Baklava is one of the most-loved Greek desserts. With origins in the Ottoman cuisine, it is prepared all around Greece, Turkey, and many other countries of the Levant, the Balkans and beyond.

We’ve tasted some delicious Turkish baklava with pistachios, while in Greece walnuts are preffered. Some more ‘modern’ versions which were popular all around Athens in the 90s-2000s used hazelnuts. Diverting from traditional recipes, for us, the selection of nuts is a very personal choice, and in this recipe we’ve actually used a mixture of all three: pistachios, walnuts and hazelnuts.

When it comes to the layers of filo, there are, again endless variations. If you love a tall baklava, double the recipe, or prepare it in a smaller baking dish. In ours we used one pack of filo and a 32x26cm dish and the result was a thin baklava. Ideally a metal baking dish is preferred as the distribution of heat is optimal for the baklava. However, we tried baking ours in a classic baking dish and it worked just fine.

For the syrup, we used our wild flower honey to sweeten ours, which adds a wonderful depth of flavour. When it comes to pouring the syrup over the baked baklava, there is a great debate around the ideal temperatures. We found that cooled down syrup poured over the hot baklava, just as it comes our of the oven gives a wonderfully crispy filo.

1 pack filo (450g)
350g nuts (we used raw pistachios, walnuts and hazelnuts)
100g white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
250g clarified butter (or simply melt butter)

For the syrup
250ml water
200g white sugar
200g wild flower honey
2tbsp lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
lemon peel

Syrup: In a medium sized pot and over medium heat add the water, sugar, honey, lemon juice and peel, and cinnamon stick. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Remove the lemon peel and cinnamon stick and set aside to cool.

Preparation: Preheat your oven to 190C.

Working in batches and using a pestle and mortal or blender, grind your nuts until they resemble coarse sand. Whisk in the sugar and cinnamon and set aside in a bowl.

Place the sheets of filo on the table over a kitchen towel and cover with a damp kitchen towel.

Melt your butter and place it on the table.

Assembling: Brush the bottom and sides of your pan with butter. Place one layer of filo, trimming the ends if needed. Drizzle some butter and add another layer of filo. Repeat until you have four layers of filo at the bottom.

Sprinkle a thin layer of your nut mixture. Cover with a sheet of filo and drizzle with butter. Repeat the process with a thin layer of nuts, then filo then drizzled butter, until you are left with three sheets of filo and no nuts.

Drizzling butter in between the sheets of filo, cover the top of the baklava with the remaining three sheets. If you have any butter left then pour it over your baklava.

Using a sharp knife cut in a diamond-shaped pattern (or squares or whatever you prefer). You can place the baklava in the fridge for the butter to set if you are finding it difficult to cut.

Baking: Bake at 190C in the bottom rack of the oven for 30-40minutes, until the baklava is golden and cooked underneath as well (check by gently lifting a piece from the corner).

Remove from the oven and immediately pour over the syrup. You will hear it making a beautiful sound. The syrup might seem a lot but let it cool and it will absorb most of it.

Tip: Baklava is always better the next day, so if you can, be patient and wait at least a few hours before serving it.

 


Tahinopita, literally meaning “tahini pie” is a well-loved Cypriot sweet bread/cake, traditionally eaten during Lent. Marianna, who is half Cypriot, grew up with tahinopita, be it from the neighbourhood bakery, or home-made by her mother and aunts. I, on the other hand did not, as tahinopita was not part of my culinary universe.

So when I was researching for this recipe I was, I must confess, not so enthusiastic about it. In its many versions, it read like a sweet bread with sweet tahini, which is a much loved combination, but nothing more than that.

Well. Let me tell you, I was standing in my kitchen on a Sunday afternoon, fragrant smells of cinnamon, mahleb and cloves all around me, tasting perhaps one of the most delicious baked goods I’ve ever made.

The recipe is quite straightforward. You make the dough and the filling and then put them together. There are various ways to do so, and you can have a look at this video which is quite helpful. There’s also a much simpler way, which you can find here and which we used. It is very similar to making cinnamon rolls.

We got inspired by Georgina Hayden’s recipe who uses carob molasses in the filling and we absolutely loved the idea!

For the dough
350g flour
½ tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp aromatic spices such as mahleb, mastiha, vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 sachet dried yeast (7g)
275ml lukewarm water

For the filling
200g tahini
125g white sugar
3 tbsp carob molasses
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
3 tbsp olive oil
3tbsp water

To serve
wild flower honey (optional)

Preheat the oven to 160C.

First make the dough. Add the yeast to a jug with the lukewarm water and let it stand for a couple of minutes. In a large bowl, sieve together the flour, baking soda, and all the spices. Add the yeast/water mixture and using a fork bring everything together. Transfer your dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until you have an elastic dough, around 10min. Dust your bowl with some flour and return the dough to your bowl. Let it rest in a warm place while you prepare the filling, around 15min.

To make the filling, gently whisk together the tahini, sugar, carob molasses, spices, olive oil and water. You should have a thick-but-not-too-thick paste. Set aside.

Roll out the dough into a rectangle, around 2-3mm thick. Spread the filling on top. Then roll up the dough, cut in thick pieces, turn them on their side (like you would do with cinnamon rolls), and gently push them down, so that you have a small, round tahinopitas, resembling cookies. Alternatively, you can follow the traditional way: Fold the dough like an envelope, so that you have two layers of dough, with the filling in between. Roll up the dough and twist it around like a cheese stick. Roll it like a snail.

Place them in a baking sheet covered with greaseproof paper and bake in the oven at 160C for approx. 20minutes.

Remove from the oven and drizzle with honey, if using. Enjoy!


Making gingerbread men was one of the most fun baking sessions with little Harry and yiayia Philippa. We used olive oil instead of butter and grape molasses to reduce the sugar needed. The result was truly amazing and the feedback a success from all ages. Check our Instagram post for this super fun child friendly activity 🙂

Makes approximately 20 cookies.

Cookie dough

400g flour
100g brown sugar
120ml grape molasses
80ml extra virgin olive oil
1 large egg
2-3 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt

Icing (optional) 
350g icing sugar
4 tbs of lemon juice

 

Method

Preheat oven to 170ºF and line your baking trays with parchment paper or you can use silicone baking mats.

In one bowl whisk together flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl mix well and bid together brown sugar, molasses, egg, and olive oil until creamy. You can use a blender or mix by hand. It worked fine by hand. Gradually add flour mixture into liquid mixture and beat until dough starts to form together. Gently knead the dough into a ball.

Olive oil cookie dough is sticky, so you can put your dough in the fridge for an hour prior to rolling out.
Alternatively you can also use two sheets of parchment paper to carefully roll out your dough until approximately 1-cm thick. I did both of the steps above and worked out perfect!

Using cookie cutters, cut into fun shapes. Bake for 10 -12 minutes depending on the size and how crunchy you like them. These cookies are naturally brown because of the molasses and won’t brown further with baking. If you bake them for too long, you will have firm, crisp cookies. We like ours slightly softer than crunchy.

When you remove from the oven transfer on a cooling rack.

Serve as is or decorate with icing.
For the icing simply add the lemon juice into the icing sugar until it becomes firm and spreadable. Then pipe the icing on the cookies to decorate.

Store in airtight container for at least 2 weeks.

 


We are so excited for Christmas this year! After what felt like a very long year, we are happy to be able to prepare once again our favourite dishes. In Greece there are many Christmas traditions (such as the melomakarona and kourabie Christmas cookies), but when it comes to main courses and sides, there are endless variations. Stuffing is often found at our Christmas table. Traditionally, stuffing in Greece is made with rice, but we love experimenting, so check out our other stuffing recipes.

This year we are using brown rice for our stuffing. This organic, whole-grain rice comes from Grevena in the northern part of Greece. It is high in fibre and nutrients and has a wonderful, nutty taste that pairs perfectly with the walnuts we are using in this recipe. So come by Borough Market, gather all your ingredients and let’s get cooking for Christmas!

Serves 6

3 leeks
6 tbsp olive oil
small bunch of celery leaves
3 tbsp grape molasses (plus more for serving)
300g brown rice
1 lt vegetable stock
50g Corinth raisins
50g walnuts (plus more for serving)
100g chestnuts
½ tsp cinnamon or other spices such as nutmeg, cardamom etc.
salt and pepper (to taste)

Finely slice the leeks.

In a large pot place the olive oil and the leeks and cook over medium heat until transluscnet but not caramelised. Add the grape molasses.

Finely chop the celery leaves and add them to your pot. Cook for a few more minutes, until the leaves are soft.

Add the rice, vegetable stock, raisins, walnuts and spices. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 30-40min, or until the rice is cooked. Add the chestnuts, adjust for seasonings and cook for 5 more minutes.

Transfer to a serving dish, scatter more walnuts and drizzle with grape molasses. Serve hot.


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.