Today’s recipe will definitely become a family favourite. As you know, we love pies and home-made dough. Remember Mrs Kalliopi’s wholeshome dough?

This week we’ve got a delicious pie crust, made with a secret ingredient: orange juice! The juice adds a unique aroma to your dough, while the texture is soft and tender. This recipe by the Greek chef Christoforos Peskias comes from the island of Cyprus. Here, we’ve adapted it using our white balsamic vinegar with honey, which adds depth and sweetness to the dough. This fantastic organic vinegar is made by fusing white wine vinegar from the local Roditis variety with organic raw spring heath honey and pollen, carefully collected at 1500m from the fertile slopes of Mt. Pindos. This fusion brings you all the aromas of the Greek countryside in one bottle! The result is an explosive combination of aromas and taste.

You can use this dough with any sweet and savoury fillings. Watch this space, next week we’ve prepared some delicious little olive pies which we made using this dough.

Makes 1 pie crust for a 20x30cm baking tray

250g all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
50ml olive oil
1 tsp white balsamic vinegar with honey
100-150ml orange juice (from 2-3 oranges)

In a large bowl whisk together the flour and baking powder. In a separate jug mix together the olive oil, vinegar and orange juice. Combine the wet and dry ingredients.

Knead together, adding a bit more orange juice if needed, until you have a smooth dough. Return the dough to your bowl and let it rest in the fridge for 30min.

Roll it out and use as a pie crust with your filling of choice.


Moussaka is one of the most popular and most loved Greek dishes. It takes a while to make, so think of it as a weekend project. But the result will not disappoint. Layers of mellow vegetables are followed by a layer of beef mince, then more vegetables and finally a smooth béchamel sauce. It is a quintessentially summer dish, as aubergines and courgettes, they key ingredients, are in season – and at their best- then.

Following our delicious Olive Oil Mythologies dinner a few weeks ago, this is the recipe for moussaka, which we served as a main course. It is by Katerina, Nafsika’s mother. We have planned many more amazing dinner experiences after the summer, so watch this space for our autumn events!

This recipe serves 16, as in Greece we always make large quantities of moussaka. It freezes well if you want to make two trays. Simply place in the freezer before the final step of baking. You can also half the recipe, if you prefer.

Final advice: moussaka needs to rest after baking. So estimate at least 45 minutes of resting time before diving in. Trust us, the result is worth it!

Serves 16

Mince meat
2 medium red onions (approx. 300g)
6 tbsp olive oil
1kg beef mince, lean
1 cup water
2 tsp tomato puree
½ tsp sugar (optional)
1.5 bottles tomato passata (or 5 juicy tomatoes)
½ tsp cinnamon
salt, pepper (to taste)

Finely chop or grate the onions. In a medium-sized heavy bottomed pot add the olive oil and onions. Gently fry over medium heat until transluscent but not caramelised.
Add the mince and stir well, until the mince is broken down and has browned.
Add one cup of water and cook until the mince is tender, around 15minutes.
In a cup with warm water stir in the tomato puree and sugar until the sugar dissolves.
Add it to your pot, along with the tomato passata and stir well.
Season with cinnamon, salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the mince is tender and the sauce thickens, around 30-45 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Vegetables
2kg aubergines
1kg courgettes
1kg potatoes
1.5 cups olive oil
salt, pepper (to taste)

Preheat the oven at 180C.
Slice all the vegetables into 5mm / ½ cm slices.
Lay the vegetables in trays and brush the one side with olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper.
Bake at 180C until the vegetables are soft, around 20min.
Half-way through turn them over and brush the other side with olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper.
Set aside to cool.

Béchamel sauce
225g butter
225g flour
3lt milk
10 eggs
750g kefalotyri cheese

In a medium-sized heavy bottomed pot and over low heat add the flour and butter. Whisk together until golden. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. You can test by covering the back of a spoon with the sauce, and running your finger through it. The line should remain clear. Remove from the heat and whisk in the nutmeg, salt, pepper, eggs and cheese. Set aside, covering tight with cling film. The cling film should touch the surface of the sauce.

Assembling
Preheat the oven at 180C.
Brush the bottom of a large baking tray with a bit of olive oil (2 tbsp). Layer half the aubergines, followed by courgettes and potatoes. Add the mince. Continue with another layer of aubergines. Top with the béchamel sauce.
Bake at 180C until the béchamel sauce is golden and the moussaka is bubbly, 20-30min.
Let the moussaka rest for at least 45 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.


This week we’ve got a family recipe for you. Every summer, my mother, along with many other Greek cooks, prepares tomato sauce, enough to last the entire winter. She uses summer tomatoes, which are particularly juicy and ripe towards the end of August in Greece.

Often unable to get my mother’s sauce in London, I started making it myself. However, as this is a sauce with very few ingredients, the quality of tomatoes is really important. When I started using our tomato passata I was amazed: the sauce tasted exactly like my mother’s. You see, our organic tomato passata is made with organic Greek tomatoes picked during the summer when they are at their best, with no added salt, as close to the flavours of nature as you can get. It’s great for any tomato-based dish (check out our recipes here), and it’s great in this family recipe.

Serves 4

3 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion
1 bottle tomato passata
1 tsp tomato puree
½ tsp sugar (optional)
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp cinnamon
salt, pepper (to taste)

Grate or finely chop the onion. In a medium-sized pot add the olive oil and onion and gently fry over medium heat until translucent but not caramelised. Add the tomato passata.

Stir the tomato puree and sugar (if using) in a cup of warm water until dissolved. Add to your pot. Add the basil and cinnamon and season with salt and pepper. Stir well.

Bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens and the flavours blend together, for about an hour. Half way through taste and adjust for seasonings, adding more basil, cinnamon, salt and pepper if needed.

Serve with pasta or rice, use on top of bruschetta, or even as a dipping sauce.


All of us at Oliveology love cooking with seasonal produce. Every week, we walk around the market and find the fruits and vegetables which provide the inspiration for our recipes. This week our inspiration came from fresh broad beans. These lovely green beans, belonging in the  Fabaceae family are also called fava beans. However, they are not to be confused with fava (aka yellow split peas). They are in season in May in Greece, and in June they will be arriving in London. So let’s prepare!

In this very easy recipe, we slowly cooked fresh broad beans in extra virgin olive oil and served this vibrant dish with plenty of lemon and our 17C olive oil with with lemons, oranges & thyme. This recipe uses the entire pod, so do select broad beans that are young and tender. If you can’t find fresh broad beans, you can use green beans, or even peas in this recipe. Don’t forget to check out our spring recipes, especially these lemony peas.

Serves 2 with leftovers

1kg fresh broad beans
1 leek
2 spring onions
2 tbsp olive oil
500-750ml water
salt, pepper (to taste)
lemon juice, 17C olive oil (to serve)

In this recipe, we are cooking the broad beans whole. To prepare them simply trim the top and bottom and cut each bean in half, so that you have finger-sized beans.

Finely chop the leek and spring onions.

In a large heavy bottomed pot and over medium heat add the olive oil, leek and spring onions. Gently fry until translucent but not caramelised. Add the broad beans and 500ml of water. Season with salt and pepper and gently stir everything together.

Bring to the boil, then lower the heat, cover and let the broad beans cook until tender, for 30-40min, adding a bit more water if needed.

Serve with plenty of lemon juice and our 17C olive oil.

 

 


Spring is in full swing and we’ve got a lovely spring recipe for you. Inspired by the produce we find at the market, this week we’re kicking off May with a vibrant recipe.

As you may know, Greeks love to slowly cook vegetables in olive oil. Rice is often added, as in the very seasonal Spinach & Rice Stew (Spanakorizo), or in the winter Cabbage, Carrot & Rice Stew (Lahanorizo). As leeks are a favourite spring ingredient, this week we’re making a Leek & Rice Stew (Prasorizo).

We serve this vibrant dish with plenty of lemon juice and our favourite flavoured olive oil, the 17C. This is a limited production oil made from unripe olives, crushed with fresh lemons, oranges and thyme. Our special recipe imparts an exquisite citrus twist to this premium olive oil. This oil has a beautiful golden colour and smooth, rich, buttery texture. The aromas of lemon and orange along with the presence of thyme make it a well-balanced olive oil, a perfect accompaniment to spring and summer vegetables and white fish.

Serves 2

4 leeks
2 cloves fresh garlic (or one clove of garlic)
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup white wine (we used Malagousia)
100g Carolina rice, rinced until the water is clear
Salt, pepper, dried thyme (to taste)
17C Olive Oil with Lemons, Oranges and Thyme (to serve)
Lemon wedges (to serve)

Cut the leeks in large bite-size pieces. Rinse them with plenty of water. Let them dry.

In a shallow casserole and over medium heat add the olive oil and leeks. Cook from all sides until tender, around 5-7 minutes. If you like, you can leave them a bit longer to char. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the wine and let it reduce. Add the rice and 650ml water and gently stir everything together. Season with salt, pepper and thyme.

Bring the water to a boil and then cover your casserole, lower the heat and simmer until the leeks are tender and the rice is cooked, around 20-30 minutes.

Serve with plenty of lemon and our flavoured 17C olive oil.


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.

 


In Greece, Easter is perhaps the biggest celebration of the year. Amongst the traditional mageiritsa offal soup, the tsoureki brioche bread, and of course the much loved easter lamb, Greeks also prepare Easter eggs.

Traditionally, on the Thursday before Easter, the day of the crucifixion of Christ, eggs are dyed red, the red colour symbolising the blood of Christ. Today, many dye eggs in various colours, and decorate them with stickers.

The eggs are then kept until Saturday night, and after the resurrection of Christ at midnight egg tapping takes place, or “tsouggrisma” as it’s called. This is when two eggs are tapped together, as people exchange Easter wishes.

We love this Greek tradition, so this week we’ve decided to share it with you. In the sprit of sustainable living, we are only using natural dye, which gives the eggs a lovely spring colours, as individual as nature itself. You can also use onion peels, red cabbage leaves, turmeric and lots more to dye the eggs naturally!

12 eggs
1 pack (3 sachets) natural egg dye
2.250 ml water
2 tbsp red wine vinegar

The process is very straightforward. Select good, free range or organic eggs (even if just for this Easter).

In a stainless steel pot (a casserole might stain), add three sachets of dye and the water. Stir and place over medium heat. Add the vinegar and stir again.

Gently submerge the eggs in the cold water.

Bring to a simmer, skimming any foam that might arise, and gently stirring.

Gently simmer for 20min. Remove from the pot and add the eggs in a bowl with ice cold water.

Drain and admire the beautiful colours.

Happy Easter!!


The 25th of March is the Greek Independence day, coinciding with the Feast of the Annunciation. Independence day celebrates the Greek War of Independence (1821–1829) and the liberation of Greece from the Ottoman occupation. The Feast of the Annunciation commemorates the visit of archangel Gabriel to Virgin Mary, informing her that she would be the mother of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

When it comes to food, the 25th of March falls within the 40-day period of strict fasting before Easter, when Greeks are invited to abstain from all animal flesh. But given the celebratory character of the day, consuming fish is allowed. The traditional dish of the day – with several regional variations – is salted codfish, battered and deep fried, and served with skordalia.

As we’ve written before, skordalia is a traditional Greek dip, made with raw garlic, “skordo” as is its name in Greek. It is usually made with potato, or bread, and occasionally nuts are added. Today we have the classic recipe for you, made with potato. It is by Katerina, Nafsika’s mother.

Serves 6-8 as a dip

600g potatoes (2-3 large)
150ml olive oil, plus more to serve
6-8 cloves of garlic (to taste)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt, pepper (to taste)

Place the potatoes in a large pot with plenty of cold water. Bring to the boil and cook until tender, around 40min. Drain and while the potatoes are still hot, peel off their skin. Let them cool down. Crumble into large pieces.

In a food processor (or using a pestle and mortar) blend together the olive oil and garlic. Slowly add the potatoes and blend everything together until you have a smooth mixture.

Transfer to a bowl, season with salt and pepper and add the vinegar. Taste and adjust for seasoning/vinegar. Serve drizzled with more olive oil.


Today is Clean Monday in Greece! Clean Monday marks the beginning of Lent. As such, foods eaten on this day prepare us for the 40-day fast which follows. Taramosalata is traditionally eaten, along with fava, fresh salads, the few amongst other classic dishes, which of course include halva.

We also eat lagana, a bread especially made for the day. It is a flat, oval bread, sprinkled with lots of sesame, usually made with flour and yeast or sourdough starter. Today we have a very interesting version of this recipe. We are making a lagana with no yeast and with tahini. The recipe comes from the monks in the monastery of St Nectarios in Phocis, in central Greece and appeared in Gastronomos magazine. As we read, yeast and sourdough symbolise rebirth and reproduction, so in some monasteries these are omitted during Lent. Expect something that resembles a flatbread, but quite dense and wholesome with the addition of tahini.

300g all-purpose flour
200ml lukewarm water
1 tsp salt
2 tsp tahini
50g sesame, plus more for sprinkling

In a large bowl place the tahini and water and whisk together. Add the salt, sesame and flour and knead for a few minutes until you have an elastic dough.

Roll it out in an oval shape, around 5-7mm high and transfer to a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper. Place it somewhere warm and let it rest for a few hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven at 190C. Sprinkle the lagane with water and sesame and cook for 40 minutes until golden.

Serve with plenty of taramosalata and fava!


If you’ve been following our recipes for a while, you must know by now how much we love traditional Greek recipes, and recipes that are inspired by Greek tradition. We also love our chickpeas –revithada is one of our most popular recipes!

Our chickpeas are harvested every year in organic farms in northern Greece. You can use them to make the traditional revithada soup, or a hearty spiced chickpea stew. Create more filling salads and of course, make your own hummus with our nutty tahini.

Today, we are using chickpeas in a classic Greek combination: slowly cooked with Greens and lemon. For this one, you can use whatever seasonal greens you prefer: chard, kale, spinach, wild greens. If you go for spinach, avoid the baby spinach and select the large leaves, as these are more flavourful and add texture to your dish. Also check out these chickpeas with greens and tomatoes!

Serves 2 with leftovers

200g chickpeas
2 medium onions
2 cloves of garlic
100ml olive oil, plus more for serving
200g seasonal greens (chard, kale, spinach, wild greens etc)
1 lemon, juice and zest (divided)
2 tsp spearmint

The night before soak the chickpeas in plenty of water. The morning after drain and place in a medium-sized pot with 2lt of water. Boil until tender but not mushy, around 1-1.5 hours. Drain, reserving ½ cup of the cooking liquid.

Preheat the oven at 180C.

Peel the onions, cut in half and then finely slice (half-moons).
Grate the garlic.
In a medium-sized frying pan add the olive oil, onions and garlic and gently cook over medium-low hear, until tender and slightly caramelised.

Roughly chop your greens.

In a medium-sized baking dish add the cooked chickpeas, onions, garlic and olive oil, greens, lemon zest, spearmint and the chickpea cooking liquid. Cover with tinfoil and cook in the oven for 40min.

Serve with the lemon juice and more olive oil.