Next week is the final week of Lent for us Greeks. As we are all looking forward to the Greek Easter next week, this week, traditionally, we prepare simple recipes that do not contain any animal produce.

But simple doesn’t mean not tasty. And it also doesn’t mean that these recipes can’t be enjoyed throughout the year. Indeed, in the Greek food culture, many of these recipes have become part of the daily diets of people. To learn more about the way us Greeks approach Vegan foods, join our upcoming Cooking Workshop! Our talented Lida is going to be talking about all these foods and has prepared a delicious menu for us. So come along, we have very few spaces left!

This week we’ve prepared something that you can enjoy as a dip or starter -a wonderful addition to your Easter table! But, between you and me, this also makes for a wonderful light dinner, with the addition of some crusty bread. It is spring after all, a cold dinner is sometimes appropriate.

Serves 6 as a starter

150g small white beans
5 sun-dried tomatoes (approx. 25g)
100g roasted red peppers
3 tbsp olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp chilli vinegar
chilli flakes, lemon wedges, chilli vinegar, olive oil (to serve)

The night before, soak your beans in plenty of water. The morning after, boil them until tender. Set aside and let cool, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking liquid.
In a food processor, place the beans, sun-dried tomatoes, red peppers, olive oil, lemon zest and chilli vinegar. Blend until a smooth paste forms. If you prefer, add some of the cooking liquid, to make the paste smoother.

Serve with chilli flakes, lemon wedges, and more vinegar and olive oil. And of course, pita bread or crusty bread!

Happy Easter everyone!


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!


Well, after a weekend of snow here in London, we might have been a bit hasty celebrating spring last time. But the sun is shining again, so let’s just wait a bit and see, maybe it’s finally here!

This week we’ve got a salad for you. I’m not sure recipes like the one below should be called salads (remember, we’ve had this discussion when we made our pasta salad last spring). But anyhow, these are dishes that feel healthy, are eaten without making you want to fall sleep after and give you energy to get through the day. Just like salads. Yet more filling.

The writer of this blog post grew up hating our main ingredient, gigantes beans, cooked in the traditional fasolada (bean soup). But things change as one grows older, and often we see the same things very differently. And all of us at Oliveology love discovering new ways to cook familiar ingredients.

These beans become soft and buttery when cooked. They are, I must admit, so flavourful that they can stand on their own. However, we’ve added a few things to brighten up their smoothness. Think of roasted broccoli and green peppers, zingy lemon zest and juice and our favourite lemon and herbs kalamata olives. So let’s get started before the weather turns cold again.

1 small head of broccoli
1 large green pepper
a few pinches of dried thyme
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
salt, pepper

100g gigantes beans
vegetable stock or herb stalks, vegetable scraps
salt, pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
zest of 1/2 lemon
½ tub lemon olives

The night before soak your beans in plenty of water.

Cut your broccoli into florets. Use the whole vegetable, just cut the stem in smaller pieces. Cut the pepper into large chunks. In a bowl toss broccoli, green pepper, thyme, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread onto a baking tray and bake at 180 for 30 min or until broccoli is charred and soft.

Place your beans in a medium sized pot, cover with new water and vegetable scraps or stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until beans are tender, around two hours. Season with salt after the beans have softened up.

Drain and let the beans cool. In a salad bowl toss together beans, broccoli, green pepper, olive oil, lemon juice and zest and lemon olives. Taste and add more salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy in the sun. Or snow, who knows anymore?


This week we are into shapes. What do we mean? Well, let me step back a bit. Autumn is in full swing and here at Oliveology we feel it’s time for soups! As always, we walked around the market and selected delicious seasonal vegetables. Yes, butternut squash of course, it is mid autumn after all! Soups, like all foods, should follow the seasons. If it’s summer, make a roasted tomato soup. If it’s winter, go for a vegan lentil soup. If it’s spring, then sugar snap peas and green beans are your ingredients of choice.

For our soup this week, we used tons of fresh, nutritious vegetables and small white beans. This soup feels very healthy, with its white beans, root vegetables, spinach. And for all our non-vegetarian readers, throw in a beef bone for extra flavour and nutrients.

But you know, soups sometimes can be dull. Let me explain myself. Imagine a perfectly pureed soup. Or a soup where all vegetables are cut in identical, symmetrical cubes. Yes, symmetry is often linked to beauty, but how about we spice it up a bit? Not the soup itself, its appearance. How? By cutting our vegetables in various lovely shapes.

Finally, when it comes to the To Blend or Not To Blend question, this one here goes against last year’s smooth pumpkin soup. Up to you to decide which one is your favourite autumn soup!

So, pour yourself a glass of wine or a cup of hot tea and join me as we prepare this year’s butternut squash soup!

For 6 hungry guests you will need:

6 tbsp olive oil
2 medium carrots
1 small leek
600g butternut squash
2 cloves of garlic
1 onion
2 sticks of celery
2.5 lt of water
200g small white beans
a small bunch of parsley
a small bunch of spinach
salt, black pepper

For the prep:
The night before, soak your beans in cold water. The morning after, drain.

For the chopping:
Peel the carrots and cut in rounds. Cut your leek in rounds as well.
Peel your butternut squash. Scrape out the seeds (you can save them and toast them separately if you want). Cut thick slices of the butternut squash and then each slice in triangles, following the edges that you created when peeling it.
Finely chop your garlic and onion.
Cut the celery in small cubes.
Finely chop the parsley stalks and leaves (but keep separately).

For the soup:
In a large pot over medium-high heat, pour the olive oil. Once heated, add the onions, leek and garlic and stir until translucent. Add the celery, carrots, squash and parsley stalks. Stir until your vegetables begin to caramelise. Add the water and beans and season with salt and black pepper. Bring your soup to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer for 2 hours or until beans are soft. A few minutes before serving, add your parsley leaves and spinach.

Serve as is, or with some grated graviera cheese and fresh chilli or pistachio pesto.


There are some foods that we are used to buying ready-made. It’s easy and effortless. But have you ever thought that it might be really simple to prepare them at home? When you make something at home you know exactly what goes into your food. No added salt. No added sugar. No additives or preservatives. None of the things that you have no idea what their names mean.

This week, we are sharing with you a great recipe for baked beans. You can have them for breakfast, on toast or with eggs. You can have them for lunch with some feta cheese. You can enjoy them as part of your dinner, filling a baked potato.

So step away from the isle of tins at the supermarket. Get some good quality beans. When the ingredients are good, you have to let them shine. Especially with something as simple as baked beans. Trust us, you’ll never go for the ready-made stuff again.

Serves 3-4 (as a main course or 5-6 as side)

You will need:

250g of small beans
5 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
400g of tomato passata
2 tbs of grape molasses
1 tsp of thyme
1 tbs of smoked paprika
1 tsp of smoked chilli (optional)

Place the beans in a large pot with water and leave overnight. The next day boil them until cooked but not soft. Drain and keep aside.

In a frying pan, gently fry the onion and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until soft. Add the chopped tomatoes, a few splashes of water, the spices and grape molasses. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes so that flavours develop.

Then transfer into a roasting tray. Add the beans and stir, drizzling with the remaining olive oil.

Bake at 180C for approximately 40min until the beans are very soft, adding some water if needed.

Now, would you really go for the tin again?