All of us at Oliveology love cooking with seasonal produce. Every week, we walk around the market and find the fruits and vegetables which provide the inspiration for our recipes. This week our inspiration came from fresh broad beans. These lovely green beans, belonging in the  Fabaceae family are also called fava beans. However, they are not to be confused with fava (aka yellow split peas). They are in season in May in Greece, and in June they will be arriving in London. So let’s prepare!

In this very easy recipe, we slowly cooked fresh broad beans in extra virgin olive oil and served this vibrant dish with plenty of lemon and our 17C olive oil with with lemons, oranges & thyme. This recipe uses the entire pod, so do select broad beans that are young and tender. If you can’t find fresh broad beans, you can use green beans, or even peas in this recipe. Don’t forget to check out our spring recipes, especially these lemony peas.

Serves 2 with leftovers

1kg fresh broad beans
1 leek
2 spring onions
2 tbsp olive oil
500-750ml water
salt, pepper (to taste)
lemon juice, 17C olive oil (to serve)

In this recipe, we are cooking the broad beans whole. To prepare them simply trim the top and bottom and cut each bean in half, so that you have finger-sized beans.

Finely chop the leek and spring onions.

In a large heavy bottomed pot and over medium heat add the olive oil, leek and spring onions. Gently fry until translucent but not caramelised. Add the broad beans and 500ml of water. Season with salt and pepper and gently stir everything together.

Bring to the boil, then lower the heat, cover and let the broad beans cook until tender, for 30-40min, adding a bit more water if needed.

Serve with plenty of lemon juice and our 17C olive oil.

 

 


Spring is in full swing and we’ve got a lovely spring recipe for you. Inspired by the produce we find at the market, this week we’re kicking off May with a vibrant recipe.

As you may know, Greeks love to slowly cook vegetables in olive oil. Rice is often added, as in the very seasonal Spinach & Rice Stew (Spanakorizo), or in the winter Cabbage, Carrot & Rice Stew (Lahanorizo). As leeks are a favourite spring ingredient, this week we’re making a Leek & Rice Stew (Prasorizo).

We serve this vibrant dish with plenty of lemon juice and our favourite flavoured olive oil, the 17C. This is a limited production oil made from unripe olives, crushed with fresh lemons, oranges and thyme. Our special recipe imparts an exquisite citrus twist to this premium olive oil. This oil has a beautiful golden colour and smooth, rich, buttery texture. The aromas of lemon and orange along with the presence of thyme make it a well-balanced olive oil, a perfect accompaniment to spring and summer vegetables and white fish.

Serves 2

4 leeks
2 cloves fresh garlic (or one clove of garlic)
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup white wine (we used Malagousia)
100g Carolina rice, rinced until the water is clear
Salt, pepper, dried thyme (to taste)
17C Olive Oil with Lemons, Oranges and Thyme (to serve)
Lemon wedges (to serve)

Cut the leeks in large bite-size pieces. Rinse them with plenty of water. Let them dry.

In a shallow casserole and over medium heat add the olive oil and leeks. Cook from all sides until tender, around 5-7 minutes. If you like, you can leave them a bit longer to char. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the wine and let it reduce. Add the rice and 650ml water and gently stir everything together. Season with salt, pepper and thyme.

Bring the water to a boil and then cover your casserole, lower the heat and simmer until the leeks are tender and the rice is cooked, around 20-30 minutes.

Serve with plenty of lemon and our flavoured 17C olive oil.


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!


In Greece, Easter is perhaps the biggest celebration of the year. Amongst the traditional mageiritsa offal soup, the tsoureki brioche bread, and of course the much loved easter lamb, Greeks also prepare Easter eggs.

Traditionally, on the Thursday before Easter, the day of the crucifixion of Christ, eggs are dyed red, the red colour symbolising the blood of Christ. Today, many dye eggs in various colours, and decorate them with stickers.

The eggs are then kept until Saturday night, and after the resurrection of Christ at midnight egg tapping takes place, or “tsouggrisma” as it’s called. This is when two eggs are tapped together, as people exchange Easter wishes.

We love this Greek tradition, so this week we’ve decided to share it with you. In the sprit of sustainable living, we are only using natural dye, which gives the eggs a lovely spring colours, as individual as nature itself. You can also use onion peels, red cabbage leaves, turmeric and lots more to dye the eggs naturally!

12 eggs
1 pack (3 sachets) natural egg dye
2.250 ml water
2 tbsp red wine vinegar

The process is very straightforward. Select good, free range or organic eggs (even if just for this Easter).

In a stainless steel pot (a casserole might stain), add three sachets of dye and the water. Stir and place over medium heat. Add the vinegar and stir again.

Gently submerge the eggs in the cold water.

Bring to a simmer, skimming any foam that might arise, and gently stirring.

Gently simmer for 20min. Remove from the pot and add the eggs in a bowl with ice cold water.

Drain and admire the beautiful colours.

Happy Easter!!


Tahinopita, literally meaning “tahini pie” is a well-loved Cypriot sweet bread/cake, traditionally eaten during Lent. Marianna, who is half Cypriot, grew up with tahinopita, be it from the neighbourhood bakery, or home-made by her mother and aunts. I, on the other hand did not, as tahinopita was not part of my culinary universe.

So when I was researching for this recipe I was, I must confess, not so enthusiastic about it. In its many versions, it read like a sweet bread with sweet tahini, which is a much loved combination, but nothing more than that.

Well. Let me tell you, I was standing in my kitchen on a Sunday afternoon, fragrant smells of cinnamon, mahleb and cloves all around me, tasting perhaps one of the most delicious baked goods I’ve ever made.

The recipe is quite straightforward. You make the dough and the filling and then put them together. There are various ways to do so, and you can have a look at this video which is quite helpful. There’s also a much simpler way, which you can find here and which we used. It is very similar to making cinnamon rolls.

We got inspired by Georgina Hayden’s recipe who uses carob molasses in the filling and we absolutely loved the idea!

For the dough
350g flour
½ tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp aromatic spices such as mahleb, mastiha, vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 sachet dried yeast (7g)
275ml lukewarm water

For the filling
200g tahini
125g white sugar
3 tbsp carob molasses
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
3 tbsp olive oil
3tbsp water

To serve
wild flower honey (optional)

Preheat the oven to 160C.

First make the dough. Add the yeast to a jug with the lukewarm water and let it stand for a couple of minutes. In a large bowl, sieve together the flour, baking soda, and all the spices. Add the yeast/water mixture and using a fork bring everything together. Transfer your dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until you have an elastic dough, around 10min. Dust your bowl with some flour and return the dough to your bowl. Let it rest in a warm place while you prepare the filling, around 15min.

To make the filling, gently whisk together the tahini, sugar, carob molasses, spices, olive oil and water. You should have a thick-but-not-too-thick paste. Set aside.

Roll out the dough into a rectangle, around 2-3mm thick. Spread the filling on top. Then roll up the dough, cut in thick pieces, turn them on their side (like you would do with cinnamon rolls), and gently push them down, so that you have a small, round tahinopitas, resembling cookies. Alternatively, you can follow the traditional way: Fold the dough like an envelope, so that you have two layers of dough, with the filling in between. Roll up the dough and twist it around like a cheese stick. Roll it like a snail.

Place them in a baking sheet covered with greaseproof paper and bake in the oven at 160C for approx. 20minutes.

Remove from the oven and drizzle with honey, if using. Enjoy!


April is here! The days are now officially longer (thank you daylight savings), and the weather is warm and sunny. This month we are getting ready for Greek Easter. Over the next few weeks, we will share with you traditional Greek recipes. We invite you to join us, cook with us and celebrate Greek Easter.

Easter Sunday is a day of celebration. Families and friends gather around the table, eating lamb, traditionally roasted on a spit. There are eggs died with red dye (watch this space for a how-to!). There’s also this lettuce and dill salad. Lettuce is in season in spring, and alongside dill make for a very refreshing side dish. Lots of vinegar and spring onions make this salad the perfect pairing to lamb. In my family we never add salt to the Easter salad, and we make it quite vinegary. You can add salt and reduce the vinegar to 1.5 tbsps if you prefer.

Serves 6

1 very large lettuce or 2 medium ones
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 large bunch of dill
6 spring onions
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sweet wine vinegar
salt (optional, to taste)

Finely cut the lettuce and add it in a bowl with cold water and ½ cup of red wine vinegar. This will both clean the lettuce, and according to some will add some more acidity to the salad. Drain well.

Place the lettuce in a large bowl.

Finely slice the spring onions and finely chop the dill. Add to your bowl.

Add the olive oil and vinegar, season with salt (if using) and mix everything together.

Serve with more vinegar and olive oil if desired.


The 25th of March is the Greek Independence day, coinciding with the Feast of the Annunciation. Independence day celebrates the Greek War of Independence (1821–1829) and the liberation of Greece from the Ottoman occupation. The Feast of the Annunciation commemorates the visit of archangel Gabriel to Virgin Mary, informing her that she would be the mother of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

When it comes to food, the 25th of March falls within the 40-day period of strict fasting before Easter, when Greeks are invited to abstain from all animal flesh. But given the celebratory character of the day, consuming fish is allowed. The traditional dish of the day – with several regional variations – is salted codfish, battered and deep fried, and served with skordalia.

As we’ve written before, skordalia is a traditional Greek dip, made with raw garlic, “skordo” as is its name in Greek. It is usually made with potato, or bread, and occasionally nuts are added. Today we have the classic recipe for you, made with potato. It is by Katerina, Nafsika’s mother.

Serves 6-8 as a dip

600g potatoes (2-3 large)
150ml olive oil, plus more to serve
6-8 cloves of garlic (to taste)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt, pepper (to taste)

Place the potatoes in a large pot with plenty of cold water. Bring to the boil and cook until tender, around 40min. Drain and while the potatoes are still hot, peel off their skin. Let them cool down. Crumble into large pieces.

In a food processor (or using a pestle and mortar) blend together the olive oil and garlic. Slowly add the potatoes and blend everything together until you have a smooth mixture.

Transfer to a bowl, season with salt and pepper and add the vinegar. Taste and adjust for seasoning/vinegar. Serve drizzled with more olive oil.


By next week, spring will be here. Spring solstice is on the 21st and already we feel the days becoming longer and the weather milder. Flowers are timidly appearing in parks and green is the colour all around us.

Green leafy vegetables of all sorts have always been the food that makes us feel healthy and strong. So as we say goodbye to winter and welcome spring, this week we are making a classic greek dish: hortosoupa. Literally meaning “soup with greens”, it is a much loved Greek dish. There are many ways to make hortosoupa and today’s recipe is inspired by the food writers of the Greek magazine Gastronomos who use trahana to add some texture in this soup. You can omit trahana if you prefer to keep this vegan.

Traditionally, hortosoupa is prepared with wild greens, which are in abundance in Greek farmers markets this time of the year. We also used bunches of chervil and Mediterranean hartwort. But worry not, you can use any leafy greens and herbs you have in hand. My mother makes hortosoupa with spinach, and also adds any leftover vegetables we may have around: potatoes, carrots. My best friend uses kale and a wide selection of herbs: parsley, dill, watercress, celery leaves. You get the idea. Chard works well, collard greens, arugula, and of course, spinach and kale, parsley and dill.

Don’t forget to check our all of our spring recipes!

Serves 6
4 tbsp olive oil, plus more to serve
4 spring onions
500g wild greens (hórta), or other leafy greens
2 large bunches of herbs (we used chervil and Mediterranean hartwort)
1200ml water or stock
150g trahana (sweet or sour)
salt (to taste)

Finely chop the spring onions, using both the white and green part.

In a large pot and over medium heat place the olive oil and the spring onions and cook until soft but not caramelised.

Roughly chop the greens and herbs and add them to the pot. Stir, until the greens are wilted, around 5 minutes.

Add the trahana and water or stock and stir everything together. Season with salt.

Bring to a boil and then cover, lower the heat and cook for 30 minutes, until trahana is tender.

Blend the soup to get a smooth texture and serve with more olive oil.


This week we’ve got a diffrent kind of Greek pie for you. As you know we love pies, and traditional Greek recipes! This recipe comes from the region of Thessaly, in mainland Greece, an area with vast valleys and mountains. It is sometimes called the “easy” spanakopita, or hortopita (wild greens pie) as it’s basically a spinach or wild greens pie, but without the classic filo.

As with most traditional Greek recipes, there are as many recipes out there as there are cooks. When researching for this blog post, I discovered lovely stories of “this is how my grandmother used to make it”, tips on how to achieve the best texture and so forth.

In this pie, the filling is the same as that of the spanakopita, with spring onions, onions, and/or leeks, spinach and feta cheese. Many also use wild greens instead of spinach, as in the classic Hortopita (wild greens pie). However here, all vegetables are added raw. Our alliums were not that tender, so we gently fried them for a bit, diverging from the classic recipe.

Instead of the labour-intense filo, the cooks prepare a mixture of cornmeal, olive oil, and some liquid, placed on top and at the bottom of the filling. Some use water (and omit the feta cheese if the pie is to be consumed during Lent). Others use milk instead of water, kefir, or yoghurt mixed with water. Some put little pieces of butter on top of the pie before placing it in the over, but olive oil is also preferred.

In our version of plastos, we went for our beloved olive oil instead of butter, and used vegetable stock for the cornmeal, as we feel it offers a delicate, light texture. We also love equal parts of filling/filo, but if you prefer more filling, just use a bit less of the cornmeal / water mixture. Feel free to experiment and create your own version of this wonderful pie!

Serves 10

4 spring onions
1 medium leek
2tbsp olive oil
500g spinach or seasonal greens
1 large bunch of dill
250g feta cheese
600g cornmeal
100ml olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan and drizzling over the pie
500ml+100ml water, vegetable stock or other liquid

Preheat your oven at 200C.

Place your spinach in a large bowl, season generously with salt and massage the leaves for 2-3 minutes. Their volume should reduce in half. Set aside in a colander, as you prepare the rest of the filling.

Finely slice the spring onions and leeks. Place them in a frying pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and gently fry until tender but not caramelised. Let cool.

Finely chop the dill.

In a large bowl add the spinach, spring onions and leeks, dill, and crumble the feta cheese.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the cornmeal with the 500ml of vegetable stock (or other liquid you are using). Season generously with salt. You should have a thick mixture, resembling a slightly looser cookie dough.

Grease a 30cm baking pan with olive oil. Place half of your cornmeal mixture and spread it so that the bottom of the pan is covered. Place your spinach filling on top.

Add the 100ml of vegetable stock (or other liquid) to the remaining cornmeal mixture to dilute it, so that it resembles a loose cake batter. Pour it on top of your spinach filling. Drizzle plenty of olive oil on top.

Bake at 200C for 50min-1 hour on the bottom rack of your oven, until golden. Serve with Greek yoghurt of more feta cheese.


Skordalia is a traditional Greek dip, made with raw garlic, “skordo” as is its name in Greek. It is eaten every year on the 25th of March, the Greek Independence Day, alongside battered fried cod. It is also a classic dish found on every taverna. It accompanies boiled beetroot or green beans, fried zucchini or aubergine.

The classic recipe calls for olive oil, vinegar and either stale bread soaked in water or boiled potato. Sometimes nuts are also added. There are of course many variations and each household has its own loved version of the dish.

As spring is coming to an end, young garlic is all around us. So this week we’re making skordalia, but with a few twists. This is a recipe adapted from a 1989 calendar with traditional Greek recipes and comes from mainland Greece. We are adding fresh spinach, which gives a wonderful green colour, and almond butter, for a nutty take on the classic dish. Our smooth almond butter is made purely from organic, raw almonds, with no added salt or any preservatives. It is the ideal way to get all the nutrients from nuts! Feel free to use whatever type of garlic you prefer; wild garlic leaves would also work great here.

We are using our favourite Ergani olive oil, which has a robust, rich flavour and our white wine vinegar for that gentle kick.

Serves 6

100g stale bread (we used white sourdough)
100g spinach leaves (1 cup)
100g almond butterraw almonds or other nuts
2 cloves of garlic
130g olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
salt, more olive oil and vinegar to taste

Soak the bread in water for a few minutes until soft. Squeeze out all excess water and place it in a food processor.

Add the spinach, almond butter, garlic and vinegar and pulse everything together, slowly adding the olive oil.

You should have a thick homogenous mixture.

Season with salt, adding more olive oil and vinegar to taste.