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.


Well, after a weekend of snow here in London, we might have been a bit hasty celebrating spring last time. But the sun is shining again, so let’s just wait a bit and see, maybe it’s finally here!

This week we’ve got a salad for you. I’m not sure recipes like the one below should be called salads (remember, we’ve had this discussion when we made our pasta salad last spring). But anyhow, these are dishes that feel healthy, are eaten without making you want to fall sleep after and give you energy to get through the day. Just like salads. Yet more filling.

The writer of this blog post grew up hating our main ingredient, gigantes beans, cooked in the traditional fasolada (bean soup). But things change as one grows older, and often we see the same things very differently. And all of us at Oliveology love discovering new ways to cook familiar ingredients.

These beans become soft and buttery when cooked. They are, I must admit, so flavourful that they can stand on their own. However, we’ve added a few things to brighten up their smoothness. Think of roasted broccoli and green peppers, zingy lemon zest and juice and our favourite lemon and herbs kalamata olives. So let’s get started before the weather turns cold again.

1 small head of broccoli
1 large green pepper
a few pinches of dried thyme
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
salt, pepper

100g gigantes beans
vegetable stock or herb stalks, vegetable scraps
salt, pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
zest of 1/2 lemon
½ tub lemon olives

The night before soak your beans in plenty of water.

Cut your broccoli into florets. Use the whole vegetable, just cut the stem in smaller pieces. Cut the pepper into large chunks. In a bowl toss broccoli, green pepper, thyme, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread onto a baking tray and bake at 180 for 30 min or until broccoli is charred and soft.

Place your beans in a medium sized pot, cover with new water and vegetable scraps or stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until beans are tender, around two hours. Season with salt after the beans have softened up.

Drain and let the beans cool. In a salad bowl toss together beans, broccoli, green pepper, olive oil, lemon juice and zest and lemon olives. Taste and add more salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy in the sun. Or snow, who knows anymore?


January is in full swing, with gloomy wet weather (which however the writer of this blog post happens to adore). January is the month when we all decide we will take better care of ourselves. With the feasting of the holidays now way past us, we make promises to eat healthier, better. What healthier and better means may differ for each of us. For us at Oliveolology it is eating fresh vegetables, food made with care, good olive oil.

But you know, you have to have exciting flavours too. So this week we are playing with one very special ingredient. Kalamata olives with orange and herbs. These olives are marinated in orange juice, zest and wild aromatic herbs from our farm. Try to imagine the meatiness of the kalamata olives together with the citrusy orange. Absolutely delicious.

And what these olives pair perfectly with? Beetroot! You know we love this vegetable and there is something very satisfying to roasted beetroot. Remember our beetroot dip? How about last year’s lentil and beetroot salad?

To bring everything together we’ve selected kale and our organic goat’s cheese.

Serves two as side or one as main

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 sweet red wine vinegar
1 grape molasses
1 bowl/plate/bunch/bag of kale leaves
2 large beetroot
½ tub orange olives
¼-1/2 pack goat cheese
pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 200C. Scrub your beetroot under running water. Wrap each one in tinfoil and place them in a baking tray. Roast them until cooked through, around an hour.
In the meantime, wash and tear the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Whisk together the olive oil, sweet vinegar and grape molasses, salt.
Once cooked, remove the beetroot from the oven. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, unwrap them and using your fingers peel the skin off. You can of course leave the skin on. Slice the beetroot or cut them in wedges. Gently toss together beetroot, kale, orange olives, dressing. Lay on a plate or bowl (we used a chopping board). Crumble the cheese on top.


I first tasted kedgeree a few weeks after I arrived in the UK. The friend who was hosting me at the time threw a brunch. ‘We have to make kedgeree’, she said. ‘It’s one of the most interesting dishes. It was part of my own welcome to this country, so now we will make it part of yours.’ And indeed we prepared it and it was delicious. This dish combines warm and metallic spices, smoked fish, comforting rice, soft boiled eggs and fresh herbs. Since then, I’ve prepared it a few times, but mostly for lunch. I find this combination of flavours particularly appealing, especially during the dull winter days.

So this week, we’ve got an oliveology take on this iconic dish. We are using bulgur wheat instead of rice, a bit of smoked haddock for flavour, and adding a few more interesting ingredients! What’s that you ask? Unripe lemon olives! They are hand picked at the beginning of the season and we love their unique crunchy texture. Their incredibly fresh flavour and lemony tones complement perfectly this dish!

Serves 4 for lunch
300g smoked haddock
2 medium onions
2 cloves of garlic
2 thumb-sized pieces of ginger
2 tbsp olive oil or butter
3 tablespoons kedgeree spice mix (or any curry powder of your choosing)
300g bulgur wheat
600ml water
salt

To serve:
1/2 tub of unripe olives
1 small bunch of coriander
4 soft boiled eggs
lemon wedges

Place the haddock in a pot and cover in water. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10min, until fish is cooked through. Remove haddock and keep the water on the side. Flake the fish. You can keep the skin if you like.

Peel and finely chop the onions, garlic and ginger. In the same pot, add your oil and gently fry the onions, garlic and ginger. Add the spice mix and fry in gently heat until translucent and caramelised. Add the bulgur wheat and stir until it’s coated in the fragrant oil/vegetables. Add the water you have reserved from the haddock, adding more water if needed. You need 600ml in total. Season with salt. Turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and let the bulgur wheat absorb all liquid. Taste and add more water if needed.

Serve with the olives, coriander, eggs and lemon wedges.

 


We think that life is too short for one type of pesto. So why don’t you “Greek up” your pesto pasta by replacing basil with oregano and pine nuts with almonds?

Ingredients:

500g pasta –we recommend linguini or whole wheat penne

For the pesto

200g feta crumbled
1/2 teacup Kalamata olives –without their pits
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (and 1/4 cup for serving)
2 garlic cloves
25g almonds –toasted, if desired for enhanced flavour
Bunch of parsley (chopped)
1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
Mizithra or graviera for serving
Freshly ground pepper
Sesame and parsley (if desired) for serving

Method:

Tip the pasta into a large pan of boiling salted water and cook until al dente. Set aside 1/2 cup of pasta water.

In the meantime, place the parsley, almonds, cloves and oregano in the bowl of a food processor (or blender) fitted with a steel blade and blend to a puree. Add the olives, feta and pasta water and blend again. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube. Pulse until well combined, adding blanching water by tablespoons to thin if needed, and stopping occasionally to scrape down sides.

Transfer pasta to a bowl and toss vigorously, drizzling with oil and adding pesto, sesame, freshly ground pepper, parsley (if desired) and cheese as you continue to toss, until pasta is glossy and well coated with sauce. Serve hot or cold. Enjoy! Store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.


A creative recipe by Jackie. Enjoy!

Figs and olives are well on their way in, cherries are on their way out.
Here is something to mark the transitional period between the seasons- a bit savoury, a bit sweet…about as classifiable as the weather.

Olive, cherry, fig samosas with rosemary syrup

• I find it easiest to fold these pastries into triangular shapes, hence the term “samosa”, but there is no reason you cannot make them in different shape. Filo pastry is wonderfully forgiving.
• The recipe is meant to be a guideline, as are most of the recipes created for oliveology. Create! Be inspired by the best produce you can find.

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Marianna from Oliveology explains the long journey an olive takes from the tree to your plate.

“We specialise in one type of olive which is the Kalamata. This is the best known Greek olive and has become very popular because it is a very flavourful olive with a really nice texture. But to get them to this point takes a lot of work.  An olive has to go through a long process between being picked and arriving at your table, especially if you do it in the traditional way.”

Not everybody realises this, but olives are inedible straight from the tree, and you have to cure them first before doing anything else. They are very bitter and need to be cured to remove this bitterness, and there are a number of different methods you can use. We use fresh water curing; the healthiest and slowest method.

Read the full article on the journey of the olive at Borough Market Life