Summer is the time of the year when we can’t stop eating tomatoes. We usually love them as part of a dakos salad. Or any salad for that matter. Every year I contemplate making my own passata, and preserve the tomatoes’ bright flavour for winter. But since we brought this tomato passata in store I have happily swapped to it. My point is that tomatoes should be enjoyed all year round, either fresh in summer, or beautifully preserved in winter.

As summer is coming to an end, the inspiration for this recipe came from Bon Appetit magazine as the writer of this blog post spends her summer days browsing old cooking magazines. We have used our wonderful chickpeas that pair perfectly with tomatoes and spices (remember our winter spiced chickpea stew?)

If you are making this recipe in winter, you can swap the fresh tomatoes for passata.

Feeds 2 people

200g cooked chickpeas, cooled down
3 medium tomatoes or tomato passata
3 cloves of garlic
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil (plus more for serving)
zest of 1 lemon
Greek yogurt and fresh herbs (to serve)

In a pestle and mortar place your garlic, coriander, cumin, chilli, salt, lemon zest. Crush everything together. Slowly add the olive oil until you have a thick paste. Loosen it up with a bit more olive oil if you prefer.

Cut your tomatoes in thick slices. Lay them on a tray. Rub the paste on the tomatoes, so that each piece has been touched by the spices (but without forming a layer on top of each tomato as the spice mix is quite intense). If you are using passata, mix it with the paste. Let your tomatoes marinate for an hour (or better overnight) in the fridge, covered in cling film.

To prepare your dish, place the chickpeas in a bowl and pour in the juices that will have been released by the tomatoes. Gently toss. Place on a plate, with the tomatoes on top. If you are using passata, mix everything together.

Drizzle some more olive oil and serve with Greek yogurt and fresh herbs.


Fig molasses (or sykomelo in Greek) is our new favourite product! We generally love all types of molasses as they add a discreet sweetness and depth to all of our dishes-have you tried our grape molasses?

With fig season in its full swing, we are all inspired to create lovely recipes with this amazing product. We recently made a very nutty Greek granola, with fig molasses, tahini, walnuts and dried figs. Absolutely yummy!

This week we decided to go for something on the savoury side. So we are making a dressing. We love making dressings, especially using interesting ingredients: enter fig molasses.

This dressing is delicious on a green salad. It is also perfect with grilled manouri and seasonal fruit.
And of course, it is great with roasted vegetables. Grill or fry some aubergine, smother them in this dressing, sprinkle some parsley and feta cheese and you’ve got yourselves a delicious summer dinner. And for the meat eaters amongst us, this makes for a wonderful marinade for beef. Simply marinate the beef for a few hours and your summer barbecue will be glorious!

This quantity is enough for 2 people, so if you are preparing food for more, multiply accordingly.

2 tbsp fig molasses
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt

In a bowl whisk together the fig molasses and balsamic vinegar. Slowly add the oil, whisking until emulsified. Season with salt.


This week, our wine writer Celine tastes the 2016 Moraitico Rosé, 11.5% and shares it with us.
Taste this unique wine from the island of Paros, along with other Aegean Island wines –and food pairings! at our September Wine Tasting.

 

Nothing goes better on a sunny and hot summer day than a light and fruity rosé.

You may have heard about the benchmark set by the refreshing and light-bodied Bandol rosé from Provence, with its romantic color as well as the elegant flavours on the palate. Just imagine having a wonderful holiday by the Mediterranean sea and leisurely sipping a glass of this zesty drink. If that sounds like you, then you cannot miss this 2016 Island Rosé produced by Moraitico winery.

The winery Moraitico is located on the island of Paros in Greece, on the Aegean sea, southeast of the Greek mainland. Just like Santorini, this windy and mountainous island has a hot and dry Mediterranean climate that contributes to the tropical fruit notes of the wine. Thanks to the cooling effect of the mountain slopes and the strong wind during the growing season, grapes are able to ripe slowly and accumulate the balanced amount of sugar and acidity. This is the reason why crispy and refreshing wines come from this region.

Generally, rosé wines can be made following three different methods, very rarely involving the use of oak barrels. For some inexpensive New World wines, red wines and white wines (not grapes) will be blended to make a rosé. Another way of rosé winemaking, is to shorten the maceration period- compared to normal winemaking of dry red wines. Depending on how much colour and tannins the producer plans to extract, the length of this maceration period varies. Hence the unique colour and taste of the rose wine. The last method is direct pressing, which crushes and presses black grapes, but in the same way as when making white wines rather than red wines. This avoids the extraction of colour and tannins that are necessary in red wine production. As a result, a more delicate colour is usually achieved.

Two local grape varieties are used in this rosé. Malagouzia (aka. Malagousia) is gaining popularity throughout Greece after being rescued from extinction in the 1970s. It is a versatile variety that can make both dry and sweet white wines. The other grape, Mavrotragano, is a dark-skinned black variety that has been traditionally used to produce sweet red wine. This variety has thick skins and small berries, leading to deep-colored wine but with soft tannins.

The Island’s Rosé demonstrates a graceful colour between pink grapefruit and salmon, and has exquisite aromas including grapefruit, melon, peach, red rose, and some hints of grape — just like the Muscat grapes you may get from the market. On the palate it is dry with high acidity, with low alcohol and light body. The flavours of grapefruit and tropical fruit stand out, surrounded by other fruity notes such as melon, rose, and the Muscat grapes. Although some sweetness may be felt in the beginning, this rose has a very citrusy finish. As a dry wine, the sweetness seems to be a result of its intense flavours of tropical fruit, just as what a ripe Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc may present.

Overall it is a very fruity and light rosé wine. It is not complicated but excellently refreshing, undoubtedly the greatest match for this summer. It is best drunk at 8-12°C, approximately 10 minutes after being taken out of your fridge. This wine can be paired with a wide range of dishes, including light salads and seafood. Squeeze some grapefruit and olive oil dressing on your lightly cooked or cured salmon, tuna or lobster and accompany it with this wine. You will find that a hot summer’s day will become more pleasant than ever.

References:
wine-search.com
Vivino.com

 


This week we’ve got a special olive oil in store! It is our Lemongrass and Tarragon Olive oil.

This special oil is made from semi ripe olives crushed with fresh lemongrass and tarragon. We use 1200g of semi-ripe olives to produce 100ml of this cold extracted oil. It has a very fresh flavour and intense aromas. And pairs perfectly with fish and green vegetables. Think of some grilled whole sea bass. Or some steamed cod. Freshly cut crunchy vegetables. This olive oil.

But we will not prepare fish this week. How are we going to use it? We are making a very summery salad. With zucchini, corn and feta cheese. The combination of flavours is familiar, but this flavoured olive oil takes it to a whole other level. We used corn on the cob because it’s in season. Please do, it’s easy to handle and tastes so much better than the frozen or tinned one!

This recipe serves 2 as main or 4 as a starter (with leftovers)

500g zucchini
2 pieces of corn on the cob
5-6 zuchinni blossoms (optional)
100g feta cheese, crumbled
6tbsp lemongrass and tarragon oil (plus more to serve)
3 tbsp lemon juice (plus more to serve)
½ small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
salt

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 zucchini in thin rounds. Blanch for 5 minutes –or until tender- in a large pot with boiling salted water. You can use the water from the corn. Drain and place in a large bowl with ice water to cool it down. Drain again. You can skip this step and just use raw zucchini. Place your zucchini in the bowl with the corn.

Add the feta cheese, parsley and zucchini blossoms (if using). Season with salt, flavoured oil and lemon juice. Gently toss everything together. Serve with more lemon juice and flavoured oil.

 


The word melitzanosalata in Greek means aubergine salad. But despite its name, it is not a salad. It’s a spread, or you can call it a dip, it’s a creamy thing anyways. In Greece this is the dish to go for at any taverna by the beach. It is even better with rounds or fried aubergine. You know, fried aubergine dipped into an aubergine spread. Double your pleasure. You can even add a couple of tablespoons of melitzanosalata to last week’s salad.

Of course, summer is the season to get the best aubergines around. And make your own melitzanosalata. This is not the traditional recipe. Traditionally only olive oil, vinegar and a bit of garlic is added to the aubergine. But for this week’s blog post we have experimented a bit.

We wanted to use tahini, even though this links more to the middle eastern baba ghanoush. But we love using tahini to add depth and warmth to our recipes. And a touch of honey to sweeten it a bit.

1.5kg aubergines
1 large clove of garlic
60g tahini
20g wild flowers honey
2tbsp olive oil
juice of one lemon
20g raw almonds, crushed
salt
smoked paprika to serve (optional)

 

Preheat your oven to 180C. Using a fork pierce your aubergines all around. Place them in a roasting tray and into the oven. Roast your aubergines for around an hour, until very tender inside. Remove from the oven and let them cool down a bit.

Using a spoon, scape all the flesh and place it in a large bowl. Some people prefer to remove the seeds. We are not those people, we love using the entire vegetable. Mash the flesh with a fork. In a separate bowl whisk together your tahini, honey, olive oil, lemon juice. Combine the two and stir in the almonds. Mix well.

Alternatively, once you have the aubergine flesh, dump everything except the olive oil in a blender and blend until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil towards the end.

Season with salt and add more oil or lemon if needed. Serve with the smoked paprika (if using).

 


Remember our herby oil from last week? Well, we actually ended up making more and used it in various ways! This week we have a recipe for you with our favourite summer vegetable: aubergine! We love aubergine because it reminds us of our childhood summers. You see, in Greece this vegetable is used only during the summer and takes part in many traditional recipes, such as moussakas or briam. Some people also stuff it with rice or mince, or even bulgur wheat (and we actually did so in our last cooking workshop)!

This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit, one of our favourite magazines. The dish includes gently fried aubergine, crunchy cucumber, tangy Greek yogurt and caramelised onions. Our herby oil helps bring everything together.

And a little secret: You can plate this dish for your guests, or, what we prefer is to lay all ingredients (fried aubergine, cut cucumber, yogurt, caramelised onions, herby oil and so forth) separate at the table and let everyone make their own version.

Serves 2 as main with leftovers or 4 as a side

700g (4 medium-small) aubergines
4tbsp olive oil
salt, pepper
1 tsp dried oregano

1 medium onion
4 cloves of garlic
1tbsp olive oil

1 large cucumber
a small bunch of fresh spinach

To serve:
4 tbsp Greek yogurt (optional)
4 tbsp herby oil

Cut the aubergine in bite-sized pieces. In a shallow frying pan, and over medium heat place 2 tbsp of olive oil and half of the aubergine. You need to form a single layer, so that the aubergine doesn’t steam. Season with salt, pepper and ½ tsp of dried oregano. Gently fry the aubergine for approximately 10min until cooked inside and charred outside. Remove from the pan and set aside. Repeat with the remaining olive oil and the aubergine. Remove and set aside too.

Finely chop your onion and garlic.
Using the same frying pan, place 1tbsp of olive oil and over medium heat gently fry the onion, for approximately 5min, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 5 more minutes, until everything is caramelised. Remove and set aside.

Cut your cucumber in bite-sized pieces. Wash and dry your spinach.

To serve, lay the yogurt on each plate. Top with aubergine, onions, cucumber, spinach. Add the herby oil. Instead of the herby oil you can of course drizzle some olive oil and add fresh chopped herbs.

 


This week we are bringing to you a recipe idea that is so simple, yet so inspiring. Why? Well, because it inspires us for many delicious dishes, one of which you will enjoy in next week’s blog. So stay tuned!

It is an olive oil blended with herbs. We love this oil because it is very versatile. It is great mixed with pasta for a fresh summer dish; as a dipping oil, all you need is to grab some sourdough; drizzle it over roasted vegetables or mix it into fresh, crunchy salads.

You can use whatever herbs you’ve got, chives, basil, parley and so forth. And make interesting combinations! We selected parsley and coriander. You can also add chillies, lemon or orange zest to your flavoured oil. You can also season it with salt and pepper. We kept ours simple, just with the herbs and the olive oil, so that it’s more versatile and can be used in multiple recipes.

Have in mind, this is not an oil you can preserve. It only keeps for a few days and has to be in the fridge, more on this below. But if you’d like some preserving ideas and recipes let us know!

As always, if you are following this blog, you should know by now that when we prepare a recipe, the fewer the ingredients, the better quality they need to have. Especially when it comes to flavoured oils, you want something that will be mellow and silky. So we are using our 22 oil, our mid harvest olive oil made from semi ripe olives.

You will need:

1 small bunch of parsley
1 small bunch of coriander
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Pick your leaves from the bunches of herbs. You can keep the stalks for stock. You should be left with a large handfull of parsley and coriander each. Blend the olive oil and herbs together in a blender, or use a pestle and mortar. Now, you can heat it up until sizzling, for about 3-4 min, then let it cool and strain it. This will keep for a week. But we prefer not to apply any heat. It keeps less in the fridge, for a couple of days, but the flavour is somehow fresher. Oh and we love texture, so we did not strain ours. So remove from your blender and place in a closed container in the fridge. Or you know, just boil some pasta or get your veg going. With an oil that fresh, there really is no reason not to have it right away!


Manouri is one of our favourite cheeses. Why you ask. Well, its flavour is magnificent, with sheep’s and goats’ milk balancing the tanginess and smoothness. Texture wise, this semi-hard white cheese manages to exist perfectly between creaminess and firmness. More than this, when grilled, this balance transforms into a more intense play between a near-crispy exterior and a smooth interior. You know, almost anything grilled is better.

So this week we decided to get our griddle pan out of the cupboard and grill everything for this dish. First things first though. Manouri pairs perfectly with both salty flavours and sweet. Another balance we love. In this recipe we went for sweet, pairing it with summer fruit and chestnut honey. This interesting combination of ingredients makes this dish ideal for either a starter or a dessert. Yes, another perfect balance, don’t you think? I’m telling you, manouri has that quality. But just between you and I, this dish is actually perfect for a summer dinner. Don’t ask me why, just give it a try and you will see. Somehow it makes you feel full, body and soul.

For 2 people you will need

2 thick slices of manouri cheese (approx. 5cm each)
4 tbsp of olive oil
2 apricots
1 peach
1 nectarine
1 red chilli, finely chopped
a few springs of mint, finely chopped
2 tbsp chestnut honey
black pepper

Place your griddle pan over medium-high heat and let it heat up. Gently rub the olive oil around the manouri.

Cut the apricots in half, the peach and nectarine in quarters, removing –and discarding – the pits. Rub the rest of the olive oil on your fruit.

Place the manouri and the fruit on your griddle pan. Cook for 2 minutes on each side.

Put the cheese and fruit on a plate. Sprinkle the chilli, springs of mint. Crack some black pepper and drizzle with honey.

Let us know if you prefer this for a starter, dessert or as a main!


The first chef I worked with once gave me what I consider to be the most valuable advice since. It’s all about the concentration of flavour he had told me, while preparing some greens with minimal water. You see, in home kitchens we are used to boiling ingredients, then getting rid of the water. Along with it goes much of the flavour. I hadn’t realised how important this advice was, until I started experimenting with various recipes. Like this one here. You’ll see what I mean in a bit.

It’s the end of the summer. Fine, the summer is long gone, but let’s pretend it’s still the end of the summer. September can allow us that. But tomatoes are slowly disappearing from the market, giving their place to autumn vegetables. And what better way to say goodbye to a lovely summer, but with a comforting soup. So this week, we take the last ripe tomatoes, roast them in the oven, concentrating their flavour to make a red, velvety soup. Ah, soups are so nice, remember our pumpkin one from last fall? Or our spring one?

The recipe is inspired by Gordon Ramsey’s own (no he was not my chef in case you were wondering).

For 4 servings you will need

1 large red onion
1 clove of garlic
1.5kg of ripe tomatoes, preferably of the same size
5tbsp olive oil
1tsp smoked paprika *
4tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
salt
pepper
500g vegetable stock

Preheat your oven at 200C.

Finely slice your onion and garlic. Place a large casserole or tray over medium heat. Add your olive oil and gently fry the onion and garlic. Add the smoked paprika, salt and pepper.

As the onions and garlic are cooking, prepare your tomatoes. Remove the core and slice them in half or in quarters if they are large. Once your onions are caramelised place the tomatoes in the casserole, all in one row. Don’t forget all the juices from your chopping board. You want your tomatoes to caramelise, not steam. Add the aged balsamic vinegar and let it reduce.

Place your casserole or tray in the oven, for 20-25 minutes, until tomatoes are soft and caramelised (see, now we have concentrated their flavour!). Remove from the oven and let them cool down a bit, so that you can blend them into a creamy soup.

Here is where you need to be very careful. Laugh not, it may sound obvious but you do not want litters of piping hot soup escape from your blender, like a volcano erupting hot lava all over your face, clothes and walls around you. Yes, this is from personal experience.

So once the tomatoes are cooled down, blend them in batches, using the vegetable stock (also cooled down!). Return your soup in a pot on the hob if you want to serve it hot. It is equally delicious cold though. Taste for seasoning.

Serve with a tablespoon of sun-dried tomato pesto, or drizzle with olive oil and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

——

* You can find smoked paprika at our shop at Borough Market

 

By Nafsika


Granola is of course not Greek. Growing up in Greece plain oats were available, but to my understanding I was the only weird kid at school who occasionally had porridge for breakfast. Unlike the UK, oats were not that popular in Greece. But let’s begin by what granola is and we will get to our Greek summer version. Granola is basically a mixture of oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruit, baked in the oven -you’ll see how right below.

So what makes this recipe a Summer Greek granola? Well, summery Greek ingredients and flavours. At the shop we just received some lovely dried nectarines. Plump and juicy, with a pink-peachy colour that makes you want to just look at them for hours. They are hand picked and air dried, with no added sugar or any bad oils. It’s just the fruit, really. The perfect ingredient to make granola, wouldn’t you say? Inspired by the Greek nectarines, we created this recipe for you this week.

I’ll give you the measurings in cups as it’s way easier to assemble your mixture that way. Also, this ain’t baking, so if you fancy adding more nuts, seeds or fruit go ahead. But this ratio is very balanced I find. Please don’t go for the blanched almonds, the ones with skin taste better. You can serve your granola with milk, kefir, yogurt and fresh fruit for a lovely summery breakfast.

For a large jar of granola you will need

2 cups of oats (200g)
½ cup chopped almonds (70g)
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
a few pinches of cinnamon
a pinch of salt
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp honey
1 cup dried nectarines (120-150g)

Start by mixing your oats, almonds and seeds in a bowl and place them on a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Then, in a separate bowl mix your olive oil, honey, cinnamon and salt (if your honey is not runny, warm it up a bit).

And now, for the fun part: Drizzle the olive oil/honey mixture on top and mix with oats (the olive oil and honey might not seem enough for that amount of oats, but it really is).

Very carefully make sure to mix everything really well using your fingers until everything is covered in olive oil/honey (you could use a spoon, but then you won’t be able to lick your fingers, you don’t want that).

Right, now for the baking: at 150C, stirring every 10min so that it evenly cooks.

Oh, and whatever you do, when you take the granola out of the oven to stir do not taste: Laugh not, it is very inviting, granola makes the house smell like honey and spice and everything nice but it will burn you (yes, I did get burnt, so be wiser).

So, after about 30-40min, when your granola is golden, remove from the oven and let it cool, mixing in your dried fruit after it’s cooled down.