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 is a very summery dish, that is both filling and very refreshing! It is great served hot, at room temperature, or even cold as a salad. Which, if we are being honest, is one of the things we love most about summer: being able to make simple dishes that you can eat at any temperature according to our mood!

For this dish, we used summer vegetables and orzo. In Greek cuisine, orzo is usually associated with oven-baked tomato-based dishes. It usually accompanies Sunday’s slow cooked meat dishes, but can also be prepared as a dish on its own, as in our vegan version!

As such, in the past we’ve usually prepared it in winter, mixed with black truffle sauce for valentine’s, or oven-baked with saffron, sun-dried tomatoes and galomyzithra cheese.

So we were very excited to try it in a summer recipe! We used peas and courgettes, and our very summery 17C olive oil! A perfect dish for al fresco dining. Needless to say that a bottle of crisp white wine would be the ideal pairing.

Serves 4 for lunch

3 tbsp olive oil
4 fat cloves of garlic
1 cup peas (approx. 150g)
2 medium-sized courgettes, with blossoms if you can find (approx. 300g)
250g orzo
2tbsp 17C olive oil
80g graviera cheese, grated (you can find our graviera cheese in our Greek cheese selection)

Finely slice the courgettes and blossoms. Set aside the blossoms.

In a large frying pan and over medium-low heat gently fry the garlic in the olive oil until transluscent.
Add the peas and courgettes and gently fry for another 7minutes, until everything is covered in the oil.

In the meantime, boil orzo in plenty of salted water until al dente, exactly as you do with pasta. Drain and return to the pot, drizzling the lemon oil, while the orzo is still hot. Stir well.

Add your vegetables, garlic and remaining oil from the pan in the orzo. Toss everything together and add the graviera cheese and blossoms. Serve hot or at room temperature.


Valentine’s Day on February 14th is usually associated with romantic love. For us here at Oliveology it is indeed a day of love. Love is not only for lovers, but also for friends, family, yourself. It is also the day to indulge in the pleasures of eating-and cooking for that matter.

So this week we have prepared a recipe for you, using one of our very special ingredients! Black. Truffle. Sauce.

Our truffle sauce is made of champignon mushrooms, blended with black summer truffle, extra virgin olive oil, salt and spices. Each jar contains 10% of truffle, so the aroma is quite intense. You can use this sauce in various dishes, stir into warm pasta, add on omelettes or mix with cream for a delicious sauce. My personal favourite is simply spreading it on warm toast, with fresh herbs on top. Add a poached egg and you’ve got yourselves the most luxurious breakfast -or dinner for that matter!

But back to this week’s recipe. It is possibly the simplest way to use this delicious ingredient. Apart from simply spreading on toast, that is. You can swap orzo for rice, and if you want to complicate it a bit more, use vegetable stock instead of water. But for us, this version is ideal.

Serves two

1 medium red onion
2tbsp olive oil
150g orzo
½ jar black truffle sauce
300ml water
salt pepper
30g kefalotyri cheese, finely grated
springs of thyme (to serve)

Finely slice the onion. In a medium sized dish and over medium-high heat gently fry the onion in the olive oil until translucent and slightly caramelised. Add the orzo and stir until covered in the remaining oil and well mixed.

Add half of the truffle sauce and stir again.

Add the 300ml of water, season with salt and pepper and let it cook, half covered until orzo is al dente.

Remove from the heat, add the cheese and stir, adding a few splashes of water if needed.

Serve with the remaining black truffle sauce and fresh thyme.


Luxury is quite a complex word. When it comes to cooking, it’s usually associated with expensive or rare ingredients. Something most of us don’t usually incorporate in our daily cooking routines.

But you know, expensive can be relative when it comes to food. And luxury doesn’t have to be something we save for special occasions. We can add small notes of it in our daily cooking. I’ll explain.

How? Well, all one has to do really is source some good ingredients and combine them in clever ways. And most of these luxury foods go a long way. Saffron is the ingredient we love today. Why? Because of its red, gold colour. Because of its warm, slightly metallic flavour. Because a few threads are enough to add its unique aroma to your food. Plus, it makes us feel luxurious, doesn’t it? The one we are using is from Greece and oh, it’s organic too!

This recipe is inspired by Jamie Oliver’s flavour combinations.

Feeds 2-3 people:

4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 red onions
200g orzo
700 ml water
100g sun dried tomato paste
4 generous pinches of saffron
4 cardamom pods
100g galomyzithra or other soft white cheese
salt, pepper

Preheat your oven at 200C.

Boil your water and add the saffron threads. Once they release their colour, add the sun dried tomato paste and stir. Pop in the cardamom pods.

Finely chop the onions and gently fry them with the olive oil until translucent. Use a heat-proof casserole over medium low-heat. Add the orzo and stir, until the grains are coated in oil. Pour the saffron/sun dried tomato liquid over the orzo. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer your casserole to the oven and bake, stirring occasionally, until orzo is cooked and liquid is absorbed, around 20-30 min. Check halfway through and add a bit more water if needed. A few minutes before your orzo is ready, add the galomizithra cheese and fold through so that some lumps remain. Bake for another 10 minutes, until the cheese melts. Can you smell the red-gold luxury?

This dish is great served with a simple green salad.

 


Orzo, or kritharaki in Greek is traditionally eaten as part of a beef stew. Oven baked pieces of meat, with tomato sauce and orzo. Orzo is usually added towards the end of the cooking, when meat has started falling off the bone. It gets a delicious meaty flavour and mellow texture.

A vegetarian friend recently told us how for him, this is such a wonderful dish that it can stand on its own. Just remove the meat he said. Indeed, now that we are full into spring, maybe something lighter will be better.

This dish can be prepared in the hob, or you can finish it off in the over. We prefer the oven. You can serve orzo al dente. But we feel that there is something comforting in the soft grains, enveloped in tomato sauce. Also, although this shifts our recipe away from vegan, we would add some feta cheese. Take the orzo out of the oven a few minutes before it’s cooked. Crumble some feta cheese on top. Return to oven and bake for a few more minutes, until feta is melted. Trust us, this takes this recipe to a whole different level.
Feeds 4
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion
8 tbsp of olive oil 
200g orzo
1 bottle of tomato passata
1 bay leaf
1tsp dried oregano
1tsp dried rosemary
salt
pepper

Peel and finely chop the onion. Mince the garlic. You can use a cheese grater for both if you prefer.
In a medium sized pot, add the olive oil. Yes it’s plenty, to add flavour to the dish. In medium heat, gently fry the onion and garlic until translucent and slightly caramelised. Add the orzo and give it a stir, to cover it in the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tomato, oregano, rosemary and bay leaf. Add 1/2 cup of water. Lower the heat and let the orzo cook in the flavoured tomato juice. Alternatively, cover and place in the oven at 180C. Check occasionally and stir, adding water if needed. When the orzo is cooked through, approximately 15 minutes later remove from heat/oven. Add the feta cheese if using. Serve with warm crusty bread for a wonderful, light spring dinner.