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!


Today is Clean Monday in Greece! Clean Monday marks the beginning of Lent. As such, foods eaten on this day prepare us for the 40-day fast which follows. Taramosalata is traditionally eaten, along with fava, fresh salads, the few amongst other classic dishes, which of course include halva.

We also eat lagana, a bread especially made for the day. It is a flat, oval bread, sprinkled with lots of sesame, usually made with flour and yeast or sourdough starter. Today we have a very interesting version of this recipe. We are making a lagana with no yeast and with tahini. The recipe comes from the monks in the monastery of St Nectarios in Phocis, in central Greece and appeared in Gastronomos magazine. As we read, yeast and sourdough symbolise rebirth and reproduction, so in some monasteries these are omitted during Lent. Expect something that resembles a flatbread, but quite dense and wholesome with the addition of tahini.

300g all-purpose flour
200ml lukewarm water
1 tsp salt
2 tsp tahini
50g sesame, plus more for sprinkling

In a large bowl place the tahini and water and whisk together. Add the salt, sesame and flour and knead for a few minutes until you have an elastic dough.

Roll it out in an oval shape, around 5-7mm high and transfer to a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper. Place it somewhere warm and let it rest for a few hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven at 190C. Sprinkle the lagane with water and sesame and cook for 40 minutes until golden.

Serve with plenty of taramosalata and fava!


Remember last week’s semolina halva? This week, continuing our journey to the magical land of halva, we are making sesame halva with honey! Traditionally this sesame halva is made with sugar and tahini. However, as many (including us!) prefer honey to sugar, many recipes now opt for sweet, runny honey instead. The texture is less crumbly and resembles that of toffee, which we must admit, we absolutely love.

For this, we’ve used our whole tahini, but you can use the classic one as well. We’ve also used a combination of strawberry tree (Arbutus) and orange blossom honey. Both coming from the Peloponnese, arbutus is a rare “bitter” honey made by bees feeding on the Arbutus unedo tree flowers (strawberry tree), while the orange blossom honey is a delicate, sweet honey with a citrus taste and a light amber colour. They pair perfectly in this halva!

This is the basic recipe, to which you can add cocoa or chocolate, various nuts (almonds are a classic!), or sesame. We love pistachios, as they have this beautiful pink-green bright colours which make the halva not only taste, but also look delicious!

This is a quite filling snack, so a little goes a long way. Cut it in small square pieces and enjoy with your afternoon tea, for breakfast or as post-dinner dessert!

 

280g tahini (whole or white)
280g honey (we used both strawberry tree honey and orange blossom honey)
80g raw, unsalted pistachios or any other nuts of your choosing

Place your pistachios at the bottom of a non-stick cake tin. You can finely or roughly chop them and/or roast them if you prefer. We left them raw and whole.

Stir well your tahini in the jar and add it in a small saucepan. Over low heat warm it up for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and place in a large bowl.

In a small saucepan and over low hear warm up the honey, until bubbly and caramelised. To check if it’s ready, drizzle a bit in a glass with cold water. It should shape as a soft ball and not be runny. If you have a candy thermometer, you should aim for 115C.

Once your honey is ready add it to the tahini. Using a wooden spoon, stir everything together. Almost immediately, you will see the mixture changing texture, as the ingredients come together. When it gathers around your wooden spoon and not touching the sides of your bowl you are done!

Carefully pour the halva in the cake tin over your nuts. Let it set for a few hours. Cut in small pieces and serve!

 


Happy Monday everyone! We hope you are enjoying this bank holiday and that you’ve had a lovely Easter.

Greek Easter is still upon us, on the 2nd of May. During all these 40 days that precede our Easter, many choose to fast. Some remove meat from their dishes; others abstain from all animal products. It is the time of the year for dishes made with vegetables, grains and pulses and of course, olive oil!

So this week, we’ve prepared for you a delicious, wholesome dip made with gigantes beans. These giant beans are perhaps the most traditional Greek ingredient. They are the basis for many iconic and absolutely delicious Greek dishes: enjoy them in the classic recipe, oven-baked with tomato sauce or in this lovely spring salad! They are nutritious, super filling and very tasty.

For this dip we’ve used our dark tahini and walnut oil, which add depth and warmth to the buttery beans. The result is a comforting dip that will definitely bring some feasting into the fasting!

Serves 6

150g gigantes beans
5 cups water / vegetable stock
3 bay leaves
50g whole tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice, plus more for serving
2 tbsp 21°C walnut oil, plus more for serving
salt
sesame seeds (optional, to serve)

The night before soak your beans. The morning after, drain and place your beans in a medium-sized pot with fresh water or vegetable stock. Add the bay leaves. Bring to the boil and then lower the heat to medium-high and cook until the beans are soft and buttery, around one hour.

Drain, reserving a bit of the cooking liquid. Set aside to cool for a bit.

In a blender, whiz together the beans, tahini, lemon juice, walnut oil, adding a bit of the cooking liquid to loosen the mixture – if needed. Season with salt.

Serve with plenty of walnut olive oil, more lemon juice, sesame seeds and raw vegetables, crusty bread or pita for dipping


It’s the beginning of February today after what has felt like a long January. But blood oranges have appeared at the market, which makes us very, very happy! Citrus fruits are at their best at this time of the year and the ideal way to get vitamins and nutrients. Plus, they look amazing! Remember our colourful fennel and citrus salad? Or our citrus dressing? So many amazing things to do with citrus!

This week we’ve got a dressing for you. We’ve used our tahini, our go-to ingredient for all sorts of recipes, including dressings!

We’ve used our whole tahini, made from 100% whole sesame paste. But you can use the classic one, or a combination of the two! Both are produced in Greece using organic sesame. There is no added salt or other ingredients. Tahini has an intense, wholesome nutty flavour that pairs perfectly with citrus! We’ve also used our lemon oil, so it’s citrus bliss all around!

This dressing requires the perfect balance between sweet, nutty, sour and salty. But as you know, some oranges are sweeter than others. So as you whisk everything together, taste it. Then add a bit more lemon if it needs more acidity; a teaspoon of honey for sweetness (we did!); more salt.

Makes 1 jar

100g tahini (7tbsp)
juice of 1 medium lemon (5 tbsp)
juice of 2 medium blood oranges (9 tbsp)
90ml 17 C lemon oil (6tbsp)
3 tbsp water
salt, pepper, dried thyme (to taste)
1 tsp orange blossom honey (optional)

In a bowl whisk together the tahini, lemon and blood orange juices. Add the lemon olive oil and whisk until you have a thick paste. Add the water to make your dressing more runny. Season with salt, pepper and thyme. Taste and adjust for seasoning, adding the honey if needed.

This dressing is great with raw vegetables like carrots or cauliflower, green leaves, grilled vegetables, bulgur wheat salads (simply add some pomegranate, nuts and fresh herbs!) or even as part of your morning smoothie.


What we love most about autumn is the wonderful new colours at the market. Red apples, orange pumpkins, brown mushrooms and chestnuts! Fruit and veg in autumn always make us feel quite comforted and inspired. This week we got plenty of orange carrots from the market and decided to grate them. Somehow the idea of a grated carrot feels like a first step towards a very nutritious meal, wouldn’t you say? We’re making a salad, which is great for lunch, but it also makes for a wonderful side to some roasted chicken or your protein of choice. We’ve added bulgur wheat to make it more filling, raisins for some natural sweetness and a lemon-tahini dressing to add a…warm kick to it.

There is something nostalgic about this salad, as it somehow reminds us of when we first started Oliveology, 11 years ago. Back then, Greek tahini was rare to find, but such salads were gaining momentum, do you remember? Reminiscing of happier times past is comforting, and we couldn’t think of anything better than this recipe, to bring back some happy memories in the midst of this unusual autumn we are all experiencing.

Serves 4

50g bulgur, plus ¾ cups of water
4 large carrots
100g Corinth raisins
1 bunch of fresh herbs (we used dill and parsley)

Dressing
2 tbsp tahini
zest from 2 lemons
juice from 1 lemon
150ml olive oil
2 tbsp grape molasses
4 tbsp water
salt (to taste)

Place the bulgur wheat and water in a small pot and cook over medium heat until tender and all the water is absorbed, around 10-15min. Set aside to cool.

Peel and grate the carrots.

To make the dressing whisk together the tahini, lemon juice and zest. Add the grape molasses. Slowly add the olive oil and then the water, until you have a runny dressing. Season with salt.

In a large bowl toss together the bulgur wheat, carrots, raisins, dressing.
Finely chop the herbs and add just before serving.

Oh and this is great with some feta cheese!

 


How are you all doing? Most of us around the world are at home these days. To avoid going out, and support local producers many of us at Oliveology go for small veg boxes, brought to us by local farmers. And somehow every week we end up with more carrots than we can grate in salads.

Enter the inspiration for this recipe, so this week we decided to go for a dip. I personally prefer chunkier dips than smooth- and when it comes to root vegetables like carrots, I very much savour their natural sweetness. After making plenty of dips the last few years, the very much loved tahini and yoghurt, or the cheese & yoghurt one, dips with mixed pulses or pistachios, beetroot and oregano and of course, the classic greek ones tzatziki and melitzanosalata, this week we’re going for carrot.

You see, carrot and tahini are really good friends. We are not going to lie, this recipe takes a while. But it can be done in stages over a day or so. Spending more time at home offers this luxury.

Makes one large bowl.

800g carrots
6tbsp olive oil
2 tsps dried thyme
1tbsp grape molasses
1tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt

120ml olive oil
4 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
1tbsp grape molasses
4tbsp tahini
150ml water
sesame seeds (to serve)

Preheat the oven at 180C.

You can peel the carrots if you want, but we just scrubbed them and removed the tops. Roughly cut the carrots in small pieces. We went for buttons, the size of your small finger.
Toss them together with the olive oil, grape molasses, vinegar, thyme and salt and place in a baking tray.

Bake for half an hour, until caramelised, but not tender. Add a cup of water and keep baking for another half hour, adding water if needed, until the carrots are tender and there’s a bit of liquid left in your baking tray.

Remove from the oven and let them cool.

Whizz together the carrots with the olive oil, lemon juice, grape molasses and tahini, adding a bit of water to loosen up the mixture if needed. Season with salt. Now, it’s time you made it your own. Do you want to go for something nuttier? Drizzle some more tahini. If you want it a bit sweeter (that’s me!), go for grape molasses. And for the more adventurous ones out there, we got you: just add more lemon juice, olive oil and salt.

Serve with more olive oil and with plenty of sesame seeds, if you’ve got.

 


We rarely make cookies here at Oliveology’s blog. I have to admit, I personally am more of a cook and less of a baker. Those of you cooking passionately will smile, as indeed baking is a whole different world than cooking. But that doesn’t mean that when we do bake we don’t enjoy it! The spiced molasses cookies that we made during the holidays last year filled our shop with winter spices. Over the years all of us cooking for Oliveology have made some delicious seasonal cakes, like last autumn’s butternut squash cake, and some less ordinary ones such as the olive oil apple cake or the no-sugar grape molasses cake!

In the beginning of this summer, for reasons unknown, I started baking cookies. I discovered that baking cookies after a long day can actually be quite relaxing. So this week, inspired by our product of the month, the Corinth raisins and Honey &Co’s recipes, we have a very fun and ‘relaxing’ recipe for you!

Our Corinth raisins are small in size, but punch above their weight in terms of their sweetness and taste. They do lay somewhere between fudge and chocolate if you ask me. I can’t think of a better ingredient for these cookies. And as always, there’s a twist: tahini! Its nuttiness adds depth –and as we are using less butter, we like to feel that these are ‘healthier’ cookies.

If any of you feel like experimenting and substituting all of the butter in this recipe for the tahini, please drop us a line. I am very curious if it will work. And for more healthier-living ideas, recipes and of course fun, join our workshops this year! Delicious collaborations are here and spaces are filling fast!

For 16 cookies you will need:

140g butter
200g dark muscovado sugar
1 egg
110g tahini
150g all purpose flour
100g wholemeal flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
100g Corinth raisins
50g nuts (optional)

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and tahini and mix well. In a separate bowl sieve all your dry ingredients: flours, baking soda, baking powder. Using a wooden spoon slowly fold everything together. Add the raisins and nuts if using. Be careful not to overmix.

Now, some people say that the beauty in baking cookies is tasting the uncooked dough. We are those people. But if you are hesitant about raw eggs please don’t.

Place your cookie dough in the fridge for half an hour. Form your cookies and place them in a baking tray that you have covered in greaseproof paper. Make sure there is enough space between them as they will flatten.

Bake at 180C for 10-15 minutes, or a tiny bit more if you prefer them crunchy!

Enjoy with some warm milk sweetened with grape molasses.


This week we’ve got for you an amazing recipe. Well, let me explain what makes it amazing. Until today I had only read about adding nut butters to fruit smoothies, but had never attempted it. It seemed a bit strange. But as I was researching recipe ideas for this blog post, I came across a few recipes of banana-date smoothies with tahini. So, on a hot afternoon I spread some tahini on a slice of bread and topped it with pieces of banana. It was actually delicious. I was going to make this smoothie.

As bananas are quite creamy, this recipe lays between a smooth drink and thick porridge. So it’s up to you to make it more liquid adding a bit of water, or leave it nice and thick. We find these measurements are perfect, but as always feel free to add more lime or more tahini if you feel like it. It is perfect for breakfast or afternoon snack!

Serves 2 or 1 very hungry person

2 large bananas (approx. 250g)
3 tbsp tahini
3 large dates, pitted (approx. 50g) or other dried fruit
juice of 1 lime
Chia seeds, cocoa nibs, fresh fruit (to serve)

There are two ways to go about with this recipe.

Option one is to cut your bananas in small pieces and place them in the freezer, on a plate without touching each other. Leave for a few hours until frozen. Alternatively you can skip the freezer part and move on to the step below. This is what we did, as we prefer non ice-cold foods for breakfast. But the freezer option is also nice.

So, place your bananas in a blender. Add the tahini and dates, along with the lime juice. Blend until smooth.

Now, you can add the water and blend some more, so that you have the consistency of a loose smoothie. Or skip the water (this is what we did).

Serve in a nice mug. Add some chia seeds, cocoa nibs and fresh fruit. Trust us, the mug option is better than a glass or a bowl. You know why, because it’s between the two. Just like this recipe.


For some reason summer is the time when we most enjoy making granola. Maybe because the weather is nice and we get inspired to have nice breakfasts al fresco. Last year’s granola was with our succulent dried nectarines and almonds. This year we’ve got something different for you.

We have in store an amazing new product (and you know how much we love it when Marianna brings in new ingredients). Our fig molasses is produced and packed for Oliveology by Moschoutas Farms in Evia Island. It contains only organic figs, water and a touch of organic lemon juice to balance the figs’ natural sweetness. It is a very unique product that adds depth to all your dishes. You can use it as you would use any other molasses.

This week we’re using fig molasses to make our granola. We paired it with walnuts and (of course!) dried figs. And we’ve also added some tahini, to add some depth and nuttiness. Our secret ingredient is cloves. We have my mum to thank for this, since I grew up with her making every summer fig jam spiced with cloves.

For 3 cups you will need:

2 cups oats
½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
½ tsp cloves
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp fig molasses
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp orange blossom honey
1 cup dried figs, finely chopped
pinch of salt
Greek yogurt (to serve)

Preheat the oven at 150 C.

Place your oats, walnuts and sunflower seeds in a bowl.
In a separate bowl whisk the olive oil, fig molasses, tahini, honey, cloves and pinch of salt, until all ingredients are blended together.

Pour the liquid mixture onto your oats. Using your hands or a spoon gently stir everything together until everything is covered in the liquid mixture.

Spread the granola onto a baking tray, covered in greaseproof paper. Bake, for around 20 minutes, checking and stirring every 5-10 min until golden.

Once golden, remove from the oven, and let your granola cool down. Once cool add the chopped figs and stir.

Serve with Greek yogurt and fruit and keep the rest in an airtight container.