The 28th of October is the Greek national holiday, known as the Ohi Day. It commemorates the rejection of the Mussolini ultimatum by the Greek PM Metaxas, which resulted in Greece joining WWII. The day is widely celebrated all around Greece, and though there are no traditional dishes served on this day, it’s usually a time for the family to come together.

So this week, we’ve prepared something sweet for you, a beloved Greek traditional dessert called portokalopita. Portokalopita, literally meaning orange – pie, is a fascinating dessert. It’s made both with cake batter and filo pastry, and (!) an orange-sugar syrup drizzled on top (using the same technique as in the classic baklava). The result, as you can imagine is spectacular. It’s moist and aromatic, and extremely satisfying.

The cake batter is made with oil and while the classic recipe uses sunflower oil, we prefer using olive oil, as it adds depth and flavour.

Serves 12

For the cake
225g olive oil (plus more for the cake dish)
225g sugar
225g Greek yoghurt
2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
3 oranges (zest)
400g filo pastry
3 tbsp semolina or flour (for the cake dish)

For the syrup
500ml water
500gr sugar
250ml orange juice
1 orange, sliced (optional)

fresh bee pollen (to serve)

Thaw your filo (if from frozen). Shred your filo into large pieces and scatter on a large baking dish. Let it dry for a couple of hours. You can do this step the night before.

As your filo is drying, prepare the syrup. In a medium-sized pot, add the water, sugar, orange juice and sliced orange and stir everything together. Place your pot over medium-high heat and warm up the suryp, until the sugar has dissolved, 2-3min. Boil for another couple of minutes, remove from the heat and let cool.

Preheat your oven at 180C

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until white and fluffy. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, mix in the olive oil, baking powder, yoghurt, orange zest. Stir well until everything is combined.

Grease a large cake tin (30cm) with olive oil and dust some semolina flour all around. Lay the dried filo. Pour over your cake batter and using your hands gently toss everything together. You can do this in your bowl and then transfer to the cake tin if you prefer.

Bake at 180 for 30minutes or until your cake is cooked through. Remove from the oven and using a ladle, immediately pour over the cold syrup, one ladle at a time. It may look a lot, but worry not, your portokalopita will magically slowly absorb it all.

Decorate with the orange slices and bee pollen.
You can serve it immidiatley or ideally wait a few hours. It keeps well in the fridge.

 


It’s Shrove Tuesday!

This is the last day before the beginning for Lent. A moveable feast during which in the UK we have pancakes! This year is of course different, but we find that upholding traditions offers us a sense of comfort – especially if these are an excuse to make and enjoy delicious foods!

In search of inspiration for pancake fillings (remember our tahini and grape molasses from a couple of years ago?), we decided to turn to Greek traditions. So this year, our inspiration for this recipe comes from one of the most-loved Greek food combinations: soft white cheese and honey! A breakfast staple in many households, this combination is also the basis for kalitsounia, the little Cretan pastries. Soft creamy cheese, often on the tangy side, blends perfectly with sweet honey. For this recipe, we’ve selected our galomizithra cheese, a soft white Cretan cheese. We paired it with our orange blossom honey, a delicate, sweet honey with a citrus taste and a light amber colour. The result is truly majestic: Think of a cream cheese frosting, but more airy and light, and much more fragrant and aromatic.

Smother your pancakes with this filling. Sprinkle some cinnamon, chop up some fresh mint. We love bee pollen with this one too. Don’t forget your favourite nuts and yes, you can drizzle some more honey!

Serves two

1 pack (200g) galomizithra cheese
4 tbsp orange blossom honey,  plus more to serve
cinnamon, finely chopped fresh mint (optional)
bee pollen, nuts (to serve)

Place the cheese in a bowl and add the honey.

Using a fork or a whisk, mix everything together until well-combined.

Add the cinnamon or fresh mint, if using.

Smother over your pancakes and serve with bee pollen, more honey and your favourite nuts!


As we were preparing this recipe, we debated a lot on whether bee pollen reminds us more of winter or spring. You see, bee pollen is known as nature’s living superfood, as it is a source of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids and enzymes including iron, protein, Vitamin B1, B2 and B3. So it’s our go-to ingredient during winter, when we feel we need an immunity booster. At the same time, it really reminds us of spring, of flowers blossoming and bees buzzing, as it is collected by honeybees from the forests and flora of Northern Greece.

So we decided to settle the debate, by making a spring granola with bee pollen. Eating this granola for breakfast also feels great for our body during these challenging times. And what goes best with bee pollen? Honey, of course and crunchy, beautiful almonds.

Makes 1 jar

200g oats
100g almonds
pinch of salt
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp orange blossom honey
1 tbsp sesame seeds
3 tbsp bee pollen

Preheat the oven at 150C.
Roughly chop the almonds.

In a large bowl, place the oats and almonds. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey and salt. Pour the liquid mixture over the oats and nuts, and gently toss everything together, until the oats and nuts are all covered with honey and olive oil.

Place the granola on a baking sheet, nicely spread out and bake in the oven for around 20’, tossing regularly. Be careful not to burn it!

Once the granola is golden remove from the oven and let cool. Toss in the sesame and bee pollen. Store in an airtight jar.


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!

 


Spring is here! Well, let’s not be hasty, but it seems so. The snow that surrounded us here in London last week has now melted and the sun is shining. The first flowers appear in the green parks. We timidly stop to smell them once again.

I always think of bees when I smell flowers. Imagine living a life surrounded by aromatic flowers. But let me not get carried away, our favourite beekeeper has more to say on bees.

But bees bring us to this week’s recipe. We will make a delicious spring breakfast using bee pollen! And not only to welcome spring. As many of us at Oliveology have been ill the last few weeks, bee pollen is our go-to superfood to boost our immunity. And ideas on how to incorporate it in our lives are always welcome (let us know if you’ve got any!). Bee Pollen is a source of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids and enzymes including iron, protein, Vitamin B1, B2 and B3. Sounds like it’s very good for our bodies.

Collected by honeybees from the forests and flora of Northern Greece, our bee pollen is carefully dried to preserve all the vital nutrients. If you’ve never tasted bee pollen you’re in for a treat! These golden granules look like small rocks. But they are powdery, creating a silky dust in your mouth. And you can read a bit more here too!

This week we are pairing bee pollen with pairs and our favourite white soft galomyzithra creamy cheese. In an open sandwitch! Talk about pumping up your morning toast! Oh and for future spring breakfasts, bee pollen is great sprinkled on Greek yogurt, porridge, cereals and salads or added in milk, juice or smoothies.

Spring bee pollen toast for two

1 large pear
2 slices of qood quality bread
60g of galomyzithra cheese
2 teaspoons of bee pollen
sage honey (optional)

Finely slice the pear. Spread the galomyzithra cheese on your bread. Place the pear slices on top. Sprinkle bee pollen. Drizzle some honey if using.


A bee must visit 1,500 flowers to fill her pollen baskets. This gives some kind of indication of how much energy can be supplied by pollen! Pollen is used by the bees as a high-protein food, that they eat in addition to honey.

Bee pollen provides an incredibly complex supply of raw, unprocessed nutrients. Full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids (protein) and enzymes including iron, protein, Vitamin B1, B2 and B3. It is a power house of living energy.

Hippocrates, that famous Greek physician, used bee pollen for its healing properties over 2,500 years ago.

This superfood will truly benefit your health in many ways. Bee pollen contains high levels of zinc, which is a natural libido booster! It gives more energy, increases endurance, relieves stress, reduces allergies and enhances your immunity. What more can you ask for?

Great sprinkled on cereal, porridge, yogurt and salads or added in milk, smoothies or juice. We advise 1-2 teaspoons as a daily recommendation. Try our Greek bee pollen for a week and see if you feel any difference…