As you may know, Greek cuisine is all about seasonality. So when summer comes along, we can’t but cook with the produce of the season. Aubergines, courgettes, peppers, tomatoes are all in abundance and at their best during this time of the year. Remember our stuffed peppers with bulgur wheat, or our friend Amaryllis’ stuffed peppers with orzo?

In the spirit of Greek summer, briam is perhaps one of the most loved Greek dishes! It is very easy to make and makes use of all these delicious vegetables. As with most summer foods it is great eaten at room temperature or even cold. In the classic recipe, the vegetables are slowly cooked in the oven, along with crushed tomatoes and plenty of olive oil. The result is a mellow, delicious dish that you can keep in your fridge for when you need an easy supper or lunch. In our version of this dish, we’ve used a few sun-dried tomatoes and their oil which adds depth and flavour. You can add a bit of grape molasses too if you wish!

This dish is great with feta cheese, which we’ve added towards the end of cooking, but you can omit this if you are vegan.

Serves 6

2 aubergines (700g)
2 courgettes (700g)
1 green bell pepper
2 potatoes (400g)
2 onions
3 cloves of garlic
20g sun-dried tomatoes (or more, to taste)
1 tbsp tomato paste in 150ml warm water
2 bottles of tomato passata or 6-8 tomatoes, crushed
150ml olive oil plus more for drizzling
Salt, pepper (to taste)
150g feta cheese
a small bunch of parsley, leaves only, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven at 180C.
Cut the aubergines, courgettes, peppers and potatoes in large bite-sized pieces. Cut the onion in half moons and finely slice the garlic. Finely chop the sun-dried tomatoes.
Place all your vegetables in a a large baking tray.
In a mug, mix together the tomato paste and warm water and stir with a spoon until the tomato paste is dissolved. Add it to your tray.
Also add the crushed tomatoes, olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper. Mix everything together. The tomatoes should just about cover your vegetables.
Cover with tinfoil and bake in the oven for an hour.
Remove the tinfoil, add the feta cheese crumbled, parsley and drizzle with a bit more olive oil, and bake for another half hour or more, until the potatoes are soft and the tomatoes have turned into a mellow sauce.

Serve with crusty bread!


This week we’ve got a wonderful summer recipe for you!

The simplest version of the classic recipe calls for okra, olive oil, onions and tomatoes. As with most traditional Greek recipes, there are endless variations. For instance, my mother simply adds a bit of cinnamon and sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Others add a shot of vinegar. No matter the recipe, feta cheese is always served on the side. Here, we took inspiration from the past and created a wholesome dish that is sure to become a summer staple.

For this recipe you can use fresh or frozen okra. Just make sure to be very gentle when you stir your okra, otherwise it will break down. We’ve used our small sun-dried tomatoes, aged balsamic vinegar and orange-blossom honey to add aromas and depth to our tomatoes. We are also baking the okra in the oven, adding cheese – manouri and feta cheese! Of course, feel free to omit the cheese if you are vegan.

Serves 2 with leftovers

425g okra
1 large onion
1 bottle tomato passata or 3-4 tomatoes crushed
30g sun-dried tomatoes (reserve the oil to use in salads or dressings)
1tbsp tomato paste, mixed with ½ cup 100ml warm water
½ cup (100ml) olive oil
1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey (we used orange blossom honey)
salt, pepper
cinnamon (optional)
100g feta cheese
100g manouri cheese (at our shop Borough Market or Spa Terminus)

Preheat the oven at 180C.

Cut the onion in half-moons and place in a medium-sized baking tray. Add the okra, tomato passata, sun-dried tomatoes and gently stir everything together.

In a large mug add the tomato paste and warm water, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey and gently stir everything together, until the paste has dissolved.

Add to your tray with the okra, season with salt, pepper and cinnamon (if using). Stir everything together.

Bake at 180C for one hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so. You can leave it for longer, up to two hours, if you want your okra mellow and very soft.

Cut the cheeses into cubes and once the okra is cooked, add the cheeses and cook for another 10 minutes.

Serve with crusty bread – I personally prefer okra at room temperature, but hot or cold actually works wonders with this dish!

 


Today is Kathara Deutera, literally translated as Clean Monday. It is the beginning of Lent in Greece. Traditionally on this day we fly kites and eat foods like taramosalata, melitzanosalata, lagana bread (a special type of bread with a lovely crust), seafood, pickled vegetables and lots of other delicacies like dolmades.

So this week, we’ve prepared for you a classic salad, made with black eye beans. We’ve added plenty of cupboard staples, like capers, roasted red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes, but also fresh parsley and red onion. For that extra kick, we’ve used our balsamic chilli vinegar, a beautiful organic vinegar. It is made from grape must from the Nemea P.D.O wine process using the ubiquitous Agioritiko red grape variety, infamous in this region of the Peloponnese. This vinegar is then aged in French oak barrels for three years.

This salad is perfect served cold or at room temperature, and ideally the day after, so that all flavours blend together. As always, feel free to add more of anything you really love, and omit anything you don’t like.

Serves 6

300g black eye beans
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp capers, drained
1/2 jar roasted red peppers, drained
1 jar sun-dried tomatoes in their oil
1 small red onion
3 tbsp balsamic chilli vinegar
½ tub olives
1 large bunch fresh parsley

Place your beans in a medium-sized pot. Fill it up with water, add the bay leaf and over high heat bring it to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook for about 20 minutes, until the beans are tender but not mushy. Drain and set aside to cool.

In a large serving bowl add the capers and olives.

Finely chop the roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, onion and parsley and add to your bowl.

Add the beans and toss everything together. Drizzle the olive oil from the sun-dried tomatoes and the vinegar and toss well again.

Season with salt and pepper if needed and serve with more olive oil and vinegar.

 


With January in full swing and most of us staying at home, there’s always the need for some culinary inspiration. This week’s recipe is quite simple, and makes for a perfect lunch. Add these lovely roasted peppers to it, and you’re in for a treat.

As you may know, in Greece food revolves around two main flavours: lemon and tomatoes. We love them both, equally. But this week we went for the latter. However, during the long winter months tomatoes are scarce, more expensive and trust us, they taste nothing like the ones you find in the summer. So we go for our organic passata. Tomatoes are picked during the summer when they are at their best and then turned into our aromatic tomato passata without any seeds or peels. Using nothing but tomatoes and no added salt it is as close to the flavours of nature as you would expect.

Now, when you slowly cook brown rice in this tomato passata, the result is a nutritious, delicious meal! With the addition of olives, sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes, of course.

Serves 2

2 tbsp olive oil
100g brown rice
450g passata
250ml water
½ tub of olives (we used a selection of Kalamata plain and unripe olives)
5-6 sun-dried tomatoes
½ jar artichoke hearts, drained

Pour the olive oil in a medium-sized pot and over medium-low heat. Once hot add the rice and stir, so that each grain is coated with the oil. Season with salt.

Add the passata and water. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let the rice cook until tender, for approximately 40min.

Once the rice is cooked, add the olives, sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes and let the flavours blend for another 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature with plenty of feta cheese.


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!

 


Next week is the final week of Lent for us Greeks. As we are all looking forward to the Greek Easter next week, this week, traditionally, we prepare simple recipes that do not contain any animal produce.

But simple doesn’t mean not tasty. And it also doesn’t mean that these recipes can’t be enjoyed throughout the year. Indeed, in the Greek food culture, many of these recipes have become part of the daily diets of people. To learn more about the way us Greeks approach Vegan foods, join our upcoming Cooking Workshop! Our talented Lida is going to be talking about all these foods and has prepared a delicious menu for us. So come along, we have very few spaces left!

This week we’ve prepared something that you can enjoy as a dip or starter -a wonderful addition to your Easter table! But, between you and me, this also makes for a wonderful light dinner, with the addition of some crusty bread. It is spring after all, a cold dinner is sometimes appropriate.

Serves 6 as a starter

150g small white beans
5 sun-dried tomatoes (approx. 25g)
100g roasted red peppers
3 tbsp olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp chilli vinegar
chilli flakes, lemon wedges, chilli vinegar, olive oil (to serve)

The night before, soak your beans in plenty of water. The morning after, boil them until tender. Set aside and let cool, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking liquid.
In a food processor, place the beans, sun-dried tomatoes, red peppers, olive oil, lemon zest and chilli vinegar. Blend until a smooth paste forms. If you prefer, add some of the cooking liquid, to make the paste smoother.

Serve with chilli flakes, lemon wedges, and more vinegar and olive oil. And of course, pita bread or crusty bread!

Happy Easter everyone!


This is a very easy and quick recipe, made with ingredients you have in your cupboard. It is perfect for when you don’t have much time, but makes for a very exciting meal!

For this recipe we’ve used a combination of our capers, kalamata olives with herbs and sun-dried tomatoes, but you can adjust it of course, using whatever you have available.

When it comes to pasta, we’ve selected our trichromo organic penne. Trichromo means having three colours, which is exactly what this pasta is. It comes from a small producer in Grevena, in the northern part of Greece. It is made with organic durum wheat semolina. The red pepper from Florina region in northern Greece gives this penne its red colour and peppery taste. Organic spinach turns it green and vibrant. Similar to fresh pasta, penne trichromo cooks in a few minutes! We told you it is a quick and easy recipe!

 

Serves four
200g penne trichromo or any other pasta
2tbsp olive oil plus more to serve
30g capers
75g kalamata olives with herbs
30g sun-dried tomatoes
a small bunch of fresh parsley

Boil the pasta for 5-8 min, or until al dente. Drain and place it in a large bowl. Drizzle the olive oil and stir. Add the capers, olives and sun dried tomatoes, fresh parsley and toss until well mixed.

Serve hot or at room temperature, drizzling some more olive oil.


You know how all of us support no-waste cooking. There are many ways to incorporate leftovers in your meals. Yes, leftovers can be tricky sometimes. But not if you have a few clever ideas up your sleeve.

In the past, we have used our intense truffle butter to transform leftover mash potatoes or our aromatic walnut oil to roast various leftover veg and chickpeas.

This week we have a new idea for you! Make a tart. Tarts and pies are good that way. You see, if you make say a spinach pie, you can use whatever greens you have available, wilted or not. If you make a tart, you can use it as your basis for whatever ingredients you have laying around in your fridge.

So for this tart we used puff pastry (but you can make your own if you want, and a feta cheese/yogurt base. Then you can really use whatever ingredients you have around. For example, I had a few sun dried tomatoes and marinated artichokes that we did not use at our last cooking class and wine tasting. These keep perfectly in the fridge covered in olive oil. But the time comes when one wants to clear their fridge. Enter tart idea.

 

Serves 4 as main:

1 sheet of puff pastry (approx. 300g)
100g whole milk
150g feta cheese
150g Greek yogurt
100g sun-dried tomatoes
100g marinated artichokes

Preheat your oven at 180C.

In a small pot and over medium-low heat, warm up your milk. Crumble the feta cheese in the pot and stir well until feta cheese melts and there are no lumps. Remove from the heat and let it cool down a bit. Fold in the yogurt and stir until well combined.

Roll out your puff pastry and place it on a baking sheet. You can use greaseproof paper, or make sure to oil the baking sheet so that your tart doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Using a fork, pierce the puff pastry across all of its surface. Put the puff pastry in the oven and bake for 5 min, until light golden. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Leave the oven on.

Spread the feta/yogurt mixture on the puff pastry, leaving a few cm on each side. Scatter the sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes all around. Drizzle some of their oil if you wish.

Place back in the oven and bake for 20-25 min, until the puff pastry is golden. Now, this is what we call cooking with leftovers!

 


There is something fascinating about preserving. As you know, here at Oliveology, we love eating what’s in season. However, there is a way to enjoy foods, even when they are not in season. Yes, by preserving them! Over the years we’ve experimented with preserving Butternut squash in sugar or dried figs in olive oil and vinegar. This time around we are making pesto. Yes, we have made pesto before, with pistachios, parsley and basil. But this one is different. It’s made with basil, almonds and sun-dried tomatoes!

It is funny if you think about it. Sun dried tomatoes are tomatoes dried in the sun. Preserved in the sun. Our pesto takes this already preserved ingredient and preserves it even more. Preserving the preserved if you may.

The wonderful thing about pesto is that you can make as much as you want and store it in the fridge. Then, whenever you get hungry all you have to do is open your jar. This pesto is delicious on its own, spread on toasted bread. It also pairs well with white cheese, like our galomizithra cheese. Of course it is ideal for a summery pasta lunch. Just mix it with warm pasta and serve with a glass of wine. Ta Da!

For one large jar you will need:

1 cup of basil (approx. 80g)
50g raw almonds with skin
100g sun-dried tomatoes
1 fat clove of garlic
120ml extra virgin olive oil
40gr Naxos graviera grated cheese

In a food processor pulse the basil, almonds, sun dried tomatoes and garlic until coarsely chopped. Slowly add the olive oil and pulse, until fully incorporated. Pesto should be grainy but with no large lumps.

Transfer to a bowl and mix in the cheese. Add some olive oil if needed and taste.

Store in a jar in the fridge.

You can source the almonds, sun dried tomatoes, graviera cheese, and of course olive oil from our shop at Borough Market.