This week we’ve used our product of the month, our lovely pistachios to make a unique recipe! It brings to mind our green pistachio pesto from last year. But with a few twists of course. For this recipe we have used our raw and unsalted pistachio kernels, but you can use the roasted and slightly salted ones if you wish, to add a bit more depth to this recipe. Greek pistachios are renowned for their wonderful flavour, their beautiful pink exteriors and vibrant green kernels. Fantastic for desserts and a wonderful addition to your breakfast or snack recipes. You can read more about our pistachios. And did you know, our roasted and slightly salted pistachios received a great taste award this year! Same with our 22 olive oil! Have a look at our other awarded products!

This recipe is inspired by Bon Appetite magazine. This is a delicious nutty and garlicky dip to savour with crunchy raw vegetables. Alternatively, spread it on bread for a quick bruschetta or light lunch. And of course, you can mix it in your pasta or warm potatoes for an easy dinner! Can’t think of anything better for those cold winter evenings ahead of us.

For 1 medium-sized jar you will need

100g spring onions
2 fresh green chillies
13 cloves of garlic
100g pistachios
juice of ½ lime plus more to serve
½ cup of olive oil plus ¼ cup of olive oil
salt

Preheat the oven at 200C and set on grill.
Roughly chop your spring onions. Peel the garlic.
Scatter the spring onions and garlic in a baking tray in the oven for about 5min until charred. Let cool.

In a mixer, or using a mortar and pestle blend together the pistachios, spring onions and garlic and half a cup of olive oil. Blend adding the rest of the oil. Season with salt and add the lime juice. Taste and serve with more salt and lime if needed.


This week we’ve got some exciting news to share with you! Four of our wonderful products received Great Taste Awards! We are very proud to share them with you, as well as some of the judges’ comments. We look forward hearing your own comments –or tell us which of our products is a winner for you!

Pistachios – Roasted & slightly Salted
2 stars **

Greek pistachios are renowned for their wonderful flavour, their beautiful pink exteriors and vibrant green kernels. The area surrounding the island of Aegina combines optimal soil conditions and a perfect maritime climate. A pistachio growing zone par excellence, Aegina offers fresh, vibrant flavoured nuts. The judges commented on the rich, full, long lasting flavour and were impressed by their pink and green colour.

Some of our judges’comments write:
An unusually pink nut. The flavour is creamy and well balanced with just the right amount of salt; soft on the palate with the expected pale green interior’
‘Lovely charring which gives character and the fresh vibrant green of the nuts is very enticing..delightful crunch into a perfectly salted almost meaty nut was a sheer unadulterated pleasure’

Kalamata Olives with Ouzo
1 star *

These olives are from our single estate farm in Sparta, Greece. They are hand picked, unpasteurised and cured in fresh water. They are marinated in extra virgin olive oil, ouzo, star-anise and fennel to produce a unique Greek olive taste.

Some of our judges’comments write:

Very unusual innovation, and one we enjoyed. The olives are good quality and the ouzo goes right through the fruit until the last drop. The aniseed is very complementary and we loved them!’

22°C Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 star *

This mid harvest olive oil is made from semi ripe olives. It comes from our single estate farm in Sparta, Greece. It is single variety (koroneiki), and harvested by hand. Cold extracted up to 22°C and unfiltered, this olive oil has a mellow quality and a silky smooth texture.

Some of our judges’comments write:

‘A creamy mouthfeel. The flavour was subtle but with a good balance of spice and some herby, woody notes’
‘Lovely cut grass aroma; you are almost transported to the olive grove just by the nose’

Wild Thyme Honey
1 star *

Our wild thyme honey comes from the Taygetus mountains in Greece. It is a monofloral nectar honey from predominantly wild thyme flowers. It is, of course, raw: unfiltered and unpasteurised. With a lovely, golden colour, its intense, aromatic flavour lends it to a wide range of culinary uses.

Some of our judges’comments write:

‘Rich dark caramel colours with a herbaceous nose’
‘The palate is sweet with citrus notes running through it with a depth of flavour that transports you to the dusty depths of the bee keepers shed!’

 

We look forward to stocking up our pantry and cooking up wonderful recipes with these (awarded!) Greek products. Join us!

 


Pesto is one of the things we love. And we also love playing around with it. Use different herbs. Different nuts. Different types of cheese. Always keep the extra virgin olive oil though.

This week we got inspired by our pistachios. With beautiful pink exteriors and vibrant green kernels, these little gems from the island of Aegina are sweet and intense in flavour. Nothing to do with your supermarket stuff.

This recipe is so versatile. You can make a large batch and then use it in so many different recipes. Mix with warm pasta shells, put a dollop over baked potatoes, mix it into your favourite soup, mix with some Greek yogurt for an easy dip. The combinations are endless. These are the recipes we love. Few, good ingredients. Easy to make. Easy to use.

Makes one cup of pesto
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 
½ cup unsalted pistachios kernels
½ cup basil
½ cup parsley
1 tbs grated St Isidoros cheese* (or parmesan)
lemon juice to taste
pinch of salt

Pick the leaves from the herbs and save the stalks for stock. You can dry fry the pistachios in a frying pan if you like, but raw are better if you ask me. In a blender or with a pestle and mortar place the herbs and pistachios. Blend, adding slowly the extra virgin olive oil until your pistachios are crushed and combined with the herbs. Add the cheese and stir. Season with salt and squeeze generously the lemon juice to balance the nuttiness of pistachios. If you don’t use it right away, store in a jar in the fridge, pouring some olive oil on top.

*St. Isidoros is a goat’s milk hard cheese from Naxos Island. Come and try it at our shop at Borough Market.


Serving homemade condiments is a brilliant way of showing your guests that you have made an extra effort cooking for them. Pairing the main course with homemade chutney will make your guests, really intrigued. It can be made in advance but if not, it will fill your kitchen with wonderful smells, which your guests will find extra appetising.

According to its definition, this spicy condiment contains fruit, vinegar, sugar and spices. It can vary in texture from chunky to smooth and in degrees of spiciness from mild to hot. Chutney is a delectable companion to curried dishes. The sweeter chutneys also make interesting bread spreads and are delicious served with cheese.

Toast 70g of Aegina pistachios in a preheated oven in 160°C for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the yellow skin from a mid-sized quince with a vegetable peeler and and peel it chunky.

Sauté a finely chopped onion in a pan, with 40ml evoo. Keep stirring in low heat until it caramelises. Add the peeled quince, a teaspoon of chilli flakes, 2 teaspoons of honey, 50g sugar, a cinnamon stick, a star anise, a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and 50ml of apple juice. Simmer for 30-40 minutes until it forms a jam-like texture. Check the mix frequently and add water only if there is no liquid left.

Add the pistachios to a food processor (or blender) and pulse it to chop them coarsely. Add some freshly ground pepper, stir it well and serve. Alternatively, pour into sterile jars and use within six months.

We can’t help but thinking the wonderful sandwiches you can have with your leftover Sunday roast, Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey. Of course, we find this quince condiment perfect with a cheese board and/or charcuterie. Enjoy!

A while ago we wrote a blogpost on pistachios explaining what makes our Greek pistachios from Aegina Island (P.D.O) so special. You can find them online or on site in three different forms: roasted and lightly salted, roasted and unsalted and raw unsalted kernels.


Ingredients:


4 large eggs at room temperature, separated
150 g good – quality dark chocolate, broken  (I used Piura Porcelana by Original Beans. Just note : being raw, it WILL keep you up at night (but it works perfectly with this fruity, award -winning olive oil)
70 ml 17C lemon & thyme infused olive oil
70 -80 g caster sugar (depending on cacao content of chocolate used)
Pinch of instant coffee granules
Pinch of sea salt
1 tsp sumac and a little bit extra to garnish
Chopped, toasted pistachios

Method :
Melt chocolate in microwave (20s blasts, stirring in between), or in bain marie. 
Allow to cool slightly.
Beat egg yolks, 30g sugar, sumac, salt and coffee granules until pale yellow and fluffy. Whisk in olive oil. Slowly whisk in melted chocolate. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
Taste chocolate mixture.

Add 40-50g sugar to egg white mix depending on desired bitterness of mousse. 
Beat until hard peaks form. Mix a large spoonful of egg whites into chocolate mix until completely incorporated. Pour chocolate mix into egg white mix, fold in gently. Pipe into desired glasses (as in photos), or into a big sharing bowl and leave to set for a few hours in the fridge /overnight.

Garnish with sumac pistachio mixture. Serve with shortbread (or pistachio biscotti, perhaps?)

by Jackie


Light but filling, this nutty and fruity vegetarian dish takes just 20 minutes to prepare – and leftovers will do for packed lunch. It can also work as a side dish, for meat dishes or added in a leafy salad.

Ingredients (for 6 persons):

• 500 g couscous (whole wheat is recommended)

• 300 ml chicken/ vegetable stock

• 120 g evoo (we recommend using 22ÆC)

• 80 g Corinth raisins (soaked for 20 mins in 50ml black rum or cognac or water, if you wish)

• 75 g almonds, finely chopped

• 125 g PDO Aegina pistachio kernels

• Zest from 2 lemons and juice from 1

½ bunch of fresh spearmint/ mint/ sage

• Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Firstly, mix the couscous in a bowl, boil the stock and pour it over the couscous while it is hot, then cover and leave to stand for 5 mins. You can cover it with some cling film or even a plate for those 5 mins until it absorbs all the water. Fluff up couscous with a couple of forks and drizzle the extra virgin olive oil. Add the raisins, the almond flakes, the Aegina pistachios, the lemon juice as well as the zest and the spearmint. Stir through, season and serve. Enjoy!

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How can you not love pistachios? They are a wonderful snack, the main ingredient to crunchy and flaky baklava, make an exquisite ice cream, they lift the flavour and texture of every food they are added to, from dressings to salads, casseroles, puddings and baked goods.

The pistachio is “technically” not a nut. The seed, commonly thought of as a nut, is as a matter of fact a culinary and not a botanical nut. The fruit is a drupe, containing an elongated seed, which is the edible portion. The English word pistachio is derived from the ancient Greek word pist.kion (πιστάκιον). The main producers of pistachios worldwide are Iran, United States and Turkey, while China seems to be the first consuming country. The pistachio tree is native to western Asia and Asia Minor, from Syria to the Caucasus and Afghanistan. Several cultivars exist however, the most popular variety grown for commercial purposes is kerman.

What is so special about the Greek pistachios? It appears that pistachio trees came to Greece from Western Asia. The unique cultivated type of pistachios from Aegina, has been awarded a Protected Designation of Origin (P.D.O) product status, since 1977. It has an almost-white shell, a sweet taste, a red-green kernel and a little bit more closed-mouth shell than the variety found in the United States. The ideal climate conditions of the island and the composition of the soil give these pistachios from Aegina the aroma and taste that make them stand out The specific variety has been systematically cultivated in Aegina since the 1860s. Nikolaos Peroglou organised the first pistachio orchard in Aegina, in the area of Limbones, by the sea, in 1896. He is considered one of the most infuential figures in the island as he dedicated his life to the cultivation of pistachio trees. Author of the book “The Pistachio Tree”, he documented everything that the cultivation of the pistachio tree needs. Determined that the Aeginitans should plant pistachio trees, when he wanted to give a present, he would give a pistachio tree sapling.

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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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