This week we’ve got a very summery rice salad for you. It is great for picnics or barbecues, makes for a delicious lunch or light dinner and makes use of July’s seasonal vegetables that we so love.

This rice salad with various variations of vegetables, and with a mustard-olive oil-lemon dressing is a classic in Greek households. In my family we always prepare it on Clean Monday (the day which marks the beginning of lent in Greece), along with taramosalata. Then we use spring vegetables, so I’ve been very excited for this summer take on a family classic.

In this recipe, we used our Carolina rice, which comes from the area of Grevena in the northern part of Greece. Carolina rice is high in amylopectin (starch), making it the perfect ingredient for a creamy risotto or a rice pudding. But here, we’ve rinsed it well, so that we can use it as our base for this summer salad. For our dressing we’ve used a very special oil, made from semi-ripe olives crushed with fresh lemongrass and tarragon. It has an especially fresh flavour and intense aroma, pairing perfectly with our summer vegetables. This salad is great as is, but you can also add some grilled chicken or prawns if you prefer.

Serves 2
100g Carolina rice
1.5 cups of water
250g cherry tomatoes
1 large cucumber
1 small tub of Amfissa green olives
1 lemon, zest and 1 tbsp juice
1 tsp mustard
2 tbsp olive oil with lemongrass & tarragon
dried spearmint (to taste)
salt, pepper (to taste)

Rinse the rice thoroughly, until the water runs clear. Place the rice and 1.5 cups of water in a medium-sized pot and over medium heat. Cook, covered, for around 20 minutes until all the water has been absorbed. Rinse under cold water and set aside.

Cut your cherry tomatoes in half and the cucumber in bite-sized pieces. In a large bowl whisk together the lemon zest and juice, mustard, olive oil with lemongrass & tarragon and spearmint. Add the rice to your bowl, along with your tomatoes, cucumber and olives, and gently toss everything together. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve cold or at room temperature.

 


This week we’ve got an easy and wholesome recipe for you. As you may know, chickpeas are one of our favourite ingredients. However, we often associate them with hearty stews or the classic revithada soup. So this week, as the sun is shining and the summer is in full swing, we’ve decided to make a nutritious salad. Our chickpeas, harvested every year in organic farms in northern Greece are the ideal ingredient for your go-to summer salad.

We’ve kept this simple, using mostly cupboard ingredients. Feel free to add any herbs you have around, and swap any ingredient you don’t really fancy. Definitely serve with plenty of feta cheese!

Serves 2 with leftovers

150g chickpeas
1 red onion
1 lemon, juice and zest
½ jar sun-dried tomatoes in their oil
1-2 tbsp capers and/or olives
small bunch of fresh herbs (mint, parsley or dill)
salt, pepper (to taste)
feta cheese (to serve)

The night before soak your chickpeas. The morning after drain and place them in a pot with lots of water. Boil until tender but not mushy, about an hour. Drain and set aside.

While your chickpeas are boiling, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Peel and cut the onion in half, and then finely slice in half-moons. Drain the sun-dried tomatoes, retaining their oil.

In a large bowl add the chickpeas, onion, lemon juice (start with 2 tbsp) and zest, sun-dried tomatoes, capers and olives and fresh herbs (if using). Add 1 tbsp of the reserved sun-dried tomato olive oil and toss everything together.

Taste and season with salt and pepper, adjusting for lemon and olive oil.

Serve at room temperature with some feta cheese.


In Greece, olives are usually eaten as part of a meze platter, added in salads and used in cooking in slowly cooked stews. So when we came across a recipe for little olive pies from the island of Cyprus (by the Greek-Cypriot chef Christoforos Peskias), we couldn’t but give these a try. Inspired by this Cypriot classic, we’ve adapted the recipe using a selection of our olives.

Organic, hand-picked and unpasteurised, our olives are naturally cured in fresh water for 6 to 9 months. They have high levels of monounsaturated fats and are a good source of protein, not to mention absolutely delicious! In this recipe we used a combination of our Kalamata, Amfissa green and Kalamata orange olives. But feel free to select your favourites!

Makes 15 small pies

1 portion of pie dough with orange
200g olives (we used a combination of our Kalamata olives, Amfissa Green olives and Kalamata olives with orange and herbs)
1 large red onion
zest from 1 orange
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small bunch of mint
1 tbsp sesame (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180C

Finely slice the onion. In a medium skillet and over medium heat gently fry the onion in the olive oil, until tender and caramelised, around 20minutes. Let it cool down.

In the meantime, prepare the rest of your filling. Remove the olive pits, gently pressing down the olives, or using a small pairing knife. Roughly chop the olive flesh and add to a bowl. Add the orange zest. Finely chop the mint and add it to your bowl.

Add the onions and stir well.

Roll out your dough in a rectangular 20x30cm, and around 2-3mm thick. Spread the filling on top, leaving some space on the sides. Roll up the long side, creating a log. Slice vertically creating thick pieces, around 10cm each. Turn them on their side (like you would do with cinnamon rolls).

Lay them on a baking tray covered in greaseproof paper. Sprinkle sesame on top (if using). Bake at 180C until the little pies are golden, around 30min.


Today is Kathara Deutera, literally translated as Clean Monday. It is the beginning of Lent in Greece. Traditionally on this day we fly kites and eat foods like taramosalata, melitzanosalata, lagana bread (a special type of bread with a lovely crust), seafood, pickled vegetables and lots of other delicacies like dolmades.

So this week, we’ve prepared for you a classic salad, made with black eye beans. We’ve added plenty of cupboard staples, like capers, roasted red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes, but also fresh parsley and red onion. For that extra kick, we’ve used our balsamic chilli vinegar, a beautiful organic vinegar. It is made from grape must from the Nemea P.D.O wine process using the ubiquitous Agioritiko red grape variety, infamous in this region of the Peloponnese. This vinegar is then aged in French oak barrels for three years.

This salad is perfect served cold or at room temperature, and ideally the day after, so that all flavours blend together. As always, feel free to add more of anything you really love, and omit anything you don’t like.

Serves 6

300g black eye beans
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp capers, drained
1/2 jar roasted red peppers, drained
1 jar sun-dried tomatoes in their oil
1 small red onion
3 tbsp balsamic chilli vinegar
½ tub olives
1 large bunch fresh parsley

Place your beans in a medium-sized pot. Fill it up with water, add the bay leaf and over high heat bring it to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook for about 20 minutes, until the beans are tender but not mushy. Drain and set aside to cool.

In a large serving bowl add the capers and olives.

Finely chop the roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, onion and parsley and add to your bowl.

Add the beans and toss everything together. Drizzle the olive oil from the sun-dried tomatoes and the vinegar and toss well again.

Season with salt and pepper if needed and serve with more olive oil and vinegar.

 


With January in full swing and most of us staying at home, there’s always the need for some culinary inspiration. This week’s recipe is quite simple, and makes for a perfect lunch. Add these lovely roasted peppers to it, and you’re in for a treat.

As you may know, in Greece food revolves around two main flavours: lemon and tomatoes. We love them both, equally. But this week we went for the latter. However, during the long winter months tomatoes are scarce, more expensive and trust us, they taste nothing like the ones you find in the summer. So we go for our organic passata. Tomatoes are picked during the summer when they are at their best and then turned into our aromatic tomato passata without any seeds or peels. Using nothing but tomatoes and no added salt it is as close to the flavours of nature as you would expect.

Now, when you slowly cook brown rice in this tomato passata, the result is a nutritious, delicious meal! With the addition of olives, sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes, of course.

Serves 2

2 tbsp olive oil
100g brown rice
450g passata
250ml water
½ tub of olives (we used a selection of Kalamata plain and unripe olives)
5-6 sun-dried tomatoes
½ jar artichoke hearts, drained

Pour the olive oil in a medium-sized pot and over medium-low heat. Once hot add the rice and stir, so that each grain is coated with the oil. Season with salt.

Add the passata and water. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let the rice cook until tender, for approximately 40min.

Once the rice is cooked, add the olives, sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes and let the flavours blend for another 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature with plenty of feta cheese.


We were so proud to receive the news for the Great Taste Awards! Every year we participate in Great Taste, the world’s largest and most trusted food and drink awards and we are always very excited when the results come in!

A panel of over 500 experts spent time tasting our lovely products and we are very proud to announce that we have five products with star ratings! Below are the awarded products and some of the judges’ comments. We can’t wait to celebrate!

18°C organic extra virgin olive oil *1 star*

This is the first olive oil of the season, made from unripe olives when they are still small and green. An olive oil with intense flavour and a unique grassy taste. Some of the judges’ comments:

Beautiful, richly coloured, green-gold olive oil with its warm, fruity and peppery aromas. Smooth and silky in texture, the oil dissipates on the palate to reveal its flavour profiles. Sweet meadow hay, buttery artichoke and fresh green almond notes are quickly followed by peppery, feisty young fruit flavours, daring and bold. An astringency plays around the edge of the palate leaving a natural vibrancy. This oil is fresh, lively and spirited.

This buttery light oil has a gentleness suitable for light salads.

Young, fun and delicious!

 

Ginger, Lime & Basil Olive Oil *1 star*

This special oil is made from semi-ripe olives crushed with ginger, lime and basil. It has a vibrant flavour and intense aromas. Some of the judges’ comments:

A deep golden coloured, clear oil with a warm ginger aroma. The flavours of ginger and basil are quite soft and mellow, well balanced with the richness of the oil. The oil has a gentle fruity flavour and is soft and smooth.

The basil was fresh and fragrant, and there was a lovely warmth from ginger followed by a little pepperiness from the oil. The texture was rich and smooth.

 

21°C organic extra virgin olive oil *1 star*

This special oil is made from semi ripe olives crushed with walnuts, purslane, and wild aromatic herbs giving a fresh taste that is full of flavour. Some of the judges’ comments:

Thick and buttery on the palate, it has a strong, lingering herbal flavour.

A gorgeous rich green olive oil positively glistening with natural goodness and tantalizing the palate with its aromas of sweet and aromatic fennel. Smooth and silky in the mouth…Brisk walnut flavours are followed by woody, resinous heady notes from rosemary…The peppery fruit flavours are present and bring a feisty little kick on the finish.

An interesting and intensely aromatic oil – the flavours are so clearly Greek. The fennel seeds provide a striking sweetness with a little bit of nutty bitterness from the walnuts.

 

Plain Kalamata olives *1 star*

These are the classic Kalamata olives. They have a great flavour and fleshy texture. Some of the judges’ comments:

A really rich reddish brown and plump, these olives pack a punch. The salt level is excellent and balances well with the bitterness. There’s hints of sweetness towards the end of the olive profile also present in the marinating oil.

Your Kalamata olives have such a wonderful black purple shine, and truly do look inviting… your olives are fruity in texture and flavour and deliver a truly traditional Kalamata taste.

These olives have a beautiful blackish brown colour, a shiny firm looking skin and a fruity aroma. The flesh is meaty but tender in the mouth and there is lots of upfront fruity sweetness and acidity followed by a pleasing touch of bitterness.

 

Kalamata olives with ouzo *1 star*
Kalamata olives, marinated in extra virgin olive oil, ouzo, lemon peel, star-anise and fennel to produce a unique Greek olive taste. Some of the judges’ comments:

Beautifully shiny Kalamata olives. There is a distinct aniseed/ouzo aroma. The olive flesh is soft and giving, coming off the stone well…the combination is very reminiscent of sitting at a harbour side bar with a bowl of olives and a iced glass of cloudy ouzo. The balance at the finish is long and good.

Wonderfully plump, glossy looking olives with a distinct aroma of ouzo. The olives are soft and juicy.

 

Have a look at exciting recipes with olive oil, flavoured olive oils, and olives all around our blog.

 


This week, and for the next couple of weeks, we’ve got three very summery recipes for you, from Amaryllis from The Tasty Other. Amaryllis is one of our favourite guest chefs in our dinner experiences and 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!

One of my favourite dishes (and certainly my favourite summer dish) is gemista, chubby tomatoes & bell peppers stuffed with rice (or bulgur) and herbs and baked until soft, bubbly and delicious. It really is the quintessential Greek summer dish and though I never tire of it, this time it only served as inspiration, allowing orzo, another favourite of mine, to take centre stage. A delicious minuscule pasta, which tastes delicious both straight out of the oven and at room temperature, orzo is widely used in Greek cooking. Here I’ve stuffed roasted peppers with a very seasonal orzo pasta salad: juicy cherry tomatoes, which I’m never without in the summer months, red onion, lots of herbs, and a few of my favourite Oliveology products: black Kalamata olives and artichokes, all dressed in white balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, and finished off with homemade golden oregano breadcrumbs.

Ingredients
4 red bell peppers, halved, seeds discarded
4 garlic cloves (skin on)
1 cup orzo
About 15 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on their size
1/2 cup Kalamata olives
1/2 cup jarred artichokes, whole or roughly chopped
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 bunch of dill, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch of mint roughly chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle over the peppers
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

For the homemade breadcrumbs:
3 slices stale bread
1/2-1 teaspoon dried oregano
Zest from 1/2 lemon
extra virgin olive oil
Big pinch of salt

Method

Put the bread in a food processor & pulse until you have thick breadcrumbs; toss with the oregano and lemon zest and add to a hot pan, along with a good drizzle of olive oil. Cook over medium heat for about 7’, or until golden. Remove from the heat, add a good pinch of sea salt flakes and set aside until ready to use. (You can store any leftovers in a jar for up to a week).

Preheat the oven to 200C (180 Fan); place the peppers & garlic on a baking tray, drizzle with some olive oil, add a good pinch of salt and bake for 20’-25’, until soft, but still holding their shape.

Meanwhile, cook the orzo in plenty of salted water for about 10’, drain well and add about a tablespoon of olive oil; set aside to cool a little and then toss with the tomatoes, olives, artichokes, onion, herbs, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic and black pepper.

Take the peppers out of the oven and squeeze the garlic cloves off their skin; add to the orzo and toss again gently. Scoop the salad into the halved peppers, finishing off with feta crumbles, a light drizzle of olive oil and a good sprinkle of the breadcrumbs.


This week we’ve got a very fresh, summery recipe from Ligia from TheDaringKitchen. Ligia shares our passion for fresh, healthy food – with a Greek twist of course! You can check out many of her recipes here, and of course follow her on instagram. So here it is, words and recipe by Ligia, right below. Enjoy!

Summer is here, which means fresh produce abounds! Make the most of the season’s finest veggies with this summery Greek Kale Salad. It’s filled with briny kalamata olives, juicy tomato, sweet onion, creamy feta, and finished with a simple vinaigrette flavoured with fresh oregano.

The salad is best if it’s left to marinate for a few minutes before serving. This softens up the kale, making it a bit more digestible and flavourful. It also uses two kinds of kale for a bit of flavour and textural variation, but you can always use just one, depending on what’s available near you.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes

Dressing:
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
Cracked black pepper, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste

Salad:
1 bunch curly kale, de-stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 bunch lacinato kale, de-stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 tomato, sliced
½ white onion, sliced
¼ cup Kalamata olives
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
Fresh oregano, minced, for garnish

In a large serving bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, oregano, mustard, oregano, garlic, pepper, and salt.

Add the kale, tomato, and onion. Toss to coat fully in the dressing.

Let the salad sit for at least 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Toss in the olives and feta cheese, just before serving.

Enjoy your salad!


At this time of the year, too much work and a gloomy weather often makes us feel low in energy. So we often go for colourful food, to balance the grey skies. This week we are making a nutritious salad, with raw fennel and citrus.

First of all, we love crunching on raw vegetables. It is relaxing, I can’t explain it. Do you remember our raw beetroot and apple salad? Or the wonderful galomyzithra and yoghurt dip we made a few weeks ago to accompany raw veggies? And then there’s citrus, the fruits that give colour to winter. And vitamins! Last year we made a wonderful citrus dressing, and a carrot and citrus salad to go with it. This week we found some blood oranges at the market. They are highly seasonal, and we absolutely love foods that you can only find for a few weeks in the year –wild garlic, we are waiting for you!

For this salad, we also used a selection of olives, wild green unripe olives with lemon and our kalamata olives with ouzo, to perfectly complement citrus and fennel! They are a good source of protein, vitamin E, antioxidants and polyphenols and an excellent provider of oleic acid and oleuropein. And yummy!

And as this is a citrus feast, we couldn’t but use our 17C olive oil with lemons and oranges and our mandarin balsamic vinegar. So go on, grab your fruit and veg and join us in making our days more colourful and fresh!

Serves 4

1 bulb of fennel
1 small orange
1 small blood orange
1 small pink grapefruit
½ tub of olives (we used a combination of unripe lemon and kalamata with ouzo olives)
1 tbsp balsamic cream with mandarin
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp 17C flavoured olive oil
salt

Thinly slice the fennel. Peel and finely slice the orange, blood orange and grapefruit.

Place in a large platter and scatter the olives. Drizzle with balsamic mandarin cream, lemon olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and serve immediately.

This salad turns into a whole different dish if you keep it overnight. The fruits and veg soften up and the flavours all blend wonderfully together. So you can have it for lunch the next day!


Is it summer yet? The weather might be a bit confusing still, but we can’t help but feel that one of our favourite seasons is here. We kicked off June (and summer!) with our Greek Islands Cooking Workshop, where we got to taste and make amazing island recipes and wines. Our wonderful chef, Lida shared her passion for island foods, and –sneak peak to September-she is preparing another ‘island’ workshop! A Cretan one this time. Watch this space for updates on this and our other cooking workshops!

So this week, we have the ultimate summer recipe for you: a Horiatiki, also known as Greek salad. But with a twist. If you are looking for something refreshing and filling for those warm summer days or nights, look no further. Our bulgur wheat horiatiki is our go-to summer dish.

In the recipe below, you can cut the tomatoes, cucumber and onions in whichever way you like. We had plenty of time, so we went for small cubes. But if you are more rushed, then go for tomato wedges and roughly chop the cucumber and onions-it is equally delicious. And, as always, do not hesitate to add or omit ingredients! We’ve added fresh herbs for example. You adore feta? Double the quantity! You hate capers? Omit them. But not before you pop by our Borough Market shop to taste ours.

So get into the kitchen and let’s kick off this summer!

Serves 2:

100g bulgur wheat
4 tomatoes
1/2 cucumber
1 red onion
1 tbsp capers and
1/2 tub Kalamata olives or amfissa green olives (we used both)
Dried oregano (to taste)
5 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
100g feta cheese
a small bunch of fresh herbs (parsley, mint or dill – optional)
Salt

Place the bulgur wheat in 250ml of water in a medium-sized pot. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and let it cook until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let it cool.

In the meantime, cut your tomatoes, cucumber and onion in small cubes. Place in a large bowl, along with the capers and olives. If using herbs, finely chop them and add them to the salad. Crumble the feta cheese on top. Add the cool bulgur wheat and oregano. Dress your salad with olive oil and vinegar and season with salt.

Serve with crusty bread. Happy summer everyone!