How was your Easter? We are all now well rested from the long weekend last week and getting ready for our own Greek Easter. Easter in Greece is one of the most important holidays. Starting from Clean Monday, the days of lent prior to Easter prepare us all for this week. Going to church, making sweet tsoureki and painting eggs are only a few of the traditions we uphold during those days.

On Easter Sunday, families gather together for the Easter lunch. Lamb is served, alongside a simple salad with lettuce, spring onions and plenty of dill. Then, each family has its own additions. Some will prepare pies, others will have various types of meat. At Oliveology we always go for tzatziki. This refreshing dip balances perfectly the intensity of lamb. And we make ours with plenty of garlic of course.

So, in the classic recipe the main ingredients are yogurt, cucumber, garlic and dill. But we are going to take this one step further this Easter. Marianna’s very own family recipe swaps the cucumber for raw beetroot, giving this pink tzatziki sweetness and crunch.

For a large bowl you will need

500g yogurt
3 cloves of garlic, minced to a paste (if you love garlic then feel free to add more)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil plus more to serve
1 large beetroot
3 tbsp. fresh dill, plus more to serve
salt  (to taste)

Grate the beetroot. Place in a bowl, squeezing away any excess liquid (you can use the liquid for smoothies, soups or cocktails). You can skip this step if you prefer a less thick tzatziki. Add the yogurt and dill and stir well. In a separate bowl whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and garlic. Combine the two. Mix until all flavours have blended together. Taste and season with salt. Serve with plenty of dill and olive oil.

 


January is in full swing, with gloomy wet weather (which however the writer of this blog post happens to adore). January is the month when we all decide we will take better care of ourselves. With the feasting of the holidays now way past us, we make promises to eat healthier, better. What healthier and better means may differ for each of us. For us at Oliveolology it is eating fresh vegetables, food made with care, good olive oil.

But you know, you have to have exciting flavours too. So this week we are playing with one very special ingredient. Kalamata olives with orange and herbs. These olives are marinated in orange juice, zest and wild aromatic herbs from our farm. Try to imagine the meatiness of the kalamata olives together with the citrusy orange. Absolutely delicious.

And what these olives pair perfectly with? Beetroot! You know we love this vegetable and there is something very satisfying to roasted beetroot. Remember our beetroot dip? How about last year’s lentil and beetroot salad?

To bring everything together we’ve selected kale and our organic goat’s cheese.

Serves two as side or one as main

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 sweet red wine vinegar
1 grape molasses
1 bowl/plate/bunch/bag of kale leaves
2 large beetroot
½ tub orange olives
¼-1/2 pack goats’ cheese
pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 200C. Scrub your beetroot under running water. Wrap each one in tinfoil and place them in a baking tray. Roast them until cooked through, around an hour.
In the meantime, wash and tear the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Whisk together the olive oil, sweet vinegar and grape molasses, salt.
Once cooked, remove the beetroot from the oven. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, unwrap them and using your fingers peel the skin off. You can of course leave the skin on. Slice the beetroot or cut them in wedges. Gently toss together beetroot, kale, orange olives, dressing. Lay on a plate or bowl (we used a chopping board). Crumble the cheese on top.


Thanksgiving is the time in November when people from across the pond gather together, give thanks and share food. Today, we do not give thanks for the harvest we’ve had, like people used to do. Nonetheless, it is a good opportunity to reflect on what we are thankful for.

As autumn ends, we are thankful for the comforting food that nourishes us. For the pure ingredients that transform into love. So this week, away from the extravagant thanksgiving dishes, we chose to prepare something simple for you.

A warm, hearty vegetarian lentil salad. It is inspired by this season’s “harvest”, using, what else, beetroot. Our sweet vinegar, fruity and crisp adds sharpness. Our salty, mature feta cheese balances the sweetness of the beetroot. Herbs add freshness and shine.

It is luscious and really easy to make.

Lentil and Beetroot salad with Feta Cheese

Serves two

200g beetroot, stalks and leaves trimmed (save them for soups or salads)
150g lentils
50g feta cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped plus more for garnish 4g

For the dressing:
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp sweet vinegar
salt to taste

Place the beetroot in a roasting tray, drizzle some olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 200°C, covered, for around 45 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Alternatively, boil with plenty of water, until tender when pierced with a fork. When they are still warm, peel them and cut into cubes.

Place the lentils in a small cooking pot with lots of water and boil until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. 

To make the simple dressing, whisk together the olive oil and sweet vinegar with a pinch of salt and the chopped mint.

Mix together the lentils, beetroot, feta cheese and dressing. Garnish with more mint if you want. Say goodbye to autumn and welcome the winter that’s coming.