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.


April is here! The days are now officially longer (thank you daylight savings), and the weather is warm and sunny. This month we are getting ready for Greek Easter. Over the next few weeks, we will share with you traditional Greek recipes. We invite you to join us, cook with us and celebrate Greek Easter.

Easter Sunday is a day of celebration. Families and friends gather around the table, eating lamb, traditionally roasted on a spit. There are eggs died with red dye (watch this space for a how-to!). There’s also this lettuce and dill salad. Lettuce is in season in spring, and alongside dill make for a very refreshing side dish. Lots of vinegar and spring onions make this salad the perfect pairing to lamb. In my family we never add salt to the Easter salad, and we make it quite vinegary. You can add salt and reduce the vinegar to 1.5 tbsps if you prefer.

Serves 6

1 very large lettuce or 2 medium ones
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 large bunch of dill
6 spring onions
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sweet wine vinegar
salt (optional, to taste)

Finely cut the lettuce and add it in a bowl with cold water and ½ cup of red wine vinegar. This will both clean the lettuce, and according to some will add some more acidity to the salad. Drain well.

Place the lettuce in a large bowl.

Finely slice the spring onions and finely chop the dill. Add to your bowl.

Add the olive oil and vinegar, season with salt (if using) and mix everything together.

Serve with more vinegar and olive oil if desired.


Briam is our favourite summer food. Aubergines, courgettes, potatoes and onions slowly cook in the oven, along with crushed tomatoes and plenty of olive oil. The result is tender vegetables that melt in your mouth. The classic recipe is only made during the summer. Growing up, we never had a winter version of briam at home.

However, when looking around for culinary inspiration, I realised that in the last few years a winter version has indeed appeared, with sweet potatoes, beetroot and other winter vegetables.

As we love eating vegetables that are in season, we couldn’t but try this one! How does it differ to roasted vegetables? This Winter Briam keeps the same principles as the summer much-loved dish: vegetables slowly cook in the oven, this time with honey, mustard and orange or lemon juice to replace the tomatoes. Olive oil is always there, of course. The result is not caramelised vegetables or vegetables that keep their bite. The result is a mellow, colourful dish with soft and tender vegetables that melt in your mouth.

Make a large tray, it’s great for lunch the next day. Actually it keeps well for the week, so you can have it for lunch every day!

Serves 6 as a main

2 large carrots (approx. 300g)
2 sweet potatoes (approx. 300g)
4-5 beetroot (approx. 500g)
1 medium broccoli (approx.. 200g)
1 leek
2 medium onions
½ head of garlic
1 tsp dried spearmint
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
200ml olive oil
50ml water
1 tbsp wild thyme honey
1 large orange, juice and zest
2 tbsp mustard
1 small bunch of parsley (to serve, optional)
Feta cheese (to serve, optional)

Preheat the oven at 180C.

Peel and cut the carrots and sweet potatoes in bite-sized pieces. Trim the beetroot and cut in quarters or in half. Leave small beetroot whole. Cut the broccoli in florets.
Finely slice the leek. Peel and cut the onions in wedges.
Place all vegetables in a large baking tray and sprinkle with the dried herbs.
In a mug whisk together the olive oil, water, honey, orange juice and zest and mustard. Pour over your vegetables and mix everything together.

Cover in tinfoil and bake for one hour covered. Uncover and bake for half an hour.Finely chop the parsley and add to the tray. Serve with plenty of feta cheese.

 


Ladolemonο, literally meaning olive oil and lemon, is perhaps the most classic Greek dressing. You can find it in many tavernas and households, as most Greeks love the taste of olive oil and lemon. As with most dressings, this can be used in a variety of dishes, for instance in green salads or poured over roasted vegetables.

But our favourite way to use ladolemono is alongside fish. But not any fish. In Greek cooking, fish is often prepared-and consumed whole, and ladolemono is served on the side, so that each person can pour the desired amount on their plates. Often, when ladolemono is served with fish, the lemon rinds are kept to clean the fish odour from the plates, after the meal is over. A truly no-waste recipe!

As this is a dressing without many ingredients, choose your olive oil and lemons carefully. Get the best you can afford. We recommend using our 18 olive oil. This exceptional oil is the first olive oil of the season, made from unripe olives when they are still small and green. It is a truly superior olive oil with a smooth, silky texture and warm, fruity and peppery aromas, which is perfect for this recipe.

Serves 2

4 tbsp lemon juice (from one lemon)
8 tbsp olive oil (plus more, to taste)
salt, to taste

Place the lemon juice in a bowl. Slowly pour in the olive oil and whisk together until emulsified. Season with salt.

There’s quite a bit of lemon in this dressing, so if you prefer a more subtle lemon flavour, then add a bit more olive oil, around 4 tbsp more.


This week we’ve got a classic Greek winter recipe for you. Lahanorizo, literally meaning cabbage-rice, is perhaps one of the most comforting dishes in Greek cuisine. It is made with slowly cooked cabbage, carrots and rice, and served with plenty of olive oil and lemon. This mellow vegan stew is a classic in Greek households. It is only made in the winter, as soon as the first cabbages appear at the market.

For this recipe you need rice that’s high in starch, so we’ve used our Carolina rice. It is organic and comes from a small cooperative in the area of Grevena in the northern part of Greece.

This dish is perfect served hot, but also makes for an excellent lunch the following day, served at room temperature.

Serves 6 with leftovers
3 onions
6 tbsp olive oil (plus more, to serve)
1 cabbage, around 1.2kg
4 large carrots
200g Carolina rice
salt, to taste
a small bunch of parsley
lemon juice (to serve)

Finely chop the onions. Place the onions in a large pot with the olive oil and gently fry over medium heat, until translucent but not caramelised.

Shred the cabbage and grate the carrots. Add to your pot with one cup of water and cook until the cabbage is wilted, around 15 minutes. Add the rice and 3 cups of water, and season with salt. Cover the pot and cook until the rice is cooked through and the vegetables are soft, around 30 min.

Finely chop the parsley and add to your pot. Stir and let it cook for another 5 minutes.

Serve with plenty of lemon juice and more olive oil.


The 28th of October is the Greek national holiday, known as the Ohi Day. It commemorates the rejection of the Mussolini ultimatum by the Greek PM Metaxas, which resulted in Greece joining WWII. The day is widely celebrated all around Greece, and though there are no traditional dishes served on this day, it’s usually a time for the family to come together.

So this week, we’ve prepared something sweet for you, a beloved Greek traditional dessert called portokalopita. Portokalopita, literally meaning orange – pie, is a fascinating dessert. It’s made both with cake batter and filo pastry, and (!) an orange-sugar syrup drizzled on top (using the same technique as in the classic baklava). The result, as you can imagine is spectacular. It’s moist and aromatic, and extremely satisfying.

The cake batter is made with oil and while the classic recipe uses sunflower oil, we prefer using olive oil, as it adds depth and flavour.

Serves 12

For the cake
225g olive oil (plus more for the cake dish)
225g sugar
225g Greek yoghurt
2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
3 oranges (zest)
400g filo pastry
3 tbsp semolina or flour (for the cake dish)

For the syrup
500ml water
500gr sugar
250ml orange juice
1 orange, sliced (optional)

fresh bee pollen (to serve)

Thaw your filo (if from frozen). Shred your filo into large pieces and scatter on a large baking dish. Let it dry for a couple of hours. You can do this step the night before.

As your filo is drying, prepare the syrup. In a medium-sized pot, add the water, sugar, orange juice and sliced orange and stir everything together. Place your pot over medium-high heat and warm up the suryp, until the sugar has dissolved, 2-3min. Boil for another couple of minutes, remove from the heat and let cool.

Preheat your oven at 180C

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until white and fluffy. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, mix in the olive oil, baking powder, yoghurt, orange zest. Stir well until everything is combined.

Grease a large cake tin (30cm) with olive oil and dust some semolina flour all around. Lay the dried filo. Pour over your cake batter and using your hands gently toss everything together. You can do this in your bowl and then transfer to the cake tin if you prefer.

Bake at 180 for 30minutes or until your cake is cooked through. Remove from the oven and using a ladle, immediately pour over the cold syrup, one ladle at a time. It may look a lot, but worry not, your portokalopita will magically slowly absorb it all.

Decorate with the orange slices and bee pollen.
You can serve it immidiatley or ideally wait a few hours. It keeps well in the fridge.

 


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!


A few years ago, in the beginning of my time in London, I went through what many now Londoners might have experienced: A rough day where I was overworked, exhausted, and a bit hopeless in this big city that I then struggled to call home. If any of you have experienced such a day, then you will relate more with this week’s recipe.

What does one do on such a day? I will share with you what I did. I took a day off work, walked to the nearby market and, feeling slightly guilty and slightly excited I walked around. I had already had breakfast, but decided that breakfast food was what I needed. I bought all the ingredients I needed and in less than an hour, my tiny flat was filled with comforting smells, and I was sitting on the couch having my second breakfast, a wholesome bowl of a very unique ‘porridge’.

So today, we have a very comforting breakfast recipe for you. One that I go to whenever I find myself overworked, or in gloomy autumn mornings. This recipe takes only a bit of time. And love. And it gives back love.

We are using sour trahana, a very unique Greek ingredient.  It is made with fermented milk and wheat. With its slightly tangy flavour and comforting smell, it makes a very unique ‘Greek porridge’. Here, we’ve got inspiration from our olive oil porridge and added some graviera cheese, olive oil and of course a drizzle of honey. Trust us, it works! Top it up with some seasonal fresh fruit and nuts! This recipe is for one, but it scales easily.

Serves 1

75 gr trahana (sour)
250g milk (plus more if needed)
25 g graviera cheese
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp honey (plus more, for serving)
fresh or dried fruit, and nuts (for serving)

In a small pot add the trahana and your milk. Over medium heat bring it to a simmer, then lower the heat to its lowest setting. Let it cook, stirring often (otherwise it will stick to the bottom of the pot), for 15- 20 minutes, until trahana is soft and you have a porridge-like texture. You may need to add a bit more milk to loosen it up.

Grate the graviera cheese and add it to the pot, along with the olive oil and honey. Stir everything together until the cheese melts, for a minute or so.

Serve with fresh or dried fruit, nuts and more honey if desired.


How are you spending this summer? We were very fortunate to be able to travel around Greece, tasting wonderful food and swimming in the deep blue sea. This week we are bringing to you a recipe for one of the simplest and perhaps one of the most wonderful dishes we tasted while in Greece: wild greens with tomatoes and cheese!

Wild greens are found everywhere in Greece during the summer, sold in large bunches at local markets all around the country. There are endless varieties. The ones we selected are called vlita (amaranth) and have a subtle bitter, earthy taste which pairs perfectly with the sweet summer tomatoes. In this recipe we’ve used our tomato passata, so that you can easily prepare it in the winter, selecting more wintery greens. You can use whichever seasonal dark leafy greens you can find: chard, kale, spinach, collard greens. Anything goes!

In the classic recipe, greens are boiled and then fresh tomatoes are grated on top. A soft white cheese like mizithra or feta is crumbled and, of course, plenty of olive oil is drizzled on top. We followed this classic recipe and kept things simple. It is still summer after all, and we love feeling a bit more relaxed before the hectic winter begins. Do feel free to omit the cheese, to keep this vegan.

Serves 2 as main or 4 as a side

1kg dark leafy greens
1 bottle tomato passata (or 3-4 tomatoes, crushed)
1 tbsp olive oil plus more for drizzling
salt, freshly ground black pepper
150g soft white cheese (we used our organic feta), to serve

Thoroughly rinse your greens and remove any large stems (you can reserve them to make stock). We kept the leaves whole, but if you prefer you can roughly chop them.
Place your greens in a large pot of boiling water and cook for a few minutes until soft and tender. We used a very large pot and boiled the greens all in one go, for around 6 minutes, but you can also work in batches.

Drain and place your greens in a large salad bowl. While they are still warm, pour over the tomato passata, season with pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. Serve immediately with the feta cheese and more olive oil. If you are not using cheese, do add a bit of salt.

This dish is also perfect served cold. If you are serving it cold, let the greens cool down and place them in the fridge. Continue with the tomato, etc just before serving.