Baklava is one of the most-loved Greek desserts. With origins in the Ottoman cuisine, it is prepared all around Greece, Turkey, and many other countries of the Levant, the Balkans and beyond.

We’ve tasted some delicious Turkish baklava with pistachios, while in Greece walnuts are preffered. Some more ‘modern’ versions which were popular all around Athens in the 90s-2000s used hazelnuts. Diverting from traditional recipes, for us, the selection of nuts is a very personal choice, and in this recipe we’ve actually used a mixture of all three: pistachios, walnuts and hazelnuts.

When it comes to the layers of filo, there are, again endless variations. If you love a tall baklava, double the recipe, or prepare it in a smaller baking dish. In ours we used one pack of filo and a 32x26cm dish and the result was a thin baklava. Ideally a metal baking dish is preferred as the distribution of heat is optimal for the baklava. However, we tried baking ours in a classic baking dish and it worked just fine.

For the syrup, we used our wild flower honey to sweeten ours, which adds a wonderful depth of flavour. When it comes to pouring the syrup over the baked baklava, there is a great debate around the ideal temperatures. We found that cooled down syrup poured over the hot baklava, just as it comes our of the oven gives a wonderfully crispy filo.

1 pack filo (450g)
350g nuts (we used raw pistachios, walnuts and hazelnuts)
100g white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
250g clarified butter (or simply melt butter)

For the syrup
250ml water
200g white sugar
200g wild flower honey
2tbsp lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
lemon peel

Syrup: In a medium sized pot and over medium heat add the water, sugar, honey, lemon juice and peel, and cinnamon stick. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Remove the lemon peel and cinnamon stick and set aside to cool.

Preparation: Preheat your oven to 190C.

Working in batches and using a pestle and mortal or blender, grind your nuts until they resemble coarse sand. Whisk in the sugar and cinnamon and set aside in a bowl.

Place the sheets of filo on the table over a kitchen towel and cover with a damp kitchen towel.

Melt your butter and place it on the table.

Assembling: Brush the bottom and sides of your pan with butter. Place one layer of filo, trimming the ends if needed. Drizzle some butter and add another layer of filo. Repeat until you have four layers of filo at the bottom.

Sprinkle a thin layer of your nut mixture. Cover with a sheet of filo and drizzle with butter. Repeat the process with a thin layer of nuts, then filo then drizzled butter, until you are left with three sheets of filo and no nuts.

Drizzling butter in between the sheets of filo, cover the top of the baklava with the remaining three sheets. If you have any butter left then pour it over your baklava.

Using a sharp knife cut in a diamond-shaped pattern (or squares or whatever you prefer). You can place the baklava in the fridge for the butter to set if you are finding it difficult to cut.

Baking: Bake at 190C in the bottom rack of the oven for 30-40minutes, until the baklava is golden and cooked underneath as well (check by gently lifting a piece from the corner).

Remove from the oven and immediately pour over the syrup. You will hear it making a beautiful sound. The syrup might seem a lot but let it cool and it will absorb most of it.

Tip: Baklava is always better the next day, so if you can, be patient and wait at least a few hours before serving it.

 


Greek Easter is around the corner, and we are now in the final week of Lent. Beginning on Clean Monday (yes with taramosalata!), during these the 40 days prior to Easter, Greeks are invited to abstain from all animal products. Grains and pulses slowly cooked with extra virgin olive oil take centre stage and baked delicacies with tahini (like the tahinopita we made a couple of weeks ago) are prepared. Spring vegetables like peas (here with olive oil and lemon) or spinach (think of spanakopita) are everywhere, and are always part of the menu. For this final week of Lent, we’ve used one of our favourite spring ingredients, wild garlic and we’ve put together a simple yet delicious pesto recipe. As you will read, there’s plenty of garlic in this recipe, so if you want a more subtle flavour, you can substitute add some parsley instead.

For this pesto, we’ve also used our product of the month: pistachios. Greek pistachios are renowned for their unbeatable rich flavour, beautiful pink exterior, and vibrant green kernels, and these pistachios, with PDO status, are completely raw and unsalted with an exquisite taste and texture.

Makes one jar

50g raw pistachios
50g wild garlic leaves (or a mixture of wild garlic and parsley)
100ml olive oil
zest from 1 lemon
1-2tbsp lemon juice
fine sea salt (to taste)

Roughly chop the wild garlic leaves and add to a pestle and mortal or a blender. Add the pistachios, and half of the olive oil and blend everything together until chunky. Slowly add the remaining olive oil, pulsing slowly.

Add the lemon zest and juice and season with salt. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

If you have time, let this pesto rest for a few hours, so that the flavours develop. Serve with pasta, your favourite grains or roasted vegetables. Alternatively, add a tablespoon to a bowl of soup, or simply add in your salads or serve on top of toast!


With a war happening so close, it is difficult to even write this recipe. But we find solace in food, and in sharing food. Eating together often seems the only way to cope with reality these days, and we savour these moments, knowing that not everyone gets to experience comforting food today. Our recipe of honeyed apricots or nectarines is for pancake day tomorrow, and we hope that you will enjoy making it and that you will share it with friends, family, neighbours, strangers.

For this recipe, we are using our succulent apricots and nectarines. With a natural vibrant yellow-orange colour, they are picked during the summer and dried without the addition of any sugar or other flavourings. They have a natural sweetness which is enhanced by slowly cooking them in honey. You can choose apricots, nectarines or a mixture of the two.

Our honeyed apricots/nectarines are stirred together with creamy galomizithra cheese and Greek yoghurt. We add colourful, raw pistachios to create a very unique pancake fulling for this year’s pancake day! Don’t forget to check our last year’s galomizithra and honey pancake filling, and our other pancake and breakfast recipes.

Of course, if you want to keep this recipe simple, you can use just the honeyed apricots and nectarines as your pancake filling – and yes, they are also great in your morning porridge, on top of fresh fruit, or on their own.

Serves two

100g dried apricots or nectarines
2 tbsp strawberry tree honey, plus more if desired
100g water

50g yoghurt (you can find it at our Borough Market & Spa Terminus shops)
200g galomizithra
25g raw pistachio kernels

Finely chop your apricots or nectarines. Place them in a small saucepan with the honey and water. Cook over low heat, until the apricots/nectarines are soft and tender, around 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, taste (careful not to burn yourselves!) and add more honey if desired. Your simple pancake filling is ready!

If you go the cheese route, then let the apricots/nectarines cool down a bit. Roughly chop the pistachios. In a bowl mix together the yoghurt and galomizithra cheese. Add the honeyed fruit and pistachios and stir everything together. Spread onto your pancakes. Yum!


Remember last week’s semolina halva? This week, continuing our journey to the magical land of halva, we are making sesame halva with honey! Traditionally this sesame halva is made with sugar and tahini. However, as many (including us!) prefer honey to sugar, many recipes now opt for sweet, runny honey instead. The texture is less crumbly and resembles that of toffee, which we must admit, we absolutely love.

For this, we’ve used our whole tahini, but you can use the classic one as well. We’ve also used a combination of strawberry tree (Arbutus) and orange blossom honey. Both coming from the Peloponnese, arbutus is a rare “bitter” honey made by bees feeding on the Arbutus unedo tree flowers (strawberry tree), while the orange blossom honey is a delicate, sweet honey with a citrus taste and a light amber colour. They pair perfectly in this halva!

This is the basic recipe, to which you can add cocoa or chocolate, various nuts (almonds are a classic!), or sesame. We love pistachios, as they have this beautiful pink-green bright colours which make the halva not only taste, but also look delicious!

This is a quite filling snack, so a little goes a long way. Cut it in small square pieces and enjoy with your afternoon tea, for breakfast or as post-dinner dessert!

 

280g tahini (whole or white)
280g honey (we used both strawberry tree honey and orange blossom honey)
80g raw, unsalted pistachios or any other nuts of your choosing

Place your pistachios at the bottom of a non-stick cake tin. You can finely or roughly chop them and/or roast them if you prefer. We left them raw and whole.

Stir well your tahini in the jar and add it in a small saucepan. Over low heat warm it up for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and place in a large bowl.

In a small saucepan and over low hear warm up the honey, until bubbly and caramelised. To check if it’s ready, drizzle a bit in a glass with cold water. It should shape as a soft ball and not be runny. If you have a candy thermometer, you should aim for 115C.

Once your honey is ready add it to the tahini. Using a wooden spoon, stir everything together. Almost immediately, you will see the mixture changing texture, as the ingredients come together. When it gathers around your wooden spoon and not touching the sides of your bowl you are done!

Carefully pour the halva in the cake tin over your nuts. Let it set for a few hours. Cut in small pieces and serve!

 


Have you tried our ospriada? It is a mixture of various beans, lentils, yellow split peas, chickpeas and bulgur wheat. Produced in the organic farms of Nestoras in northern Greece, it is ideal to turn into a hearty soup. But we prefer to save soups for winter days.

This week we are using handfuls of this nutritious mixture of pulses to create a filling salad. You often ask what is the inspiration behind our recipes. Often, it is the desire to use everything that we have in our fridge and cook with no waste. It is a philosophy many of our chefs share and first and foremost, Lia. Lia is one of our favourite Greek chefs. She is passionate about quality and low impact food and is part of a collaborative food pop-up focussing on food waste reduction. You can meet and cook with her in our November Wasteless Greek Cooking Workshop.

So in this case, we had small bunches of herbs left from last week’s bulgur salad. We store our fresh herbs in small jars with water, like you would with flowers. That way they last longer. But their time had come. So we decided to whiz them with plenty of olive oil and voila, our salad was born! Some pistachios for added saltiness and crunch and there you have it.

This is a salad that takes a bit of time to make. But it’s perfect for the end of the summer, as you can slowly cook the beans, slowly shell the pistachios and generally it requires no rush. And as September is just around the corner, we can spend the last days of summer at a slower pace.

Serves 4 as a side

100g ospriada
a small bunch of parsley
a small bunch of dill
a small bunch of coriander
1 bag of roasted and slightly salted pistachios
½ cup olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar

The night before put the ospriada in cold water to soak. The morning after, drain and place in a pot with fresh water. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and cook until all beans are tender, around 1-2 hours. Drain and set aside to cool.

Roughly chop all the herbs and place in a blender with the olive oil and vinegar. Blend everything together, until you get a smooth paste.

Gently mix together the beans and herb mixture.

Shell and crush the pistachios and toss into your salad.

Serve at room temperature.


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