Today’s recipe is an ode to Florina peppers. Florina peppers are a specific variety of peppers, cultivated in northern Greece in the region of Florina. This is where they take their name from. As the Greek food writer Evi Voutsina writes, they ripen and turn red after the 15th of August. They are a big part of the local history and culture, and there’s even a yearly local celebration of Florina peppers at the end of August in Florina.

In 1994 they were awarded a Protected Destination of Origin status. They have a distinct flavour, with a rich sweetness and are widely used in Greek cooking. They are perhaps one of the most popular preserves, roasted over open flame and jarred. Vinegar is the key ingredient in preserving here.

In our recipe today, we’ve used our organic roasted peppers to make a delicious and easy recipe. This lays somewhere between a dip and a sauce. You can add it in pasta, in roasted vegetables, or enjoy as a dip on its own. Dakos adds body and complexity to this recipe, but you can use stale bread as well. Don’t omit the tomato paste, it really transforms this dip! Check out our recipe to make your own roasted red peppers!

4 large roasted red peppers (350g)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp grape molasses
1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp tomato puree
50g dakos rusks or stale bread
½ tsp chilli flakes (plus more, to taste)
salt (to taste)

Serves 6

Break the dakos rusks into small chunks.
In a blender whiz together the peppers, olive oil, grape molasses, vinegar, tomato paste and dakos, until you have a smooth dip. Add the chilli flakes and season with salt. Blend for a few more seconds.

Taste and adjust for seasonings, adding a bit more grape molasses, balsamic, salt or chilli if needed.

 


This recipe belongs to Frantzeska and Froso, two women from the island on Tinos and were featured in the Greek cooking magazine Gastronomos, in a wonderful issue dedicated to old recipes from all over Greece.

The ingredients for this cake are fascinating, as there were no eggs, butter or sugar. The recipe calls for olive oil (you know that us Greeks love baking with olive oil, remember Mrs Kalliopi’s Olive Oil Cake?), which as the two women say can be replaced with tahini. Instead of sugar or honey, grape molasses are used, even though you can also use any leftover syrup from the traditional spoon sweets, for example from this grape spoon sweet. But grape molasses is one of our favourite ingredients to use, and our product of the month for September, so we couldn’t but give it a try. The result truly surprised us. This wonderful cake, with flavours that remind us of Fanouropita, or Petimezopita filled the house with warm, autumn smells. Expect a moist cake with a remarkable depth of flavours.

Frantzeska and Froso add some sesame on top of the batter before baking the cake, but we decided to swap the sesame for our tahini, and created these lovely swirls.

Serves 6
50ml olive oil (plus more for your baking dish)
250ml grape molasses
45ml tsipouro
½ lemon zest and juice, divided
½ tsp baking soda
½ tbsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
200g all-purpose flour (plus more for your baking dish)
2 tbsp tahini
Cinnamon (to serve)

Preheat your oven at 180C.

In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the olive oil, grape molasses, tsipouro and lemon zest.

In a mug add the lemon juice (about 2 tbsp) and the baking soda and carefully stir. It will foam, be prepared.

Add it to your bowl, along with the flour and spices, and whisk until just combined.

Grease your baking dish with olive oil and coat it with some flour, so that your cake doesn’t stick. Add the batter.

Add a few dollops of tahini all around the batter and using a wooden skewer or knife, swirl it through the batter.

Bake at 180C until the cake is cooked through, for 30-40min. You can test if your cake is done by inserting a knife at the centre. It should come our clean.

Serve with cinnamon!


This week we’ve got a very special recipe for you. It is by Mrs Kalliopi, Marianna’s mother. We’ve shared many of her recipes in the past (have you tried her delicious flaounes?) and we absolutely love her food.

Mrs Kalliopi, along with Marianna made a traditional Greek pudding, called Moustalevria. Moustalevria, literally meaning Grape Must & Flour, is a pudding made in early autumn, as the grape must (moustos in Greek) is in abundance during that time. If you don’t have access to grape must, then you can use grape molasses (or petimezi in Greek) which is concentrated grape must. Simply dilute it with a bit of water. This recipe also uses honey instead of sugar, which adds depth and warmth!

Marianna, who comes from the Peloponnese garnishes moustalevria with crushed walnuts. In other regions, sesame is used. But regardless of your selection of nuts or seeds, plenty of cinnamon is a must.

Serves 5

125ml grape molasses (petimezi) (half a bottle of our petimezi)
500ml water
100g honey (you can add more If you want it sweeter, taste as you go along)
25g flour
25g corn flour dissolved in ¼ cup of cold water
Cinnamon (to serve)
Walnuts or sesame (to serve)

In a medium-sized pot and over medium high heat warm up the grape molasses, water and honey. Taste and add more honey if desired. Bring it to a boil and then immediately lower the heat.

Dissolve the corn flour in ¼ cup of cold water and add to the mixture, along with the flour. Stir constantly until it thickens into a creamy texture, for 5-10minutes. You can add a bit more corn flour if you prefer a thicker moustalevria, or even replace much of the flour with the corn flour.

Place your moustalevria in 5 bowls and let it cool down. Place it in the fridge for a few hours and serve cold, or at room temperature.

 


Yesterday was a wonderful day of snow in London! The snow brought joy to many of us, and for  while, it made us forget all about the challenges of the past year. On such days, we absolutely love eating foods that bring us comfort. So this week we’ve got a hearty salad for you. We also love the colours in this salad, which is always a plus when preparing dinner!

We roasted a small cabbage with apple, and paired it with lentils and fresh seasonal greens. We’ve also used our favourite ingredients, grape molasses, aged balsamic and Corinth raisins. These add a hint of sweetness and depth to the roasted cabbage/apple combination and pair perfectly with our buttery brown lentils. Our lentils come from organic farms in northern Greece and are perfect for hearty soups or filling salads!

This dish is great for dinner or lunch as is, but also makes for the ideal side dish to accompany roast pork, white fish or a garlicky, roasted cauliflower.

Serves 2 for lunch

1 small red cabbage
1 green apple
a small handful of Corinth raisins
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp grape molasses
1 tbsp aged balsamic
2 springs of rosemary
50g lentils
1.5-2 cups seasonal greens
salt, pepper (to taste)

Preheat the oven at 200C.

Cut the cabbage and apple in wedges.
Place them in a single layer in a roasting pan. Scatter the raisins all around.
Drizzle with the olive oil, grape molasses and add 2-3 tablespoons of water.
Add the rosemary and season with salt and pepper.

Roast for 30-40min, carefully turning over the cabbage and apple after 20 minutes. Remove the rosemary and let it cool down for a bit.

In the meantime, place the lentils in a medium-sized pot with water and boil for 20 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.

Finely chop your greens.

Toss everything together, cabbage and apple, lentils, greens, using the juices of the pan as your dressing. Serve with more vinegar, grape molasses and olive oil, if desired.


Christmas is usually the time of the year when we cook the most. Tables are set, various platters of all sorts of foods come out, guests are fed. This year however, things are a little bit different. Most of us are not hosting like we used to, and many of us are already quite tired from the long year we’ve had.

So what do we do at times like these? The answer is simple. We source delicious ingredients, like our meze box, we unbox and plate everything and there we go, ready for Christmas!

This week we have a recipe that is perhaps one of the simplest ones to make. And requires very few ingredients. If you, like us, feel like resting this Christmas, then this dip is all you need. With some crusty bread or Cretan kritsini breadsticks, olives and cheeses (yes also in the meze box!), and you are sorted for an alternative Christmas dinner, lunch or dare we say breakfast?

1 jar roasted red peppers
150g feta cheese
3 tbsp olive oil, plus more to serve
1 tbsp grape molasses
nigella seeds (optional, to serve)

Drain the peppers.

In a blender whiz together the peppers, feta cheese, olive oil and grape molasses.

Let it set in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.

Serve with nigella seeds and 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.


If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you must know that we absolutely love chickpeas. It’s true that chickpeas  take a while to cook. But as many of us are now working from home, a chickpea stew is perhaps the ideal dish to prepare. All you need to do is soak the chickpeas overnight, and in the morning, prep your vegetables and put everything in a nice casserole in the oven. Comes dinnertime and you’ve got yourself the most comforting stew. Plus, the entire house warms up and smells like food during the day, which if you ask me, is the best environment to work in.

In Greece there is a big debate if chickpeas are better with lemon, like in our traditional revithada, or with tomato, like in this not-very-Greek spiced stew. This week we went for tomato, but we’ve used two secret ingredients, which add depth to this wonderful stew: grape molasses and roasted red peppers! Pure organic grape molasses, known as Petimezi in Greece is made from Agiorgitiko grapes. The aroma of light honey and fresh grapes, and its distinctive caramel tones are unbeatable. As for the roasted red peppers, these are organic Florina peppers, cooked over open flame. They are famous for their rich and sweet flavour, and balance perfectly the mild acidity of tomatoes.

Serves 2 with leftovers, or 4 for lunch

150g chickpeas
1 very large onion
1/2 cup of olive oil, divided
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium carrot
5 colourful peppers
½ jar roasted red peppers
1 bottle tomato passata
1 litre vegetable stock or water
1 tbsp grape molasses
2 bay leaves
salt, pepper, to taste
2 tsp baking soda (optional)

The night before soak your chickpeas.
The morning after preheat your oven at 200C.
Finely slice the onion. Mince the garlic. Finely slice the carrot. Cut the peppers in thick strips. Drain and finely slice the roasted red peppers.
In a medium-sized casserole, and over medium-low heat add ¼ cup of olive oil and gently fry until the onions are translucent and slightly caramelised. Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes.
Drain the chickpeas and add to the pot, along with the carrot, peppers, roasted red peppers, tomato passata, vegetable stock, grape molasses and bay leaves. Add the rest 1/4 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and carefully add the baking soda (if using). Stir well, cover tightly and place in the oven for approx. 2-3 hours, or until the chickpeas are tender.

Serve with plenty of feta cheese!

 


What we love most about autumn is the wonderful new colours at the market. Red apples, orange pumpkins, brown mushrooms and chestnuts! Fruit and veg in autumn always make us feel quite comforted and inspired. This week we got plenty of orange carrots from the market and decided to grate them. Somehow the idea of a grated carrot feels like a first step towards a very nutritious meal, wouldn’t you say? We’re making a salad, which is great for lunch, but it also makes for a wonderful side to some roasted chicken or your protein of choice. We’ve added bulgur wheat to make it more filling, raisins for some natural sweetness and a lemon-tahini dressing to add a…warm kick to it.

There is something nostalgic about this salad, as it somehow reminds us of when we first started Oliveology, 11 years ago. Back then, Greek tahini was rare to find, but such salads were gaining momentum, do you remember? Reminiscing of happier times past is comforting, and we couldn’t think of anything better than this recipe, to bring back some happy memories in the midst of this unusual autumn we are all experiencing.

Serves 4

50g bulgur, plus ¾ cups of water
4 large carrots
100g Corinth raisins
1 bunch of fresh herbs (we used dill and parsley)

Dressing
2 tbsp tahini
zest from 2 lemons
juice from 1 lemon
150ml olive oil
2 tbsp grape molasses
4 tbsp water
salt (to taste)

Place the bulgur wheat and water in a small pot and cook over medium heat until tender and all the water is absorbed, around 10-15min. Set aside to cool.

Peel and grate the carrots.

To make the dressing whisk together the tahini, lemon juice and zest. Add the grape molasses. Slowly add the olive oil and then the water, until you have a runny dressing. Season with salt.

In a large bowl toss together the bulgur wheat, carrots, raisins, dressing.
Finely chop the herbs and add just before serving.

Oh and this is great with some feta cheese!

 


Have you seen our delicious Greek meze box? It was created with the Greek summer in mind and is filled with Greek delicacies! Think of wonderful marinated artichoke hearts and tender roasted red peppers. A specially selected variety of Greek olives – amfissa green and kalamata! Bright sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese and one other unique Greek cheese complete this wonderful box of goodies. Savour all these delicacies with crunchy kritsini breadsticks. The idea behind it is to just unbox, plate everything and there you have it, you are ready for a Greek meze feast.

But if you want to spice it up a notch, this week we’ve got our own meze recipe, for you to make at home, and share, along with all the other goodies! In this recipe, we are roasting peppers and onions with grape molasses. And the secret ingredient? We are adding roasted red peppers, which act as a condiment, offering depth and a hint of smoke!

4 large peppers (various colours)
2 large onions
2 large cloves of garlic
100g roasted red peppers
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp grape molasses
1 tsp spices of your choice (we used ¼ tsp of chilli, ½ tsp smoked paprika and ¼ tsp cumin)
1 tsp dried oregano
salt, pepper (to taste)

Preheat the oven at 200C
Remove the stem and core from the peppers and discard. Cut each pepper in eight large pieces.
Peel the onions and cut each onion in eight wedges. Peel and finely slice the garlic.
Finely slice the roasted red peppers.
Place all your vegetables in a baking tray.
Drizzle with olive oil and grape molasses and gently toss everything together. Season with the spices and oregano, salt and pepper. Toss again.

Bake at 200C for 30-45 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes, until the peppers are tender and slightly charred. Let cool.

Serve at room temperature with the rest of the goodies from the meze box!


This could possibly be the simplest and most exciting recipe we’ve ever created. It is also quite versatile (which we love), as it can be served as a starter, light main, or even as dessert! It combines two of our favourite ingredients, grapes and halloumi cheese.

Grapes are the ultimate September ingredient, and the ideal way to say goodbye to summer flavours and get ready for autumn! We love grapes as a snack, as part of our morning porridge or in salads. But they are also fantastic when roasted in the oven! The first time we tried them, following an old Jamie Oliver recipe, we were in awe. The result is a dense, complex sweet flavour, so intense and wonderful. In this recipe, we’ve used the sultanina variety, the light green ones, but you can use whatever you can find.

Roasted grapes pair perfectly with halloumi’s mellow saltiness. We’ve used our traditional Cypriot halloumi cheese, that is made exclusively with goat’s milk. A semi-hard, bright cheese, with a mellow flavour and hints of mint. Perfect for your salads, but also, as you know, it is delicious when roasted, as in this recipe.

To bring everything together, we’ve used our grape molasses and extra virgin olive oil, along with some dried thyme. The result is indeed magical, and let us not forget, perfect with a white crisp Greek wine!

So join us, let’s get back into the kitchen and deal with summer blues in the only way we know: cooking.

Serves 2

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp grape molasses
300g grapes on the vine
150g halloumi cheese
a pinch of dried thyme

Preheat the oven at 200C.

In a shallow baking dish, place the grapes on the vine. Cut the halloumi cheese in small cubes and scatter between and around the grapes. Drizzle the olive oil, grape molasses and sprinkle the thyme.

Bake for approximately 30min, or until everything is nicely roasted and there’s a lovely juice at the bottom of your dish. Serve with crusty bread, drizzling the leftover juice over the grapes and halloumi.

Don’t forget the wine!