This is a recipe unlike any others. What do we mean? Well, this is a recipe that you can make at home, when your fridge is empty. You know, those evenings when you are too tired or too lazy to go shopping, or those days that you have forgotten to do so -it has happened to us as well!

The secret here is a nicely stocked cupboard and a bit of imagination. Have a look at our bundles, get yourselves some essential cupboard items and we’ve got you sorted.

So this week, we are making lentils. We are not smoking them, but we are using two of our ingredients that will offer some smokey-ness. Smoked salt and roasted red peppers! This recipe will be amazing with some freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest, but as this is a recipe to make with an empty fridge, we are using our lemon olives instead! And of course, our chilli vinegar for some spice and kick.

Freshly cut herbs and / or caramelised onions would also work, you know, just in case you do decide to go shopping! But the recipe words perfectly as is, using just your cupboard staples.

Serves two

150g lentils
½ tbsp smoked salt, plus more to serve
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp chilli vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
150g roasted red peppers
½ pack kalamata olives with lemon and herbs
Fresh parsley or other herbs or caramelised onions (optional)

In a large pot with water, add the smoked salt and lentils. Boil until the lentils tender. Drain and place in a large bowl.

In the meantime, cut your peppers in fine strips.

Place the peppers in the bowl with the lentils. Add the olives, dried oregano, olive oil and vinegar. Toss everything together and add more salt if needed. Add herbs and caramelised onions (if using). Serve hot or at room temperature.


This week we’ve prepared a classic Greek dish for you. Oven baked gigantes beans is one of the most iconic Greek dishes. With a bit of crusty bread and feta cheese, it makes for an excellent, filling meal.

Of course, this recipe is not the classic one, but has a few interesting new twists. We’ve added a bit of grape molasses to add some sweetness and depth to the tomatoes. And what we are very excited about, we are serving it with our extra virgin olive oil & oregano essential oil!

This is a product that combines the unique health benefits of our Greek oregano organic essential oil with a special organic, extra virgin, cold pressed, single variety Greek olive oil. This unique food pairing tastes like the Greek sunshine. And it is perfect to enjoy with this classic Greek dish!

 

Serves four

5 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp grape molasses
1 tsp dried oregano
200g giant beans, soaked overnight and boiled in plenty of water
1 bottle of tomato passata
salt
extra virgin olive oil & oregano essential oil (to serve)

Preheat your oven at 180C.

Finely slice the red onions and garlic. In a frying pan and over medium heat place the olive oil, onions and garlic. Cook until caramelised, for around 10-15 minutes, adding the grape molasses half way through.

Once caramelised, placed the onions, garlic and all the juices from the frying pan in an casserole. Add the beans, tomato passata, salt, dried oregano and 200ml of water. Bake covered for 20 min. Uncover and bake for another 20min, until the liquid has evaporated and you are left with a mellow bean stew.

Serve with plenty of extra virgin olive oil & oregano essential oil!


Spring vegetables excite us, you must know this by now. And it is always a challenge to find new things to do with all these greens that are popping up in the market.

This week we decided to use one of our favourite staples, lentils. We usually associate lentils with comforting winter soups, or nutritious salads. But how about something…lighter? This dish is filled with all sorts of green things. The way we think about food is reflected on this lentil salad.

So follow us, take a walk around the market, and put in your basket all the greens that inspire you. We got a selection of broad beans, peas, sugar snap peas, zucchini, avocado and leeks. And to make it even more exciting, we’ve added crushed nuts on top of the salad. You could also top it up a notch by adding some feta cheese or galomyzithra cheese, but we decided to keep this one vegan.

For 2 people you will need:

1 avocado
150g lentils
100g various spring vegetables (peas, broad beans, sugar snap peas)
1 zucchini
1 leek
4tbsp olive oil
25g mixed nuts (walnuts, almonds)
1-2tbsp red wine vinegar
salt

Boil the lentils in salted water for around 20min until cooked but not mushy. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

Finely chop the leek. Place the leek in a frying pan, over medium low heat with the olive oil. Cook until soft but not caramelised.

In the meantime, cut the zucchini and avocado in small cubes. Rinse your spring vegetables under cold water and drain.

Add the zucchini to your frying pan with the leek and cook for 4-5min until tender. Add your spring vegetables and cook for 2 more minutes.

Place everything together with the lentils and avocado in a large bowl. Stir and season with salt. Serve with the crushed nuts and by drizzling vinegar on every plate.


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?


This week we are into shapes. What do we mean? Well, let me step back a bit. Autumn is in full swing and here at Oliveology we feel it’s time for soups! As always, we walked around the market and selected delicious seasonal vegetables. Yes, butternut squash of course, it is mid autumn after all! Soups, like all foods, should follow the seasons. If it’s summer, make a roasted tomato soup. If it’s winter, go for a vegan lentil soup. If it’s spring, then sugar snap peas and green beans are your ingredients of choice.

For our soup this week, we used tons of fresh, nutritious vegetables and small white beans. This soup feels very healthy, with its white beans, root vegetables, spinach. And for all our non-vegetarian readers, throw in a beef bone for extra flavour and nutrients.

But you know, soups sometimes can be dull. Let me explain myself. Imagine a perfectly pureed soup. Or a soup where all vegetables are cut in identical, symmetrical cubes. Yes, symmetry is often linked to beauty, but how about we spice it up a bit? Not the soup itself, its appearance. How? By cutting our vegetables in various lovely shapes.

Finally, when it comes to the To Blend or Not To Blend question, this one here goes against last year’s smooth pumpkin soup. Up to you to decide which one is your favourite autumn soup!

So, pour yourself a glass of wine or a cup of hot tea and join me as we prepare this year’s butternut squash soup!

For 6 hungry guests you will need:

6 tbsp olive oil
2 medium carrots
1 small leek
600g butternut squash
2 cloves of garlic
1 onion
2 sticks of celery
2.5 lt of water
200g small white beans
a small bunch of parsley
a small bunch of spinach
salt, black pepper

For the prep:
The night before, soak your beans in cold water. The morning after, drain.

For the chopping:
Peel the carrots and cut in rounds. Cut your leek in rounds as well.
Peel your butternut squash. Scrape out the seeds (you can save them and toast them separately if you want). Cut thick slices of the butternut squash and then each slice in triangles, following the edges that you created when peeling it.
Finely chop your garlic and onion.
Cut the celery in small cubes.
Finely chop the parsley stalks and leaves (but keep separately).

For the soup:
In a large pot over medium-high heat, pour the olive oil. Once heated, add the onions, leek and garlic and stir until translucent. Add the celery, carrots, squash and parsley stalks. Stir until your vegetables begin to caramelise. Add the water and beans and season with salt and black pepper. Bring your soup to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer for 2 hours or until beans are soft. A few minutes before serving, add your parsley leaves and spinach.

Serve as is, or with some grated graviera cheese and fresh chilli or pistachio pesto.


People often wonder what Greek food is all about. For us here at Oliveology, and for most Greeks maybe, it’s about two things. Greek food is about simplicity. Dishes usually use few ingredients. This is why one should be very careful when selecting these ingredients. When there are only onions, fava and olive oil in a dish, these better be some damn good fava (split yellow peas; not to be confused with fava beans).

The other thing is about simplicity in the cooking method. With a few exceptions recipes don’t usually require spending hours in complex preparations or involve elaborate steps in the cooking process. However, cooking takes a long time. Why is that? Well, we Greeks associate cooking for a long time with care. The food needs to spend a good time in the oven or hob. It needs to become soft and mellow. You need to keep an eye on it, show your care.

This recipe we have for you this week combines both these elements. It only has three main ingredients. Fava, olive oil, onions. You may add some thyme, and of course salt and pepper. Having this solid base, then you can really let yourself be creative with what you pair it with. Caramelise some onions. Chop some raw red onions for an extra kick. Add salty juicy capers. Try different oils. Definitely lemon juice. How about truffle oil even? There are many things you can do with fava. We like onions, capers and lemon. But it’s really up to you.

400g fava (yellow split peas)
200ml olive oil 
2 medium onions, finely grated
salt
fresh thyme (optional)
lemon (to taste)
capers (to taste)
red onions (to taste)

Rinse the fava under running cold water, until water runs clear. Place the fava in a large saucepan and add cold water. The volume of water you add must be approximately the same as the volume of fava. Bring to the boil, removing any white foam as the fava heats up. Once your fava starts boiling, lower the heat to the lowest possible setting. Add the onions and olive oil, thyme if you are using. Salt to taste but bear in mind, the flavours will concentrate. You can add more salt later.  Let the fava cook at very low heat, until it looks like mashed potatoes, stirring occasionally. Yes, fava magically breaks down into mush. If needed add a bit more water as you go along.

Serve with olive oil and lemon juice, capers and raw onions.


Or else, what’s the easiest way to cook chickpeas. Well, it’s this one here. I know many of you don’t really go for dried chickpeas. Maybe the tinned ones seem easier. But they are not, really. The only thing you need to do with chickpeas is plan ahead. Which means decide the night before that you will have chickpeas the day after. And soak them in cold water.

To make the revythada all you need to do is gather the ingredients and place them in an oven dish. Then slowly cook them in the oven. On Greek islands revythada is traditionally cooked in wood fire ovens. Unfortunately we don’t have one, so we will go for the next best thing here. Our conventional oven. The result is still a very comforting stew that requires almost no active cooking time. Can you think anything better than that?

Feeds two people

200g chickpeas
1 large red onion
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 spring of rosemary
salt to taste

Soak the chickpeas overnight in cold water. Drain and rinse. Place them in an oven dish and cover them with water. Roughly chop the onion and add it to the chickpeas, along with the rosemary and olive oil. Season with salt. Stir. Cover the lid and bake at 170C for approximately 2-3 hours, until chickpeas are tender. Check every hour or so, adding a bit more water if needed. Once ready, serve on a plate and generously squeeze lemon juice. Enjoy hot or at room temperature. Even cold they are really nice!


Winter is the time of the year when we need to be most careful. Eat well, everyone says. It’s cold outside. In the dark and gloomy days of February, protect yourselves from the cold with what we think is a pretty healthy combination of foods. What is healthy of course changes every few years, but let’s not get side-tracked.

Our inspiration for this week is the newly arrived favaki. What is that you say? Well, thank you for asking. Favaki is a genius (yet so simple) idea of our producer’s (Mr. Nestoras) wife , to combine lentils and yellow split peas (fava we call it in Greece). The result is a bit of yellow sunshine breaking the wintery brown of lentils.

What do we do with favaki? Once again, following the seasons, we grabbed some citrus fruit, our favourite pink grapefruit. Packed with vitamin C (as a nutritionist might say), pink grapefruit also has, what else, pink colour!

If you haven’t yet understood, yes we are going for colours this week, to brighten up February. And for another healthy kick, we also got some mackerel. Somehow eating fish makes us feel healthier, no?

The recipe is as always simple and easy to prepare.

For 2 people
150g favaki
2 Mackerel fillets
1 pink grapefruit or other citrus fruit of your choosing
a handful of rocket or other green leaves
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil

Boil the favaki until tender but not soft. You can boil it in vegetable or chicken stock if you want to flavour it more. Although really, it is amazing as is.
While your favaki is boiling, peel the grapefruit, getting rid of all the white. Slice horizontally or cut into triangles. Flake the mackerel or keep the fillets as they are, and debate with your partner whether to keep the skin on or not. Drain your favaki and place it on a beautiful platter. Place the mackerel and pink grapefruit. Scatter some rocket or other green leaves (finely sliced onions or black Kalamata olives would also work here).
Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.


The New Year is here! The beginning of the year is usually the time when we make plans for the future. Away from the sparkle of the holidays past. In January, we promise ourselves that we will be better. That we will do better this year.

For that, we often turn to healthy food. To go with our resolutions. But we also need comfort food. After all, New Year’s resolutions can be challenging.

Good grains and pulses are what comes to mind when we think of good, comfort food. Today, we’ve selected for you a very interesting recipe. Leeks, sweet potatoes, and lentils all come together for a unique take on the (let’s be honest), sometimes boring lentil stew.

This warm and hearty soup is the perfect accompaniment for your new years resolution planning. And a tip for you: When serving, drizzle some aged balsamic vinegar on top. It makes all the difference in the world.

For 4 people

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil 

1 small leek
2 small sweet potatoes (approx. 250g)
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
150gr lentils
1.5 lt of vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
Bay leaf, thyme (optional)

To serve (optional):
Balsamic vinegar 
Fresh parsley

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them in small cubes. Finely slice the leek. In a large saucepan, and over medium heat, pour the olive oil. Add the leaks and stir until soft and slightly caramelised. Add the garlic, sweet potatoes and lentils and still until covered in oil and well mixed. Add the vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper and add the herbs (if using). Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer until lentils are cooked through, adding more liquid if needed. Serve with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and fresh parsley.


There are some foods that we are used to buying ready-made. It’s easy and effortless. But have you ever thought that it might be really simple to prepare them at home? When you make something at home you know exactly what goes into your food. No added salt. No added sugar. No additives or preservatives. None of the things that you have no idea what their names mean.

This week, we are sharing with you a great recipe for baked beans. You can have them for breakfast, on toast or with eggs. You can have them for lunch with some feta cheese. You can enjoy them as part of your dinner, filling a baked potato.

So step away from the isle of tins at the supermarket. Get some good quality beans. When the ingredients are good, you have to let them shine. Especially with something as simple as baked beans. Trust us, you’ll never go for the ready-made stuff again.

Serves 3-4 (as a main course or 5-6 as side)

You will need:

250g of beans
5 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tbs of grape molasses
1 tsp of thyme
1 tbs of smoked paprika
1 tsp of smoked chilli (optional)

Place the beans in a large pot with water and leave overnight. The next day boil them until cooked but not soft. Drain and keep aside.

In a frying pan, gently fry the onion and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until soft. Add the chopped tomatoes, a few splashes of water, the spices and grape molasses. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes so that flavours develop.

Then transfer into a roasting tray. Add the beans and stir, drizzling with the remaining olive oil.

Bake at 180C for approximately 40min until the beans are very soft, adding some water if needed.

Now, would you really go for the tin again?