Something interesting to dress them up with.

So grab some nice root vegetables. Or squash. Or broccoli. Whatever’s in season. Whatever you like. We chose cauliflower this week.

Cut the vegetables and place them neatly on a baking tray. Make sure to spread them in one layer and leave space between them. You don’t want to end up with boiled vegetables. Not today anyway.

Season with salt, pepper and drizzle some olive oil. Add spices or herbs. For the cauliflower we used some dried thyme. Roast the vegetables at 200C, turning them once if needed. When they are tender when pierced with a knife and have a lovely golden brown colour they are ready. You’re half way there.

Now for the second step. This week we are making a yogurt-tahini dressing. It goes perfectly with roasted cauliflower (or any other vegetables of your choosing).

For a medium-sized bowl you will need:

Yogurt, 250g
Tahini, 2 tablespoons
Lemon juice, 2 tablespoons
Lemon zest, from 1 lemon
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Finely chopped fresh herbs (chives, parsley, mint…), 2 tablespoons or more to taste

In a bowl, mix the yogurt, tahini, lemon juice and zest. Stir until everything is blend together smoothly. If you want a more liquid sauce, loosen the mixture with as much water as you like. Season with salt and pepper. Before serving, add the freshly cut herbs. You can use chives, parley, mint, whatever you prefer. Whatever you have in your fridge really.

Serve while the vegetables are hot and the sauce is cold. I think now you are ready for that meatless Monday, right?