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.


It’s all about tomatoes these days! The market is full of aromatic tomatoes, of various varieties, colours and sizes. In our June newsletter we had a selection of summer recipes with tomatoes for you.

Now. Are you ready for the simplest, yet most fascinating summer recipe ever? This week’s recipe was a spontaneous creation. Which, as most spontaneous creations go, ended up being spectacular.

The inspiration for this recipe was simply a half-full jar of sun-dried tomatoes.We often use sun-dried tomatoes in our recipes, and always keep a jar in the fridge. Our sun-dried tomatoes are organic, and come from a small Greek cooperative in Northern Greece. They are naturally dried in the sun, placed in large wooden trays with sea salt. They are then preserved in a delicious extra virgin olive oil with oregano, pepper, vinegar and bay leaves, which we will use in this recipe!

This is a recipe made with juicy summer tomatoes, but if you want to prepare this tomato sauce in the winter, you can use our tomato passata instead, which is made with fresh tomatoes picked now in the summer!

Makes 1 large jar

½ jar (100g) sun-dried tomatoes and their oil
2 tomatoes, or 400g tomato passata
½ teaspoon dried oregano
salt (to taste)

Cut the tomatoes in large pieces and place in a blender. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and their oil, oregano and salt. Whizz everything together until smooth. Taste and season with more salt if needed.

This makes for a delicious dip, which you can enjoy as is, with some crusty bread. You can also use it as a sauce, in your home-made pizzas, on top of Dakos rusks or bruschettas, add it in your gemista stuffing, and of course enjoy hot or cold with any pasta!

 


This week we’re using the first strawberries of the season to make a unique recipe. You must know by now how much we enjoy poaching fruit in grape molasses. Remember our spiced pears from a few years ago? And the spiced rhubarb recipe we made last year? So this year we couldn’t but use one of our favourite fruits: strawberries!

We love using grape molasses, it’s such a unique ingredient. We often use it instead of sugar. It adds depth and a complex sweetness to both sweet or savoury dishes. It is also perfect for dressings, drizzled over porridge and added to your morning coffee. Read more about it here and find more recipes here! And definitely have a go at this delicious grape molasses cake! 

For this recipe, we decided to take it one step further and added a bit of honey in the end, for a slightly sweeter result. Do not expect the sweetness jam has. But do expect mellow strawberries and a warm, complex flavourful liquid. So without further ado, grab some strawberries from the market and join us in our Oliveology kitchen!

Makes 2 jars

600g strawberries
½ cup (150ml) grape molasses
½ cup water
3 tbsp honey

 

Hull the strawberries and cut the large ones in half. Place in a medium-sized saucepan with the grape molasses and your water.

Bring to the boil and then lower the heat and simmer for around 40min, until the liquid is reduced –but is still plenty, and the strawberries are soft and tender.

Remove from the heat and immediately add the honey, stirring well until all is combined.

Place in jars and keep in the fridge. Serve with Greek yoghurt.


Roasted red peppers really are the easiest thing to make. Don’t get us wrong, we love the jarred ones equally. Our organic Florina peppers are cooked over open flame. And this specific variety of Florina peppers is famous for its rich and sweet flavour! But as we now have a bit more time, we decided to go ahead and cook things we don’t ordinary prepare. And this recipe works well with any type of peppers you’ve got.

Roasted red peppers are excellent when stuffed with rice, shrimps, mince meat and of course, feta cheese! Finely chop them and add in sauces, salads, pasta and risotto for a boost of flavour. Blend them with some extra virgin olive oil and make your own dip.

10 large red florina peppers (around 1kg)
3 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar or sweet balsamic chilli vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil

Pierce the red peppers all around with a fork. Make sure you do not skip this step!

Remove the tops and gently tap the peppers so that you remove all seeds as well.

If you have a gas stove, you can roast them directly over the gas flame. Turn them around regularly for 10min or so, depending on how large your peppers are, until there are charred bits all around and the flesh is soft when pierced with a fork.

If you are using a conventional oven, place the pierced peppers in a baking tray and bake at 160C (no fan) for about half an hour, or until tender.

Remove from the gas flame or oven and place in a bowl. Cover with cling film and let the peppers steam a bit, until they are still warm, but cool enough to handle. Using your hands or a small knife, remove the skins and discard.

Place the pepper flesh in a jar, tupperwear or serving platter and add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Keep in the fridge.


This week we’ve got a somewhat unusual recipe for you. August and September in Greece are usually months of preserving in our household. We make tomato passata to last all winter, and jams using very ripe fruit, like figs or peaches, as their season is coming to an end.

However, it is not a preserving recipe we’ve got for you this week. It is one that you can make using any overripe fruit you may have. It works great with apricots, but you can also use peaches, plums and yes, figs!

Here, we have combined apricots with dried apricots (how surprising, I know!) and almonds, but you can mix and match, depending on what dried fruit or nuts you love most. We baked these in the oven with olive oil, our balsamic cream with mandarin, and a bit of honey. The result is soft fruit, bold flavours and the perfect pairing to a grilled manouri or halloumi cheese. This recipe is also perfect to accompany a cheese & cured meats platter, or your morning yogurt. It really is the best way to make use of the wonderful last fruit of summer and welcome autumn.

We are serving this with one of our favourite summer ingredients: rosemary floral water!

We spent most of the summer spraying this aromatic water on our body and hair after the beach, but who says we can’t ‘perfume’ our dishes too? Floral waters are absolutely perfect to use in the kitchen too! So as you are serving this dish, spray on each plate -and on each guest if you dare! Trust us, you are in for a treat.

Serves two

150g apricots
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic cream with mandarin
30g dried apricots
30g almonds
1 tbsp vanilla fir honey
pinch of salt
rosemary water (to serve)

Cut the apricots in half, removing all stones. Cut the dried apricots in small pieces and roughly chop the almonds. Place everything in an oven dish. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic mandarin glaze, honey and salt. Mix with your fruit and nuts, so that everything is coated with the liquid.

Cover with tinfoil and bake at 200C for 30 min or until the fruit is soft and the flavours have blended.

To serve, place on individual plates and spray rosemary water over each plate.


With summer in full swing, this week we have for you a very fresh salad. It is great served cold, but equally delicious at room temperature. We are using bulgur wheat, an ingredient we love, as it turns all salads into filling, nutritious meals. Remember last year’s salad with almonds and prunes? Or the oven-baked bulgur wheat with feta cheese and tomatoes?

And we can’t think of a better way to celebrate summer than with a selection of summer vegetables: Zucchini and green beans are at their best at this time of the year. And so is cucumber. And we loved using them raw in this recipe. Chop them into small pieces and add them to your salad for more crunch and freshness. Plenty of fresh herbs and a simple olive oil and vinegar dressing are all you need. It is summer after all, cooking should be very simple and enjoyable!

You can serve the salad with some yogurt, feta cheese, or roasted summer vegetables like aubergine.

Serves 4 as a main

Salad:
1 small onion
3 tbsp olive oil
100g bulgur wheat
1.5 cups of water
150g zucchini
150g green beans
1 cucumber
1 small bunch of dill
1 small bunch of coriander
1 large bunch of parsley

Dressing:
5 tsbp olive oil
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
salt

Finely chop the onion. Place the onion in the frying pan with the olive oil and over medium-low heat and cook until translucent. Add the bulgur wheat and stir until the bulgur is coated in olive oil. Add the water and cook until all the water is absorbed for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside until cool.

Finely chop all the herbs and place in a large bowl. Chop the zucchini, beans and cucumber in small bite-sized pieces and add them to your bowl. Add the bulgur wheat, season with salt and and mix everything together.

In a separate bowl whisk together the olive oil and vinegar. Dress the salad making sure that everything is coated with the dressing.

Serve immediately with more olive oil.

 


Did you hear the wonderful news about our 17°C olive oil?
Yes, it has been awarded with three stars, the highest accolade in Great Taste 2019!

We are σο excited and proud.

And of course, this week we couldn’t but create a recipe using our awarded olive oil. Cold extracted with fresh lemons, oranges and thyme, it has always been one of our go-to summer staples, perfect with grilled white fish, or drizzled over fresh vegetables. The salad we’ve created for you today uses a classic summer vegetable combination, but adding our 17 olive oil transforms these familiar flavours.

What is it, you may wonder? Tomatoes and corn, of course! We absolutely love cooking with fresh corn on the cob during the summer. Remember our zucchini, corn and feta salad made with our lemongrass and tarragon olive oil from last summer?

So go on, give it a try, cooking with fresh produce when in season is the most wonderful thing to do! And if you make any of our recipes do take a pic or two. We have an exciting competition coming up, more info soon to follow!

Serves 6
900g grape tomatoes
2 pieces of corn on the cob
1 large red onion

4 tbsp 17°C olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
a few pinches of dried thyme
salt

fresh herbs such as parsley (to serve)
lemon and orange wedges (to serve)

Following the same instructions as last year, place the corn in a large pot of salted water. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to medium and cook until the kernels are tender, around 20 minutes. Remove and let cool. Once the corn is cool enough to handle, remove the kernels. To do so, place your corn vertically against your chopping board. Running the knife parallel to the corn, remove all kernels. They should fall on your board. Collect and place in a large bowl.

Cut your tomatoes in half lengthwise. Place in the bowl. Finely slice the onion. Toss everything together. Season with thyme and salt. Drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar and mix well.

Serve with lemon and orange wedges and fresh herbs.

 

 


Halloumi is in store! A few weeks ago, we received our amazing halloumi from Cyprus, made purely from goats’ milk. For some reason, I have associated halloumi with summer. I am not sure why, it is equally tasty during winter: grated into pies, placed on top of winter vegetables and roasted in the oven, or as part of our winter salads. But this season somehow makes me crave it even more.

When thinking what to pair it with, my mind went back to summers past. A few summers ago, I worked for a brilliant Greek chef called Chrysanthos Karamolegos. He is a larger-than-life man, full of creativity and love for Greek cuisine. A cosmopolitan creature, he always takes unusual ingredients and puts them together, resulting in the most amazing flavour combinations. The recipe we have today for you is from my memories of his flavours, of my time with him, memories of life-changing culinary experiences that made life sparkle, bite after bite.

So if during summer, like me, you sometimes lose yourself in the slower pace of life, in the heat, or in the holidays away from home, this recipe is to remind us that there is always a bite of food that can let the light in.

Serves two as main
250g halloumi cheese
500g very cold cold melon
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp honey
3 tsp white vinegar
1 red chilli
a few fresh basil leaves

Cut the melon into bite-sized pieces. In a bowl, mix together the remaining olive oil, honey and vinegar. Finely chop the chilli and basil leaves. Add to your dressing. Toss together the melon and dressing and place on a plate. Slice the halloumi into thick slices and grill in a frying pan or griddle, using 1 tsbp of olive oil. Place the grilled halloumi on top of your melon and serve immediately. Enjoy!

 

 


This week we’ve got the ultimate Greek summer dish for you! Kolokuthokeftedes. Or, as this dish is also known zucchini fritters. This is one of the quintessential Greek summer dishes, that one finds in every taverna by the sea. They pair perfectly with a crisp dry white wine and are one of our favourite things to order when eating al fresco, by the beach, under the shade of trees and with cicadas all around us.

So this week, we decided to bring you some Greek sunshine to our urban table and make it ourselves. Marianna and I spent quite some time discussing different variations of this recipe and going through cookery books. You see, as you may know about Greek food, there are endless variations for each recipe.

So without further ado, here is the recipe for Oliveology’s Kolokuthokeftedes! And, to make things a bit more interesting, we have served this dish with our lemongrass and tarragon olive oil. Trust us, it works! And of course, with plenty of tzatziki!

Serves 6
1kg zucchini
1 large bunch of parsley
1 small bunch of spring onions (approx. 5)
100g feta cheese
100g graviera cheese
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
2 eggs
150g all-purpose flour
salt, pepper
olive oil (for frying)
lemongrass and tarragon olive oil (to serve)

Grate your zucchini and place in a clean tea towel. Squeeze it, so that all liquid is released and you are left with a dense ball of grated zucchini. Place in a large bowl.

Finely chop the parsley and spring onions and place in your bowl.

Grate the feta cheese and graviera cheese and mix into your bowl with the vegetables.

In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs with the dried herbs, oregano and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Add the egg mixture to the zucchini mixture and stir very well, until everything is combined.

Add the flour, one tablespoon at the time, stirring well. You should be left with a moist mixture that can be shaped as a ball without falling apart.

In a frying pan place plenty of olive oil, so that the entire bottom of the pan if covered.
Using your hands or two spoons, form small, flattened patties and place in the frying pan, a few at a time. Fry until golden brown, flipping them half-way through, about 4 minutes in total.

Serve with lemongrass and tarragon olive oil and tzatziki.


What’s your favourite Greek food? Many of you told us how you love our more traditional Greek recipes. Remember Katerina’s arakas from a few weeks ago? So this week we’ve got another classic for you. Fasolakia. This is a dish we usually make in late spring-early summer in Greece.

Fasolakia is the name for green beans in Greece. Strolling around the farmers’ markets one sees many types of green beans at this time of the year. And as tomatoes are at their best, we couldn’t but share with you a recipe that combines both.

As with most traditional Greek recipes, you only need a few ingredients and lots of care. Take your time when preparing Fasolakia, and let them slowly cook, so that they become mellow and tender. This recipe is also my mother’s.

This dish needs, of course, a mature feta cheese and some warm crusty bread. If you eat it al fresco then it’s even better. So come into my family’s kitchen and cook with us this wonderful dish.

Serves 4

650g green beans
2 small red onions
240g grated tomatoes or tomato passata
1 tsp tomato puree, stirred into 1 cup of hot water
4 tbsp olive oil plus more for serving
Salt, pepper

Finely grate or chop your onions. Place your beans, onions and olive oil in a large pot, along with 4 cups of water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes, covered, until your beans are soft. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste in the water, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for another 30-45’, until the beans are very tender, the water has evaporated and you are left with a loose tomato sauce.

Serve with more olive oil, feta cheese and crusty bread.