Skordalia is a traditional Greek dip, made with raw garlic, “skordo” as is its name in Greek. It is eaten every year on the 25th of March, the Greek Independence Day, alongside battered fried cod. It is also a classic dish found on every taverna. It accompanies boiled beetroot or green beans, fried zucchini or aubergine.

The classic recipe calls for olive oil, vinegar and either stale bread soaked in water or boiled potato. Sometimes nuts are also added. There are of course many variations and each household has its own loved version of the dish.

As spring is coming to an end, young garlic is all around us. So this week we’re making skordalia, but with a few twists. This is a recipe adapted from a 1989 calendar with traditional Greek recipes and comes from mainland Greece. We are adding fresh spinach, which gives a wonderful green colour, and almond butter, for a nutty take on the classic dish. Our smooth almond butter is made purely from organic, raw almonds, with no added salt or any preservatives. It is the ideal way to get all the nutrients from nuts! Feel free to use whatever type of garlic you prefer; wild garlic leaves would also work great here.

We are using our favourite Ergani olive oil, which has a robust, rich flavour and our white wine vinegar for that gentle kick.

Serves 6

100g stale bread (we used white sourdough)
100g spinach leaves (1 cup)
100g almond butterraw almonds or other nuts
2 cloves of garlic
130g olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
salt, more olive oil and vinegar to taste

Soak the bread in water for a few minutes until soft. Squeeze out all excess water and place it in a food processor.

Add the spinach, almond butter, garlic and vinegar and pulse everything together, slowly adding the olive oil.

You should have a thick homogenous mixture.

Season with salt, adding more olive oil and vinegar to taste.


Remember last week’s semolina halva? This week, continuing our journey to the magical land of halva, we are making sesame halva with honey! Traditionally this sesame halva is made with sugar and tahini. However, as many (including us!) prefer honey to sugar, many recipes now opt for sweet, runny honey instead. The texture is less crumbly and resembles that of toffee, which we must admit, we absolutely love.

For this, we’ve used our whole tahini, but you can use the classic one as well. We’ve also used a combination of strawberry tree (Arbutus) and orange blossom honey. Both coming from the Peloponnese, arbutus is a rare “bitter” honey made by bees feeding on the Arbutus unedo tree flowers (strawberry tree), while the orange blossom honey is a delicate, sweet honey with a citrus taste and a light amber colour. They pair perfectly in this halva!

This is the basic recipe, to which you can add cocoa or chocolate, various nuts (almonds are a classic!), or sesame. We love pistachios, as they have this beautiful pink-green bright colours which make the halva not only taste, but also look delicious!

This is a quite filling snack, so a little goes a long way. Cut it in small square pieces and enjoy with your afternoon tea, for breakfast or as post-dinner dessert!

 

280g tahini (whole or white)
280g honey (we used both strawberry tree honey and orange blossom honey)
80g raw, unsalted pistachios or any other nuts of your choosing

Place your pistachios at the bottom of a non-stick cake tin. You can finely or roughly chop them and/or roast them if you prefer. We left them raw and whole.

Stir well your tahini in the jar and add it in a small saucepan. Over low heat warm it up for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and place in a large bowl.

In a small saucepan and over low hear warm up the honey, until bubbly and caramelised. To check if it’s ready, drizzle a bit in a glass with cold water. It should shape as a soft ball and not be runny. If you have a candy thermometer, you should aim for 115C.

Once your honey is ready add it to the tahini. Using a wooden spoon, stir everything together. Almost immediately, you will see the mixture changing texture, as the ingredients come together. When it gathers around your wooden spoon and not touching the sides of your bowl you are done!

Carefully pour the halva in the cake tin over your nuts. Let it set for a few hours. Cut in small pieces and serve!

 


Fanouropita is a traditional Greek olive oil cake, made in honour of St Fanourios. The saint’s name, Fanourios, comes from the Greek word fanerono, which means to reveal; and this is where this cake’s name, fanouropita, comes from.

St Fanourios is celebrated on the 27th of August every year. On this day, many Greeks bake Fanouropites and take them to church to be blessed. The legend has it that these are in memory of the saint’s mother, who was a harsh woman, and whose salvation the Saint (and by extension the bakers) ask. So when one bakes the cake, one needs to say “God forgive the mother of St Fanourios”. Which is something I did not do, as I only found out about it during my research for this piece. So please, when you bake this cake, do it for me as well.

But fanouropita is also baked asking the saint to reveal items that are missing, or to bring people something that they want: Good health or “a good husband”, if one is single. So even though it is not August (yet!), this week we decided to make this cake and ask for health, and for finally being able to see, share food and hug our loved ones.

It is important to know that this cake is to be made with only seven or nine ingredients, symbolic numbers in Greek religion. Apart from the 7 key ingredients, we’ve added our delicious Corinth raisins and walnuts. The result is a rich and moist cake- and vegan! You can make it with sunflower oil, but we feel that the olive oil gives it a more robust flavour, so do give it a try!

Serves 8

150g super-fine white sugar
150g olive oil
350ml orange juice (from 3-4 oranges) and zest from 2 oranges
½ tsp baking soda
400g self-raising flour
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsps cinnamon
50g Corinth raisins
50g walnuts

Preheat your oven at 170C.

In a large bowl sieve the flour, cloves and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a separate bowl whisk the sugar and olive oil together until very well combined.

Mix the orange juice and zest and stir in the baking soda. Be careful as it will bubble. Slowly add to the olive oil-sugar mixture.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon, until just combined (you do not want to overmix the flour). Add the raisins and walnuts and give it one final stir.

Your batter should look like a loose cake batter. Place it in an oiled baking tin and bake at 170C at the bottom rack for an hour, or until your knife comes up clean from the middle of the cake.

Remove from the oven and let your fanouropita cool in its tin. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

 


It’s Shrove Tuesday!

This is the last day before the beginning for Lent. A moveable feast during which in the UK we have pancakes! This year is of course different, but we find that upholding traditions offers us a sense of comfort – especially if these are an excuse to make and enjoy delicious foods!

In search of inspiration for pancake fillings (remember our tahini and grape molasses from a couple of years ago?), we decided to turn to Greek traditions. So this year, our inspiration for this recipe comes from one of the most-loved Greek food combinations: soft white cheese and honey! A breakfast staple in many households, this combination is also the basis for kalitsounia, the little Cretan pastries. Soft creamy cheese, often on the tangy side, blends perfectly with sweet honey. For this recipe, we’ve selected our galomizithra cheese, a soft white Cretan cheese. We paired it with our orange blossom honey, a delicate, sweet honey with a citrus taste and a light amber colour. The result is truly majestic: Think of a cream cheese frosting, but more airy and light, and much more fragrant and aromatic.

Smother your pancakes with this filling. Sprinkle some cinnamon, chop up some fresh mint. We love bee pollen with this one too. Don’t forget your favourite nuts and yes, you can drizzle some more honey!

Serves two

1 pack (200g) galomizithra cheese
4 tbsp orange blossom honey,  plus more to serve
cinnamon, finely chopped fresh mint (optional)
bee pollen, nuts (to serve)

Place the cheese in a bowl and add the honey.

Using a fork or a whisk, mix everything together until well-combined.

Add the cinnamon or fresh mint, if using.

Smother over your pancakes and serve with bee pollen, more honey and your favourite nuts!


This Valentines’ Day is unlike any other. Most of us are still on lockdown. We are rarely able to spend time with our loved ones – let alone go out and meet new people to love. But despite the pandemic, or perhaps because of it, now is the time to, more than ever, express our love to the people around us. To ourselves as well.

So this week’s recipe is a very special one. It is an easy and fun recipe to make, it gets your hands messy, and with your favourite music on, it is guaranteed to cheer you up. Plus you know, you are left with lovely chocolate truffles to enjoy -yes we are making chocolate truffles!

But of course, these are no ordinary truffles. Remember last year’s olive oil and dark chocolate mousse? This year we are using olive oil as well, but a very special one. Our 21C olive oil! It is made from semi-ripe olives cold extracted together with walnuts, purslane,  fennel seeds, rosemary and oregano. The wild aromatic herbs give these truffles a subtle earthy flavour; and as we love nuts, so we couldn’t but add plenty in these little chocolate balls.

Makes 25
350g chocolate 60% cocoa (you can do a bit less, or a bit more, depending on what you prefer)
200g double cream
2 tbsp 21C walnut oil
100g nuts (hazelnuts, almonds or walnuts)
to serve (finely chopped nuts, or cocoa, or powdered sugar, or salt and pepper)

Cut the chocolate in small pieces (the size of chocolate chips). Place in a large bowl.

Roughly chop the nuts. Set aside.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan warm up the double cream until bubbly on the sides, but not boiling. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let sit of a couple of minutes.

Using a whisk, slowly whisk together the chocolate and cream (the cream will have melted the chocolate by now). It will slowly come together. Once it does, add the olive oil and whisk again until you have a smooth and shiny mixture.

Add the nuts and stir everything together, using a wooden spoon. Spread the mixture in a shallow baking dish and place it in the fridge. After half an hour or so, it will have changed in texture you will be able to shape it. Give it a bit more time if you need to. Using a teaspoon for measuring shape your chocolate into little balls.

You can serve them as is, or roll them in finely chopped nuts, cocoa, powdered sugar or (our favourite) sprinkle some sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Store them in the fridge for a couple of weeks (well, we seriously doubt they will last that long!) and always serve at room temperature.


November is here and things seem to be more challenging than ever. We hope that you are all taking good care of yourselves and your loved ones. Times are tough, so remember to breathe and relax.

As we seem to be spending more and more time at home, this week’s recipe is one which we started to make on Sundays, so that we can have something tasty – and healthy- to nibble on, during those dull weekday afternoons, when many of us seem to be lost behind a laptop screen. This is a snack you can enjoy with a warm cup of tea by the window. A small sweet break in your routine, if you wish.

We’ve used what is perhaps one of the best dried fruits we’ve ever brought to you: dried pears. They are picked, sliced and dried without the addition of any sugar or other additives. They have a mellow, fragrant taste and soft texture. You can add them to your stews, salads, morning granola or baking. Or, you can use them to make these delicious, no-bake granola bars! And make sure to snack on some as you are cooking. Trust us, it makes the prep so much sweeter!

Makes 5 (one for each workday of the week)

50g raw almonds
100g dried pears 
150g cup oats
100g honey (we used Arbutus honey)
100g almond butter (see here how to make your own!)
¼ tsp each cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves
pinch of salt

Roughly chop your almonds and your pears. The larger the pieces, the more visible they will be in the bars.

In a large bowl place your oats and mix in the spices and salt. Add the chopped almonds and pears.

In a small pot heat the honey until small bubbles start to form. Remove from the heat. Add the almond butter and slowly whisk until blended together.

Pour the almond-honey mixture over the oats and using a wooden spoon, stir well.

Place in a small baking tray, lined with grease-proof paper. Press down firmly until the entire surface is flat. You can use a glass or the back of a large spoon to do so. Cover and place in the fridge for a few hours until firm.

Remove from the fridge and cut in 5 pieces.


We’ve got a new olive oil from our farm in Sparta! The Ginger, Lime & Basil Olive Oil is a very special oil. It is made from semi-ripe olives of the Koroneiki, Athinoelia and Kalamata varieties. These are crushed together with ginger, lime and basil. We use 1200g of semi-ripe olives to produce 100ml of this cold extracted oil. Of course it has no additives or preservatives. It has a very vibrant flavour and intense aromas, and a fascinating aftertaste.

This olive oil pairs perfectly with white fish and rice dishes. But what is the ideal way to savour such an exquisite olive oil? Vegetables, of course, as they are the perfect canvas to bring out its delicious colours. So this week, after a visit to the market, we got some fresh green beans and created this lovely recipe for you. It is quite simple, yet this olive oil transforms the green beans into magic!

This is great for a light lunch, but can also be served as a side dish as part of a meal.

Serves 2

500g green beans
2 small red onions
2 fat clove of garlic
4 tbsp olive oil
50g raw almonds
4 tbsp Ginger, Lime & Basil Olive Oil, plus more for serving
zest 1 lime
1 tbsp. lime juice
salt (to taste)

Cut your beans in large bite-sized pieces.
Place your beans in a large pot with boiling, salted water and cook for approx. 5-7 minutes until tender but not soft. Drain and place in a large bowl. While the beans are still warm, toss them together with the ginger, lime and basil olive oil, lime juice and zest. Season with salt. Set aside.

Finely slice the onion and mince the garlic. Gently fry in the olive oil, over medium-low heat, until caramelised, approx. 4-5 minutes. Roughly chop the almonds and add them to your frying pan. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Serve the beans with the onion-almond mixture, drizzling some more ginger, lime and basil olive oil if needed.


This week again, we’ve got a very summery recipe from Amaryllis from The Tasty Other. Amaryllis is one of our favourite guest chefs in our dinner experiences cooking workshops. She has a pure love for food, a fascination with tradition and gatherings, and great passion about storytelling through photography. You can check out many of her recipes here, and of course follow her on instagram. So here it is, words and recipe by Amaryllis, right below. Enjoy!

Grapes and figs are easily my favourite summer fruits and I have my family’s summer house to thank for this; the vines surrounding almost the entire house and our very large fig tree (which, coincidentally, is exactly the same age as me!) always offer their fruit in abundance and we enjoy them both fresh off the vine and tree, but also combined with other delicious seasonal ingredients. This salad features red & green sweet grapes, brown lentils (another family favourite and irresistible when added to cold dishes), a hefty dose of my beloved tarragon and big chunks of Cretan graviera. The latter really brings the dish together with its mild sweetness and irresistible subtle fragrance, perfectly balancing out the acidity of the aged balsamic.

Ingredients
300g red & yellow grapes, washed
1 tablespoon honey (choose a non-floral variety, such as pine or wild thyme)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
About 10g fresh tarragon, leaves picked & thinly chopped
400g cooked lentils
3 gem lettuces, washed and very roughly chopped
60-80g Cretan graviera cheese, in chunks

To serve:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons roasted hazelnuts (roughly chopped)
freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Method
Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan); put the grapes, honey, olive oil & balsamic into a deep roasting dish, along with a big pinch of salt, and roast for about 15’, or until the grapes start to burst. Remove and set aside to cool at room temperature.

Toss the lentils with a pinch of salt and then add the grapes (no need to remove from the sprigs, just cut them in small bunches) and their juice, chopped tarragon, lettuce and cheese chunks. Toss well and serve with additional extra virgin olive oil, chopped hazelnuts and a little black pepper.


As we were preparing this recipe, we debated a lot on whether bee pollen reminds us more of winter or spring. You see, bee pollen is known as nature’s living superfood, as it is a source of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids and enzymes including iron, protein, Vitamin B1, B2 and B3. So it’s our go-to ingredient during winter, when we feel we need an immunity booster. At the same time, it really reminds us of spring, of flowers blossoming and bees buzzing, as it is collected by honeybees from the forests and flora of Northern Greece.

So we decided to settle the debate, by making a spring granola with bee pollen. Eating this granola for breakfast also feels great for our body during these challenging times. And what goes best with bee pollen? Honey, of course and crunchy, beautiful almonds.

Makes 1 jar

200g oats
100g almonds
pinch of salt
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp orange blossom honey
1 tbsp sesame seeds
3 tbsp bee pollen

Preheat the oven at 150C.
Roughly chop the almonds.

In a large bowl, place the oats and almonds. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey and salt. Pour the liquid mixture over the oats and nuts, and gently toss everything together, until the oats and nuts are all covered with honey and olive oil.

Place the granola on a baking sheet, nicely spread out and bake in the oven for around 20’, tossing regularly. Be careful not to burn it!

Once the granola is golden remove from the oven and let cool. Toss in the sesame and bee pollen. Store in an airtight jar.


One thing we love about veg boxes, is that you never know what you will get. For the last couple of weeks we’ve been getting nettles. Last week we made a spinach pie, adding the nettles for a different twist. This week however, we got two bunches. So we thought, let’s make pesto!

If you are following our recipes, you will know by now how we love making pesto. I don’t know if I’ve written this before, but realising that you can make pesto using anything you’ve got around was life-changing for me. So in the past we’ve made a pistachio pesto, a sun-dried tomato pesto with almonds, and the uber-seasonal wild garlic pesto!

One must be careful when handling nettle, as this lovely green can sting. The way we usually go about with nettle, is blanching it for a few minutes, and then use it in recipes such as pies, or in this pesto here. That way, it will not sting you. But do use gloves beforehand, to separate the leaves.

Makes one jar

2 bunches of nettle
¾ cups olive oil
½ cup raw nuts (we used walnuts, but pistachios are great too! – you can use whatever you have)
2 tsp white wine vinegar or 2 tsp lemon juice (or one of each)
salt (to taste)

Using gloves, separate the nettle leaves and thin stems.
Place in a large pot with boiling water. Blanch for 3-5 minutes. Drain and let cool.
Place the nettles in a clean tea towel and squeeze out all excess water. You should be left with 1 cup of nettle pulp.

In a large frying pan, dry-toast the walnuts and let cool.

Whiz together the nettle, olive oil, walnuts. Season with salt. Add the vinegar or lemon juice (we used a teaspoon of each), and whiz again until smooth. Taste and adjust for salt or acidity.

Serve with pasta, veg or simply crusty bread!