This week we’ve prepared a classic Greek dish for you. Oven baked gigantes beans is one of the most iconic Greek dishes. With a bit of crusty bread and feta cheese, it makes for an excellent, filling meal.

Of course, this recipe is not the classic one, but has a few interesting new twists. We’ve added a bit of grape molasses to add some sweetness and depth to the tomatoes. And what we are very excited about, we are serving it with our extra virgin olive oil & oregano essential oil!

This is a product that combines the unique health benefits of our Greek oregano organic essential oil with a special organic, extra virgin, cold pressed, single variety Greek olive oil. This unique food pairing tastes like the Greek sunshine. And it is perfect to enjoy with this classic Greek dish!

 

Serves four

5 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp grape molasses
1 tsp dried oregano
200g giant beans, soaked overnight and boiled in plenty of water
1 bottle of tomato passata
salt
extra virgin olive oil & oregano essential oil (to serve)

Preheat your oven at 180C.

Finely slice the red onions and garlic. In a frying pan and over medium heat place the olive oil, onions and garlic. Cook until caramelised, for around 10-15 minutes, adding the grape molasses half way through.

Once caramelised, placed the onions, garlic and all the juices from the frying pan in an casserole. Add the beans, tomato passata, salt, dried oregano and 200ml of water. Bake covered for 20 min. Uncover and bake for another 20min, until the liquid has evaporated and you are left with a mellow bean stew.

Serve with plenty of extra virgin olive oil & oregano essential oil!


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.


This week’s recipe is a bit stranger than the others. Not the recipe itself, the way we ended up creating it.

As you know, we love discovering interesting ingredients. And surely, there are many ways to prepare a beautiful cauliflower like the one we found at the market this week. But, I thought, there is no better way to enjoy it than in its purest form. Raw. Of course, you need something warm, spicy and comforting to balance the cold, crunchy nuttiness of the cauliflower. What else than a hot, spiced chickpea stew?

This stew takes a while to boil. This is because unlike many recipes we didn’t boil the chickpeas first. Why? Well, because we wanted them to absorb all the goodness from the spices, vegetables and tomatoes, so as to become little balls, bursting with flavour. However, you can of course boil them first (add a bit of baking soda to speed up the process). In the end, you will have a chickpea stew that will taste like Christmas in the Middle East!

Serves six hungry guests.

You will need:
1 beautiful cauliflower
2 tbsp grated ginger
2 tbsp grated cumin
2 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp cinnamon
2 bay leaves
150ml olive oil
250g chickpeas
2 medium carrots
2 stalks of celery
2 medium onions
50g raisins
1 bottle tomato passata (680g)
salt, black pepper
fresh coriander leaves and lemon wedges (to serve)

 

The night before soak your chickpeas.

The morning after, finely chop your onion, celery and carrot. We went for pieces the size of the chickpeas, but you can really roughly chop your vegetables if you prefer.

Pour your olive oil in a large pot and over medium low heat warm up all your spices. Yes, the bay leaves too. Once they have released their aromas, add the chopped vegetables and stir until coated in oil. When they become softer and translucent, add your chickpeas, raisins, tomato and 1lt of water. Season with salt and pepper. Stir everything very well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let them simmer for a couple of hours, or until chickpeas are cooked. Check occasionally and add water if needed.

To serve, cut your beautiful cauliflower into florets. In a bowl serve your hot chickpea stew. Place the cauliflower on top. Sprinkle the coriander leaves and squeeze some lemon juice. How about that for satisfying your senses?


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.

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

 

By Nafsika