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.

 


I think as we are moving into winter, it’s time you got introduced to our favourite winter vegetable. For this year at least. What do we love this December? Beetroot!

With its deep purple-red colour, sweet taste and aroma, it is the perfect ingredient to brighten up our winter lives. You can of course enjoy it raw. Like last week’s cauliflower, or last year’s winter salad.

But this time around, we are making something using another of our favourite ingredients. Oregano essential oil is in store, all the way from a small farm in Nothern Greece. We met the producer a few weeks ago, during our November workshop and got even more excited about this aromatic ingredient.

So this week, we are bringing the two together, in a creamy beetroot dip, topped with oregano oil. Can you think of anything better for this time of the year?

For one large bowl you will need:

8 medium beetroot (approx. 500g cooked)
100g greek yogurt
3 tbsp sweet vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1tbsp grape molasses
salt

To serve:

2 drops oregano oil
4 tbsp olive oil
finely chopped spring onions and fresh thyme
sesame seeds or other nuts

Scrub the beetroot. Wrap each beetroot in tinfoil and bake at 180C until soft inside. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, using your fingers remove the skins. Let them cool. Place beetroot in a food processor (you can cut them in smaller pieces to make your life easier). Add the yogurt, vinegar, olive oil and grape molasses. Blend until smooth. Season with salt.

To serve, mix two drops of oregano oil with 4 tbsp of oil. Smell. Breath. And drizzle over the dip. Sprinkle over some spring onions, fresh thyme and sesame seeds.


Eating vegetables can be quite tricky for some. You see, many of us grew up eating boiled vegetables. Or deep-fried. Boiled vegetables can be quite bland. Deep fried vegetables can often be very heavy. So what does one do?

When you decide to incorporate more vegetables in your diet, your mind often goes to boring food. And at wintertime one needs bold, interesting flavours to balance the gloomy weather outside. How do you go from a hearty beef stew to a meatless Monday?

When it comes to vegetables, there are two things you need really. A different way to cook them. Something interesting to dress them up with.

So grab some nice root vegetables. Or squash. Or broccoli. Whatever’s in season. Whatever you like. We chose cauliflower this week.

Cut the vegetables and place them neatly on a baking tray. Make sure to spread them in one layer and leave space between them. You don’t want to end up with boiled vegetables. Not today anyway.

Season with salt, pepper and drizzle some olive oil. Add spices or herbs. For the cauliflower we used some dried thyme. Roast the vegetables at 200C, turning them once if needed. When they are tender when pierced with a knife and have a lovely golden brown colour they are ready. You’re half way there.

Now for the second step. This week we are making a yogurt-tahini dressing. It goes perfectly with roasted cauliflower (or any other vegetables of your choosing).

For a medium-sized bowl you will need:

Yogurt, 250g
Tahini, 2 tablespoons
Lemon juice, 2 tablespoons
Lemon zest, from 1 lemon
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Finely chopped fresh herbs (chives, parsley, mint…), 2 tablespoons or more to taste

In a bowl, mix the yogurt, tahini, lemon juice and zest. Stir until everything is blend together smoothly. If you want a more liquid sauce, loosen the mixture with as much water as you like. Season with salt and pepper. Before serving, add the freshly cut herbs. You can use chives, parley, mint, whatever you prefer. Whatever you have in your fridge really.

Serve while the vegetables are hot and the sauce is cold. I think now you are ready for that meatless Monday, right?