Vasilopita is a traditional Greek cake, especially prepared for New Year’s Eve. On New Year’s Eve, the whole family gathers around the table, and just past midnight, the host cuts the Vasilopita. Each member of the family gets a piece. But there’s a secret. There is a coin inside the Vasilopita and whoever finds it is said to have luck for the entire year!

This year many of us will not be having the large family gatherings of the past. But in honour of these gatherings, we have prepared for you Oliveology’s Vasilopita. The recipe if from Marianna’s mother, Mrs Kalliopi, who makes it every year for her family. Needless to say we were extremely happy she shared it with us!

Serves 20

250g butter
6 large eggs
400g sugar
4 medium oranges (both juice and zest)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 kg flour

Beat butter and sugar, until white and fluffy. In two bowls, separate the eggs yolks and whites. Beat the whites until soft peaks form. Set aside.

Slowly incorporate the yolks one by one into the butter and sugar mixture.

Mix the orange juice with baking soda and be careful as it will bubble. Slowly add to the mixture, so that it doesn’t splatter.

In a separate bowl sieve the flour and baking powder. Slowly add to the mixture.

In the end, fold in the egg whites and gently mix with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Bake at 180C, until your cake is cooked through, for around an hour. You can check by inserting a knife in the middle of the cake. If it comes our clean, it’s done.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and using almonds, or your fingertips, write 2021 on your cake.

Happy New Year!!!


This week we’ve got a very Christmassy recipe for you! Think of tender butternut squash and sweet potatoes, roasted in the oven and mixed with plenty of olive oil, to create the perfect creamy mash. It is the ideal side dish for your Christmas table, and why not, a main meal on its own, with a green salad! Oh, and did we mention it’s vegan?

As you know, we love roasting vegetables. Do you remember last year’s Honey & Grape Molasses Carrots, or the Festive Brussels Sprouts with Walnut Oil from a few years ago? It is true that flavoured olive oils take roasted vegetables to a whole other level. Especially this year, we were very happy to add the unique Ginger, Lime & Basil Olive Oil to our selection. And in this dish, it pairs perfectly with our Apple Olive Oil with Cinnamon, Walnuts and Honey!

For this mash, we’ve used not one, not two, but three olive oils! The flavours complement each other, adding depth and silkiness to the dish. Serve with all three, so that your guests can select which one they prefer. And as we are during a pandemic, when we say guests, we mean you.

Serves 6

1 kg sweet potatoes (approx. 3 large)
1.5 kg butternut squash (1 medium)
100ml olive oil, plus more to serve
2 tbsp ginger, lime and basil olive oil, plus more to serve
2 tbsp apple olive oil, plus more to serve
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt, pepper

Preheat the oven at 200C

Peel the sweet potato and cut in bite-sized pieces. Set aside. Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds and cut in bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

Lay the vegetables separately in two roasting trays, making sure they are in one layer.

In a bowl whisk together the olive oil, ginger oil, apple oil, thyme, paprika, salt and pepper. Drizzle the mixture over the two trays. Toss the vegetables, so that they are nicely coated with the flavoured oil mixture.

Cover each tray with tinfoil.

Place the two trays in the oven, roasting the vegetables for 1-1,5 hours, until very tender. Let them cool.

Mash them all together, using the liquid from the roasting trays. You should have a smooth mash. Serve with plenty of olive oil.


Mulled wine is one of our favourite European Christmas traditions. This week, we’ve prepared for you our very special recipe for mulled wine, inspired by Greek wines, spirits and flavours.

As you may know, we love unique Greek wines and spirits, ethically sourced from small producers and vineyards from all over Greece. So for this special mulled wine, we’ve used the Sant’Or Krasis Red, an organic, biodynamic, natural wine, made wine with indigenous yeasts. Its rich red fruit flavours of cherry, plum and cassis and spiced notes of cinnamon, cardamom and rose wood pair perfectly with the winter spices we’ll use. And to make our mulled wine truly special, we are also adding Metaxa, a spirit laying somewhere between Cognac and Brandy, yet impossible to classify. Its toffee tasting notes and fruity finish are the ideal pairings for the Corinth raisins and citrus fruits we will be using!

Oh and did we mention that our mulled wine has absolutely no sugar? Yes, like in a hot toddy, we used honey to add sweetness and a splash of grape molasses to add depth. Trust us, it’s the most delicious mulled wine you’ll ever taste!

Serves 6

1 bottle of Sant’Or Krasis red
100ml Metaxa 7 Stars Love Greece
100gr orange blossom honey
1 tbsp grape molasses
60g Corinth raisins
3 cinnamon sticks
½ tsp ground cloves
2 bay leaves
2 oranges
2 tangerines

Using a vegetable peeler or a sharp small knife, remove large strips of the orange zest from the oranges and tangerines, making sure to have as little of the white pith as possible.

In a large pot place the wine, Metaxa, honey, grape molasses, raisins, spices, bay leaves and citrus peel.

Gently simmer over medium-heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally until the wine is lightly simmering.

Serve warm.


Christmas is now slowly coming to an end, but somehow we are still feeling festive. The New Year is after all very close!

This week we have selected a wonderful recipe that will certainly fill you with warmth. A honey & spices granola! It is filled with fragrant spices, such as cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg and sweetened with vanilla fir honey. And because we’re feeling very festive, we’ve used our apple oil to give our granola a wonderful subtle aroma. This granola makes for a perfect gift for the New Year. Just put it in a lovely jar with a colourful ribbon.

But it’s also the ideal way to use up any leftover nuts and dried fruit you may have from Christmas. And as the year is coming to an end, we love the idea of clearing out our kitchen cupboards and starting fresh. So have a look, gather all leftover nuts and dried fruit, and join us, as we say goodbye to 2019 with one last recipe.

Makes one large jar

200g oats
100g mixed nuts (we used walnuts and hazelnuts)
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
3 tbsp apple oil
4 tbsp vanilla fir honey
50g dried fruit (we used raisins)

Preheat the oven at 160C.

Roughly chop the nuts. Place them in a large baking dish, along with the oats.

In a small bowl, whisk together the apple oil, honey, spices and pinch of salt.

Pour over the oats and nuts and using your hands or a wooden spoon, mix everything very well together, until all oats and nuts are coated in the aromatic olive oil-honey.

Bake at 160C for around 30min, stirring every 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and add the dried fruit.


This week we’ve got a lovely Christmas recipe for you. As we all know, carrots are the perfect ingredient to accompany our Christmas meal. This week we’re preparing them combining some very unique ingredients: orange blossom honey and grape molasses! We got our inspiration from our Valentine’s Dinner Experience (our first for 2020), in which our talented chef Lida is making a honey carrot soup. Yes, honey and carrots are very good friends!

In this recipe we added grape molasses, an ingredient that adds depth and balances the sweetness of the honey. It is made purely from grape must. A staple in my own kitchen, I highly recommend it!

So let’s get cooking. And have a warm and peaceful Christmas everyone!

Serves 6 as a side
1kg carrots
50g cranberries
5 tbps olive oil
3 tbsp orange blossom honey
3 tbsp grape molasses
1 large orange, zest and juice
salt (to taste)

Preheat the oven at 180C

Slice the carrots diagonally in uniform thin slices. They will shrink a bit while cooking, so make quite big slices.

Place them in a large baking tray, in one layer.

Sprinkle the cranberries.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey, grape molasses, orange zest and juice. Season with salt.

Drizzle over the carrots and toss well everything together.

Roast in the oven until tender.


Christmas is around the corner and all of us are feeling very festive here at Oliveology! Have you checked our advent calendar yet? We’ve got a special treat every day, how exciting!

We’ve had a very busy few weeks, planning our delicious events for 2020!

We are very excited to share with you some very interesting workshops: In February we will warm up with our Greek stews & soups workshop. In March we will learn how to make Traditional Greek pies, and at the end of March we have our Vegan Workshop.

When it comes to dinner experiences, On Valentine’s Day we have a special dinner experience planned, focusing on the senses. In June we have a dinner & a talk around Greek olive oil mythologies, with lots traditional dishes, slowly cooked in olive oil. The latter by yours truly.

So in case you are looking for an unusual gift this Christmas, our Events Gift Card is what you need!

Following last week’s festive spirit, when we made a warm orange salad with our truffle honey, this week we have prepared a white soup made with one of my favourite Oliveology ingredients: our apple oil! Imagine olives pressed with apples, walnuts, cinnamon, honey & sage, what a combination! And like we did in our celeriac soup, we’ve added a little secret ingredient: almonds!

Serves 6 as a starter

1 kg cauliflower
5 tbsp apple oil
salt, pepper, dried thyme
50g almonds
2 cups of milk

Preheat the oven at 180C.

Break the cauliflower in florets and place it in a single layer in a large baking tray. Add the almonds. Season with salt, pepper and dried thyme. Drizzle the apple oil and toss everything gently together until all florets and almonds are coated with the oil and the seasoning.

Bake until the cauliflower is golden and tender, for around 30min. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Using a blender, blend the cauliflower and almonds, adding the milk. You can work in batches if necessary.

Transfer the soup in a large pot. Cook until bubbly hot, adding more milk if needed. Check for seasoning.

Serve immediately, drizzling more apple oil.

 

 

 


As we are well into winter and a few weeks away from Christmas, many of us are wondering what to prepare this year for our festive table. Let’s have a look at our recipes.

There is of course the question of stuffing. Shall we go with a vegan one? A less ordinary one made with bulgur wheat, or a colourful one with dried nectarines, cherries and almonds?

What is your favourite Christmas main? Here at Oliveology every year we’ve got different traditions and family recipes that come into the discussion.

But no matter what your main course is, plenty of colourful vegetable-based plates are a must! The last few years, we went for green. We loved our festive Brussels sprouts with walnut oil. Or how about a crunchy fresh green salad with galomyzithra cheese, dried figs and grape molasses?

This year we got our inspiration from one very unique ingredient. Truffle honey. Our truffle honey is made from acacia honey, infused with slivers of real black summer truffle. The intense aroma of this truffle honey pairs particularly well with cheese and charcuterie platters. But it is an excellent ingredient to add a unique flavour and a little luxury to this year’s table.

And as we are going for a colourful table, we have chosen a selection of orange winter vegetables. The inspiration came from a restaurant dish I used to prepare years back, where the chef was using only orange vegetables-what a brilliant idea! The result is a memorable dish that will definitely appeal not only to truffle lovers, but also to those who have never tasted truffle before.

Serves 6

1kg pumpkin
500g carrots
500g sweet potato
½ jar truffle honey
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup of water
dried thyme
salt, pepper
50g walnuts (to serve)

Peel the pumpkin, carrots and sweet potatoes. Cut the vegetables in large bite-sized pieces and place in a large roasting tray.

In a bowl, whisk together the truffle honey, olive oil, water, thyme, salt and pepper.

Drizzle on top of your vegetables and toss everything together.

Bake at 180C for about 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tended inside and slightly crunchy on the outside.

Sprinkle some walnuts and serve warm in a colourful platter.


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!!!


If you haven’t tried Greek tsoureki before, then you are certainly missing out! Soft, fluffy, with a beautiful brown semi-soft crust and an amazing stringy texture. Its distinct, rich flavour and intense aromas come from the two aromatic spices used: mastic and mahlab, which give a really characteristic flavour and smell. Freshly ground mastic (masticha), is an aromatic spice from Chios island, and aromatic mahlab or mahleb (mahlepi), is a spice made from ground seeds of cherry.

Ingredients

40g fresh yeast
60ml water
75g special flour for tsoureki (a flour mix, high in protein)
45g butter 82% fat
135g sugar
100g eggs
85ml milk
10g mahlepi (a spice made from cherry stones)
20ml orange juice
Zest from an orange
3g grounded mastic (resin obtained the mastic trees in Chios island, PDO product)
1g salt
A portion of vanilla (powder)
425g special flour for tsoureki
40g melted butter 82% fat, in medium temperature
1 egg, beaten for egg wash
40g thinly sliced almonds
Red eggs (if desired)

Method

Sprinkle yeast over lukewarm water and let it stand for 10 mins. Afterwards, add 75g of flour, stir to combine and leave it to rise in a warm place for approximately 45 mins.

In a pot combine 45g butter, sugar, eggs, milk, mahlepi, juice and orange zest, mastic, salt and vanilla and warm up the mixture until it’s lukewarm. Stir to combine with a whisk. Add the mix to the electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and start adding flour gradually, stirring between additions. Combine the initial mix (with the yeast) as well and mix until the dough is elastic. Finally, add melted butter and keep mixing until the dough doesn’t stick to the mixer bowl anymore. Transfer the dough into a buttered bowl, cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45 mins, until doubled in size.

Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and cut the dough in 350g balls. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Divide the dough into three and roll into three stands. Plait the strips together, place on the baking tray and leave to rise in a warm place for approximately an hour, until doubled in size. Brush the top of the bread with egg wash, sprinkle some almonds and push the red eggs (if desired) into the bread. Finally, bake tsoureki at 170° for 40 mins. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Καλό Πάσχα – Happy Easter!


One of the things we enjoy the most during this holiday season is baking. There is something quite unique when the house fills with aromas. Especially when it comes to these spices we have associated with this time of the year. Yes, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, pepper, all these fragrant spices make us feel even more festive.

This week we have prepared cookies! Soft and moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside. But as cookies go, you can of course go for the crunch throughout. Just let them bake for a few more minutes. For these cookies we have used one of our favourite ingredients, grape molasses. When I was growing up, my father would prepare for me and my sister a slice of bread, with a thin layer of butter and grape molasses on top. The memory of this intense and strangely fragrant syrup always comes to mind when I open a bottle of grape molasses and smell it. And to this day, I find it very hard to describe its unique taste.

But back to the cookies.

The recipe below is adapted from Bon Appetit. We used a mixture of our favourite spices, but as always, feel free to substitute. If you love cinnamon, just use cinnamon, if you hate cloves, just make it without.

For 20 cookies you will need:

100g dark brown sugar
110g unsalted butter
½ egg
55g grape molasses
60g whole wheat flour
75g white flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsp mixed spices (we used a combination of cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, pepper)

1 tbsp milk, 1 tbsp grape molasses and icing sugar (optional, to glaze)

 

Whisk together both flours, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.

In a separate bowl beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and whisk just to combine. Add molasses and whisk again until incorporated.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to your mixture, carefully so as not to over-mix.

Place in the fridge for at least an hour.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Using your hands, form small or larger balls and place them on your tray, leaving space in between your cookies as they will expand. Bake for 7-12 minutes, or until you have reached your desired softness.

If you want to glaze them, stir the milk and grape molasses until well combined. Slowly add powdered sugar until your glaze is thick and glossy. Drizzle over cool cookies.