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!!!


We rarely make cookies here at Oliveology’s blog. I have to admit, I personally am more of a cook and less of a baker. Those of you cooking passionately will smile, as indeed baking is a whole different world than cooking. But that doesn’t mean that when we do bake we don’t enjoy it! The spiced molasses cookies that we made during the holidays last year filled our shop with winter spices. Over the years all of us cooking for Oliveology have made some delicious seasonal cakes, like last autumn’s butternut squash cake, and some less ordinary ones such as the olive oil apple cake or the no-sugar grape molasses cake!

In the beginning of this summer, for reasons unknown, I started baking cookies. I discovered that baking cookies after a long day can actually be quite relaxing. So this week, inspired by our product of the month, the Corinth raisins and Honey &Co’s recipes, we have a very fun and ‘relaxing’ recipe for you!

Our Corinth raisins are small in size, but punch above their weight in terms of their sweetness and taste. They do lay somewhere between fudge and chocolate if you ask me. I can’t think of a better ingredient for these cookies. And as always, there’s a twist: tahini! Its nuttiness adds depth –and as we are using less butter, we like to feel that these are ‘healthier’ cookies.

If any of you feel like experimenting and substituting all of the butter in this recipe for the tahini, please drop us a line. I am very curious if it will work. And for more healthier-living ideas, recipes and of course fun, join our workshops this year! Delicious collaborations are here and spaces are filling fast!

For 16 cookies you will need:

140g butter
200g dark muscovado sugar
1 egg
110g tahini
150g all purpose flour
100g wholemeal flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
100g Corinth raisins

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and tahini and mix well. In a separate bowl sieve all your dry ingredients: flours, baking soda, baking powder. Using a wooden spoon slowly fold everything together. Add the raisins. Be careful not to overmix.

Now, some people say that the beauty in baking cookies is tasting the uncooked dough. We are those people. But if you are hesitant about raw eggs please don’t.

Place your cookie dough in the fridge for half an hour. Form your cookies and place them in a baking tray that you have covered in greaseproof paper. Make sure there is enough space between them as they will flatten.

Bake at 180C for 10-15 minutes, or a tiny bit more if you prefer them crunchy!

Enjoy with some warm milk sweetened with grape molasses.


This week we’ve got for you an amazing recipe. Well, let me explain what makes it amazing. Until today I had only read about adding nut butters to fruit smoothies, but had never attempted it. It seemed a bit strange. But as I was researching recipe ideas for this blog post, I came across a few recipes of banana-date smoothies with tahini. So, on a hot afternoon I spread some tahini on a slice of bread and topped it with pieces of banana. It was actually delicious. I was going to make this smoothie.

As bananas are quite creamy, this recipe lays between a smooth drink and thick porridge. So it’s up to you to make it more liquid adding a bit of water, or leave it nice and thick. We find these measurements are perfect, but as always feel free to add more lime or more tahini if you feel like it. It is perfect for breakfast or afternoon snack!

Serves 2 or 1 very hungry person

2 large bananas (approx. 250g)
3 tbsp tahini
3 large dates, pitted (approx. 50g) or other dried fruit
juice of 1 lime
Chia seeds, cocoa nibs, fresh fruit (to serve)

There are two ways to go about with this recipe.

Option one is to cut your bananas in small pieces and place them in the freezer, on a plate without touching each other. Leave for a few hours until frozen. Alternatively you can skip the freezer part and move on to the step below. This is what we did, as we prefer non ice-cold foods for breakfast. But the freezer option is also nice.

So, place your bananas in a blender. Add the tahini and dates, along with the lime juice. Blend until smooth.

Now, you can add the water and blend some more, so that you have the consistency of a loose smoothie. Or skip the water (this is what we did).

Serve in a nice mug. Add some chia seeds, cocoa nibs and fresh fruit. Trust us, the mug option is better than a glass or a bowl. You know why, because it’s between the two. Just like this recipe.


For some reason summer is the time when we most enjoy making granola. Maybe because the weather is nice and we get inspired to have nice breakfasts al fresco. Last year’s granola was with our succulent dried nectarines and almonds. This year we’ve got something different for you.

We have in store an amazing new product (and you know how much we love it when Marianna brings in new ingredients). Our fig molasses is produced and packed for Oliveology by Moschoutas Farms in Evia Island. It contains only organic figs, water and a touch of organic lemon juice to balance the figs’ natural sweetness. It is a very unique product that adds depth to all your dishes. You can use it as you would use any other molasses.

This week we’re using fig molasses to make our granola. We paired it with walnuts and (of course!) dried figs. And we’ve also added some tahini, to add some depth and nuttiness. Our secret ingredient is cloves. We have my mum to thank for this, since I grew up with her making every summer fig jam spiced with cloves.

For 3 cups you will need:

2 cups oats
½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
½ tsp cloves
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp fig molasses
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp orange blossom honey
1 cup dried figs, finely chopped
pinch of salt
Greek yogurt (to serve)

Preheat the oven at 150 C.

Place your oats, walnuts and sunflower seeds in a bowl.
In a separate bowl whisk the olive oil, fig molasses, tahini, honey, cloves and pinch of salt, until all ingredients are blended together.

Pour the liquid mixture onto your oats. Using your hands or a spoon gently stir everything together until everything is covered in the liquid mixture.

Spread the granola onto a baking tray, covered in greaseproof paper. Bake, for around 20 minutes, checking and stirring every 5-10 min until golden.

Once golden, remove from the oven, and let your granola cool down. Once cool add the chopped figs and stir.

Serve with Greek yogurt and fruit and keep the rest in an airtight container.

 

 


One of the first things I tried at Oliveology was the kalamata olives with ouzo. Until then I had never tried anything like it. They were intense, meaty, with the aniseed flavour present, but not overpowering. They were amazing!

Since then I have been thinking what to do with such an interesting product. Greek chef Ismyrnoglou gave me the inspiration with one of her recipes.

This week, we are making chutney! But not what you have in mind. This is the easiest chutneys you’ve ever made. It tastes like Greekness on a plate. Even though you know, chutney ain’t really Greek. But that’s ok, right? What are we using? Two ingredients only: ouzo flavoured olives and dried figs.

You can serve it with cheese or spread it in a sandwich. You can also eat it as a snack. It really is delicious!

For one jar you will need:

150gr kalamata olives with ouzo
150gr dried figs

Cut the figs in small pieces and place them in a small pot, with just enough water to cover them. Bring the water to the boil and then simmer until they absorb all the water and are moist and juicy. Cut the olives in identical pieces. Or not. Really, you can chop everything as you like. The smaller the better though! Once the figs have absorbed all the water and are nice and sticky, place both ingredients in a bowl. Mix the olives and figs so that they stick together. Your Greek chutney is ready! Keep it in the fridge so that it lasts longer and enjoy at room temperature.


This time of the year, we always look around for interesting recipes for Christmas stuffing. You can’t have a festive table without it, can you? In Greece, stuffing is usually made with mince meat and rice. Here in the UK, sausage meat is preferred. But if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, surely you will know by know how we love creating vegan takes on traditional recipes.

Remember last year’s rice stuffing? With that in mind, this year we decided to take stuffing to a whole other level. How? Well, we kept some of the Christmassy flavours and added a few new ones (intense red cranberries and roasted chestnuts have arrived at our shop at Borough Market, need we say more?). Oh, and we’ve swapped rice for our favourite bulgur wheat!

Truth is, this dish is not just for your Christmas table. As I prepared it for this post, a bit before Christmas as you can imagine, I found myself in the middle of December, carrying with me this fragrant dish for lunch, looking forward to eating it again and again. And I have to tell you, just make more. It makes for a wonderful addition to your favourite winter lunches. This recipe serves 4 people, because sometimes all you need for Christmas is these few people you love most. But if you are feeding many, just multiply accordingly. It works very well.

For 4 people you will need:
1 small leek, finely chopped
2tbsp olive oil
50g dried cranberries
50g mixed walnuts and hazelnuts (or other nuts of your choosing)
100g roasted chestnuts
½ nutmeg grated
4 cloves
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp dried thyme
salt
pepper
200g bulgur wheat
600ml vegetable stock
a few springs of mint (to serve)

In a medium sized and over medium heat pot place the olive oil and gently fry the leek until soft and caramelised. Add the bulgur wheat and stir until all grains are coated in oil. Add the cranberries, nuts, chestnuts and stir again. Season with nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, thyme, salt and pepper.

Add the vegetable stock and stir until well combined.
Bring to a boil and lower the heat.
Simmer for 15-20min or until bulgur is cooked and flavours have blended.

Serve with finely chopped mint and lots of Christmas love!


Christmas is just around the corner and here at Oliveology we are getting ready for the day. Very interesting cheeses have arrived from artisan cheesemakers from all over Greece. They are made mostly with sheep’s and goats’ milk. Soft white galomyzithra from Crete, Ash Cheese and St. Isidore from the island of Naxos, matured feta cheese from Attica, these are just some of the options. Of course you can use them in cooking, preparing delicious festive recipes. But there is no better way to enjoy such excellent cheeses than on a cheese platter.

And what better to accompany them than a home made chutney. This one is easy to make, as it doesn’t require much chopping or preparation. Gather your favourite spices and get cooking. We are using of course our succulent dried figs. Carefully hand-picked and selected for top quality, they are dried naturally under the Greek sun, with no additives or preservatives. The figs are harvested from the fertile Messinia region in the Peloponnese, which is famous for its high quality figs. Together with our aged balsamic vinegar and grape molasses, this chutney is both sweet and vibrant.

Just one bag of our figs makes a jar of chutney!

You will need:

1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1tbs ginger, peeled and finely sliced
1tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 bag (250g) coarsely chopped dried figs
160ml balsamic vinegar
70ml grape molasses
200ml water
Salt and pepper

Preparation

In a saucepan add the olive oil and in medium heat stir in the ginger and coriander, until fragrant. Add the dried figs, vinegar, grape molasses and water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and let your chutney simmer. Add more water if needed until the figs are soft and the liquid is thick and glossy. Let cool and place in sterilised jars. Enjoy with your cheese platter or offer it as a delicious edible gift.


The countdown for Christmas has started. In preparation for this year’s celebrations we are bringing in store many delicious ingredients. Ingredients to cook with; ingredients to offer as gifts; ingredients to indulge yourself with.

Corinth raisins and dried figs have arrived from the Peloponnese, organic walnuts from the island of Eboea. They are a great addition to your morning cereal, yogurt or porridge. They are a very healthy snack between meals. They are amazing to add to any Christmas cheese platter. You can use them as ingredients in myriad festive cakes, puddings and bread.

But most importantly, they are what turns a salad dish from everyday, to festive. The small black raisins punch above their weight in terms of their sweetness and taste. Dried naturally under the Greek sun, the figs are succulent and intense. Pure, nutty walnuts add crunch.

Walking around the market we selected delicious green leaves to create this festive salad, and our very own artisan galomyzithra cheese, a soft white cheese made in Crete from goats’ and sheep’s milk. Of course, any salad that respects itself has a good quality extra virgin olive oil (we chose our 22oC). And finally, an aged balsamic vinegar will add the much needed acidity and sweetness. Read below the list of ingredients, we have a little secret in the end.

So here goes:

Festive Salad (For two people)

1 bunch of green leaves
A small handful of raisins (approx. 20g)
3-4 large dried figs, cut in half
A small handful of walnuts (approx. 50g)
100g of galomyzithra cheese
3 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs of balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper (to taste)
grape molasses (to serve)

Place your leaves in a large bowl. Add the raisins, figs, walnuts and gently toss. In a separate bowl mix the olive oil and vinegar together with a pinch of salt and pepper. Dress the salad and place in a beautiful serving platter (it is festive after all). Add the cheese and serve, drizzling some grape molasses to add sweetness.


One of the ingredients we really love at Oliveology is bulgur wheat. Not only because these small golden grains have a deep nutty flavour. Not only because they sort of remind us of Greece (remember our gemista?) Not only because we like to think they are the healthy alternative to pasta. Mostly we love bulgur because it’s an ingredient we can use throughout the year. What do I mean? You can make wonderful winter dishes with it; remember our pie ? Check our pie and wait for the first cold days of the fall and you will see what we mean). But also, you can have bulgur cold, in filling summer salads. Combinations are endless.

This week our inspiration comes from something that came into our store recently: succulent dried prunes. Dried prunes and nectarines came in a few weeks ago. We all got very excited as you can imagine. We used the nectarines to make a very Greek granola. You can put prunes there too. But we decided to make something savoury with them. That’s the beauty of these dried fruits. They pair beautifully both with sweet and savoury flavours.

This salad here isn’t really a salad. It’s a wonderful main for a dinner on a warm summer night. You can have it warm too, but cold is quite nice. You can make it in advance, keep it in the fridge and when your guests come you’re all sorted.

Just make sure not to overboil the bulgur wheat (we did in the initial recipe testing). But on our second testing, we decided that al dente tastes way better.

For 4 people you will need:

400g bulgur
1 small orange (juice and zest)
1 small lemon (juice and zest)
2 cups water
salt, pepper
1 small bunch fresh coriander (leaves only, approx. 30g)
1 small bunch fresh mint (leaves only, approx. 30g)
1 small bunch fresh parsley (leaves only, approx. 30g)
200g prunes

To serve:
a handful of raw almonds, roughly chopped
wild flowers honey (to taste)
extra virgin olive oil (to taste)

In a large pot, pour the water. Add the citrus fruits, both juice and zest. Add the bulgur and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil. Lower the heat and cook until bulgur is tender, approximately 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly.

Let the bulgur cool down. In the meantime, finely chop your herbs. Roughly chop the prunes. Mix together the herbs, bulgur and prunes. Before you serve, drizzle your salad with olive oil and honey. Taste and add salt and pepper if you want. Sprinkle the almonds. Serve at room temperature or cold.

 


Granola is of course not Greek. Growing up in Greece plain oats were available, but to my understanding I was the only weird kid at school who occasionally had porridge for breakfast. Unlike the UK, oats were not that popular in Greece. But let’s begin by what granola is and we will get to our Greek summer version. Granola is basically a mixture of oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruit, baked in the oven -you’ll see how right below.

So what makes this recipe a Summer Greek granola? Well, summery Greek ingredients and flavours. At the shop we just received some lovely dried nectarines. Plump and juicy, with a pink-peachy colour that makes you want to just look at them for hours. They are hand picked and air dried, with no added sugar or any bad oils. It’s just the fruit, really. The perfect ingredient to make granola, wouldn’t you say? Inspired by the Greek nectarines, we created this recipe for you this week.

I’ll give you the measurings in cups as it’s way easier to assemble your mixture that way. Also, this ain’t baking, so if you fancy adding more nuts, seeds or fruit go ahead. But this ratio is very balanced I find. Please don’t go for the blanched almonds, the ones with skin taste better. You can serve your granola with milk, kefir, yogurt and fresh fruit for a lovely summery breakfast.

For a large jar of granola you will need

2 cups of oats (200g)
½ cup chopped almonds (70g)
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
a few pinches of cinnamon
a pinch of salt
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp honey
1 cup dried nectarines (120-150g)

Start by mixing your oats, almonds and seeds in a bowl and place them on a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Then, in a separate bowl mix your olive oil, honey, cinnamon and salt (if your honey is not runny, warm it up a bit).

And now, for the fun part: Drizzle the olive oil/honey mixture on top and mix with oats (the olive oil and honey might not seem enough for that amount of oats, but it really is).

Very carefully make sure to mix everything really well using your fingers until everything is covered in olive oil/honey (you could use a spoon, but then you won’t be able to lick your fingers, you don’t want that).

Right, now for the baking: at 150C, stirring every 10min so that it evenly cooks.

Oh, and whatever you do, when you take the granola out of the oven to stir do not taste: Laugh not, it is very inviting, granola makes the house smell like honey and spice and everything nice but it will burn you (yes, I did get burnt, so be wiser).

So, after about 30-40min, when your granola is golden, remove from the oven and let it cool, mixing in your dried fruit after it’s cooled down.