This week we’ve got a family recipe for you. Every summer, my mother, along with many other Greek cooks, prepares tomato sauce, enough to last the entire winter. She uses summer tomatoes, which are particularly juicy and ripe towards the end of August in Greece.

Often unable to get my mother’s sauce in London, I started making it myself. However, as this is a sauce with very few ingredients, the quality of tomatoes is really important. When I started using our tomato passata I was amazed: the sauce tasted exactly like my mother’s. You see, our organic tomato passata is made with organic Greek tomatoes picked during the summer when they are at their best, with no added salt, as close to the flavours of nature as you can get. It’s great for any tomato-based dish (check out our recipes here), and it’s great in this family recipe.

Serves 4

3 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion
1 bottle tomato passata
1 tsp tomato puree
½ tsp sugar (optional)
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp cinnamon
salt, pepper (to taste)

Grate or finely chop the onion. In a medium-sized pot add the olive oil and onion and gently fry over medium heat until translucent but not caramelised. Add the tomato passata.

Stir the tomato puree and sugar (if using) in a cup of warm water until dissolved. Add to your pot. Add the basil and cinnamon and season with salt and pepper. Stir well.

Bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens and the flavours blend together, for about an hour. Half way through taste and adjust for seasonings, adding more basil, cinnamon, salt and pepper if needed.

Serve with pasta or rice, use on top of bruschetta, or even as a dipping sauce.


This week we have a very hearty recipe for you. Lentils and tomatoes are an all-time favourite and we couldn’t but pair them together in this simple, yet very comforting dish.

We are after all getting ready for summer, eagerly waiting for the first juicy summer tomatoes to appear in the market. So in this recipe, adapted from Jack Santa Maria’s cookery book Greek Vegetarian Cooking, we are using the vibrant red organic tomato passata to make a delicious lentil stew. It makes for an excellent dinner, served alongside brown rice. But also, it works great as a more filling pasta sauce. Don’t forget to check out all of our recipes with tomato passata.

Serves 2 as main

1 medium red onion
1 clove of garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bottle tomato passata (or 2-3 juicy tomatoes, crushed)
500ml water (plus more if needed)
150ml red wine (we used the Barafakas Idea Red)
100g lentils
dried thyme (to taste)
dried oregano (to taste)
salt, pepper (to taste)
brown rice and fresh tomatoes (to serve)

Grate or finely chop your onion and garlic. In a medium-sized pot add the olive oil, onion and garlic. Gently fry over medium heat until translucent but not caramelised.

Add the tomato passata, water, wine and lentils and stir everything together. Add the thyme and oregano and season with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil then lower the heat and cook, covered, until the sauce is thickened and the lentils are tender, around 45minutes. Half-way through taste and adjust for dried herbs and seasoning.

Serve with brown rice and fresh tomatoes (if desired).


Today is the last day of August, so we are saying goodbye to summer with a very summery recipe using our go-to summer ingredient: tomatoes. We love tomatoes in the summer, as they are at their best during this time of the year. So we pick them to make our tomato passata. Using nothing but tomatoes and no added salt, this ingredient is as close to the flavours of nature as you would expect. We cook with it during the winter, as we wait for the new tomatoes next year.

In this recipe however, we’ve only used fresh tomatoes, as a way to say goodbye to a sweet, sunny summer.

This recipe comes from the island of Santorini, and traditionally the local variety of small cherry tomatoes is used. Look for tomatoes with a thick flesh as they will add structure to your fritters. We’ve added our favourite fresh and dried herbs, but as always feel free to omit anything you don’t like, or add anything you prefer. And yes, us Greeks fry our fritters in olive oil, so do give it a try!

Serves 6

6 medium tomatoes
2 medium onions
1 large bunch of fresh mint
1 small bunch of fresh parsley
½ tsp dried spearmint
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried thyme
salt, pepper (to taste)
2 eggs
70g graviera cheese
150g feta cheese
150g flour
plenty of olive oil (for frying)
chilli vinegar (to serve)

Roughly chop the tomatoes and place them in a large bowl. Very finely chop the onion and add it to your tomatoes. Let it rest until you prepare the rest of your ingredients. The juices of the tomatoes will soften up the onions.

Very finely chop your fresh herbs. Grate your graviera cheese. Crumble your feta cheese.

Add the fresh herbs, dried herbs and cheeses to your bowl and stir well. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the flour and mix everything well together. You should have a thick batter, resembling a slightly thicker cake batter.

Place a large frying pan over medium-low heat and add your olive oil. Start with 5cm. Warm it up until simmering. Add one tablespoon of your mixture, carefully so as not to overcrowd the pan. The fritters should be partially submerged in the olive oil.

Fry until golden on the one side -be patient, it takes a few minutes. Flip and fry until the other side is golden too. Remove your fritters and let them rest in paper towels until you finish frying.

Serve drizzled with chilli vinegar!


How are you spending this summer? We were very fortunate to be able to travel around Greece, tasting wonderful food and swimming in the deep blue sea. This week we are bringing to you a recipe for one of the simplest and perhaps one of the most wonderful dishes we tasted while in Greece: wild greens with tomatoes and cheese!

Wild greens are found everywhere in Greece during the summer, sold in large bunches at local markets all around the country. There are endless varieties. The ones we selected are called vlita (amaranth) and have a subtle bitter, earthy taste which pairs perfectly with the sweet summer tomatoes. In this recipe we’ve used our tomato passata, so that you can easily prepare it in the winter, selecting more wintery greens. You can use whichever seasonal dark leafy greens you can find: chard, kale, spinach, collard greens. Anything goes!

In the classic recipe, greens are boiled and then fresh tomatoes are grated on top. A soft white cheese like mizithra or feta is crumbled and, of course, plenty of olive oil is drizzled on top. We followed this classic recipe and kept things simple. It is still summer after all, and we love feeling a bit more relaxed before the hectic winter begins. Do feel free to omit the cheese, to keep this vegan.

Serves 2 as main or 4 as a side

1kg dark leafy greens
1 bottle tomato passata (or 3-4 tomatoes, crushed)
1 tbsp olive oil plus more for drizzling
salt, freshly ground black pepper
150g soft white cheese (we used our organic feta), to serve

Thoroughly rinse your greens and remove any large stems (you can reserve them to make stock). We kept the leaves whole, but if you prefer you can roughly chop them.
Place your greens in a large pot of boiling water and cook for a few minutes until soft and tender. We used a very large pot and boiled the greens all in one go, for around 6 minutes, but you can also work in batches.

Drain and place your greens in a large salad bowl. While they are still warm, pour over the tomato passata, season with pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. Serve immediately with the feta cheese and more olive oil. If you are not using cheese, do add a bit of salt.

This dish is also perfect served cold. If you are serving it cold, let the greens cool down and place them in the fridge. Continue with the tomato, etc just before serving.

 


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 puree 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!


Giahni is a traditional Greek way of cooking, loved by most Greeks. In giahni, seasonal vegetables are slowly cooked in olive oil and lemon or tomato. The result is a comforting, mellow dish so versatile that can be served as a main or side, and eaten hot, at room temperature or cold.

For these tomato-based dishes, some use crushed tomatoes or tomato passata, others use tomato puree diluted in water, or both. We’re using both. The passata offers a lush sauce, while the paste adds depth to this dish. Today we are making potatoes, patates giahni, as it’s called. This recipe is said to have been popular amongst the monks in the Greek church. In our adaptation of the classic recipe, we added a little honey to balance the natural acidity of the tomatoes. And we are very keen to try molasses next time!

Check out our other traditional Greek recipes in this blog, and let’s get cooking!

Serves 2 as a side

2 potatoes (500g)
1 large onion (or 2 medium)
8 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic
1 tomato passata (680ml) or 3-4 tomatoes, crushed
1 tsp tomato puree in 200ml 1 cup warm water
1 tsp honey (we used wild thyme honey)
2 bay leaves
a few pinches of cinnamon
salt, pepper

Peel and cut the potatoes in big wedges and place in a bowl with cold water.
Cut the onion in half moons and finely slice the garlic.

Place 4 tbsp of olive oil in a deep frying pan or wide casserole over medium-low heat. Once the olive oil warms up, add the onions and cook until golden and caramelised, around 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Drain the potatoes and pat dry. Add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes until they are covered in oil.

In a large mug add the warm water, tomato paste and honey. Stir well until the tomato paste dissolves.

Return to your pan and add the tomato passata, water with tomato paste, bay leaves and the remaining olive oil. Season with cinnamon, salt and pepper and gently stir everything together. The potatoes should be just covered. Add more water if needed.

Cover and cook for half an hour, shaking the pan so that the potatoes don’t stick at the bottom. Lower the heat to medium, uncover and cook for another half an hour, until the potatoes are tender and the tomato is thickened.

Serve with more olive oil and feta cheese.


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!

 


Ladera, literally meaning foods that have plenty of olive oil are perhaps the most loved dishes of Greek cuisine. These are vegetables (always in season), that are slowly cooked with olive oil and either lemon or tomatoes. Plenty of herbs are added towards the end of the cooking. These dishes take time and care, but the result is mellow, comforting flavours that have come together over low heat. Remember our pea & lemon stew?

Olive oil is the star in these dishes, and we love using our Ergani for such recipes. It is a classic olive oil made from ripe olives, produced on a small organic family farm in the Messinia region of the Peloponnese. It has a full, traditionally rich flavour and is fantastic for this week’s recipe.

We’re making a pea and tomato stew, with the first fresh peas of the season! You can use frozen as well, but if you can find fresh it will be amazing! This is my mother’s recipe which we grew up eating in the summers. In the classic recipe, some add potatoes or carrots, so feel free to do so! My mother also adds cinnamon in all tomato-based dishes, so of course, I had to.

This dish is great on its own as a main dish, but also an ideal accompaniment to roast chicken. It is also perfect for lunch the next day, and some even prefer eating it at room temperature or cold!

Serves 2 with plenty of leftovers

½ cup olive oil
1 large onion
500g fresh peas
1 bottle tomato passata or 4 tomatoes, blended
1 tsp tomato puree
salt, pepper
a few pinches of cinnamon
small bunch of dill, finely chopped

Finely chop the onion.

In a heavy-bottomed pot add your olive oil and onion. Over medium heat gently cook the onion until translucent but not caramelised, around 5-10 minutes. Add the peas and stir.

In a bowl add two cups of hot water and the tomato paste. Stir until the tomato paste is dissolved. Add it to your pot.

Add the tomatoes (or passata). Season generously with salt and pepper. Add the cinnamon and stir everything together.

Cover, turn up the heat and bring the peas-tomatoes to a boil. Turn down the heat, and let it slowly cook until the peas are soft, around 30-45 minutes minutes. Add more water if needed.

When the peas are tender, add the dill and let it simmer for a few more minutes.

Serve with plenty of feta cheese and crusty bread.


For some reason the first days of September often still feel like summer. All of us at Oliveology use this week to regroup from time off during the summer, to reflect on the year ahead of us, make plans and dreams. The weather feels as if it is ready for autumn of course, but as a farewell to the summer, this week we’ve prepared a tart, using a selection of the last summer tomatoes.

It is a very easy and quite well-known dish, which can be made with not much fuss (it is the end of summer, after all). It looks amazing and most importantly, it’s delicious! What makes this tart unique is the combination of cheeses we’ve selected!

As you know we love cheese, especially cheese that is made with care. Our manouri and galomyzithra cheeses are two of our favourites. White, creamy, and full of flavour! You can find them at our Borough Marker shop and as part of our Greek cheese selection – just make sure to ask for them when you place your order.

We used puff pastry, but this also works with Mrs Kalliopi’s magic dough if you feel like kneading!

1 sheet of puff pastry
200g galomyzithra cheese
100g manouri cheese, grated
1 tbsp 17C olive oil
1 clove of garlic
350g cherry tomatoes
2 sun-dried tomatoes (or more, to taste)
salt, pepper (to taste)
dried thyme (to taste)
1-2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven at 180C.
Roll out the puff pastry in a greased baking sheet. Pierce it with a fork and place it in the oven, for 10-15min or until golden-brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Keep the oven on.

In a large bowl, and using a fork, mix together the galomyzithra cheese, the manouri cheese, lemon oil, salt and pepper. Mince the garlic and add to the mixture. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

Cut your tomatoes in halves or quarters and set aside. Cut the sun-dried tomatoes in very small pieces.

Once the puff pastry has cooled down, spread the cheese mixture. Lay the tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes on top. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the thyme. Drizzle with a few gulps of olive oil and place the tart back in the oven, to cook for 20-30min.

It is perfect eaten at room temperature, and (our personal preference, don’t ask why), cold the next morning!


For the third week in a row, we’ve got a very summery recipe from Amaryllis from The Tasty Other. Amaryllis is one of our favourite guest chefs in our dinner experiences cooking workshops. She has a pure love for food, a fascination with tradition and gatherings, and great passion about storytelling through photography. You can check out many of her recipes here, and of course follow her on instagram. So here it is, words and recipe by Amaryllis, right below. Enjoy!

Simple, straightforward and filled with flavour, this tomato salad comes together in mere minutes and is sure to be a summer staple, as a great alternative to the very popular Greek salad. It’s simply a variety of juicy tomatoes (try to use the best you can get your hands on, they will really make a difference), dressed in Oliveology’s best extra virgin olive oil, white balsamic, delicious petimezi (grape molasses) and a pinch of mildly spicy Aleppo chillies, and served with a big handful of sweet raisins and a generous dusting of dried oregano and lots of sea salt flakes.

Ingredients
20 cherry tomatoes (left whole, halved or quartered depending on their size)
3 medium tomatoes, cut in thick slices
1/3 cup Corinth raisins
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon grape molasses
1/2 teaspoons chilli flakes
A big pinch of sea salt flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Method
Place the tomatoes and raisins in a salad bowl; put the olive oil, balsamic, grape molasses, salt & chilli in a jar (or bowl) and combine well.

Dress the salad, add the oregano and toss gently. Taste and adjust the salt, vinegar and chilli flakes to your liking.

Serve cold (but not straight from the fridge) with a big piece of aged feta and lots of crusty bread on the side.