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.


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.

Buy the Island’s rose 

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 olive 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.