This Valentines’ Day is unlike any other. Most of us are still on lockdown. We are rarely able to spend time with our loved ones – let alone go out and meet new people to love. But despite the pandemic, or perhaps because of it, now is the time to, more than ever, express our love to the people around us. To ourselves as well.

So this week’s recipe is a very special one. It is an easy and fun recipe to make, it gets your hands messy, and with your favourite music on, it is guaranteed to cheer you up. Plus you know, you are left with lovely chocolate truffles to enjoy -yes we are making chocolate truffles!

But of course, these are no ordinary truffles. Remember last year’s olive oil and dark chocolate mousse? This year we are using olive oil as well, but a very special one. Our 21C olive oil! It is made from semi-ripe olives cold extracted together with walnuts, purslane,  fennel seeds, rosemary and oregano. The wild aromatic herbs give these truffles a subtle earthy flavour; and as we love nuts, so we couldn’t but add plenty in these little chocolate balls.

Makes 25
350g chocolate 60% cocoa (you can do a bit less, or a bit more, depending on what you prefer)
200g double cream
2 tbsp 21C walnut oil
100g nuts (hazelnuts, almonds or walnuts)
to serve (finely chopped nuts, or cocoa, or powdered sugar, or salt and pepper)

Cut the chocolate in small pieces (the size of chocolate chips). Place in a large bowl.

Roughly chop the nuts. Set aside.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan warm up the double cream until bubbly on the sides, but not boiling. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let sit of a couple of minutes.

Using a whisk, slowly whisk together the chocolate and cream (the cream will have melted the chocolate by now). It will slowly come together. Once it does, add the olive oil and whisk again until you have a smooth and shiny mixture.

Add the nuts and stir everything together, using a wooden spoon. Spread the mixture in a shallow baking dish and place it in the fridge. After half an hour or so, it will have changed in texture you will be able to shape it. Give it a bit more time if you need to. Using a teaspoon for measuring shape your chocolate into little balls.

You can serve them as is, or roll them in finely chopped nuts, cocoa, powdered sugar or (our favourite) sprinkle some sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Store them in the fridge for a couple of weeks (well, we seriously doubt they will last that long!) and always serve at room temperature.


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.


As we were preparing this recipe, we debated a lot on whether bee pollen reminds us more of winter or spring. You see, bee pollen is known as nature’s living superfood, as it is a source of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids and enzymes including iron, protein, Vitamin B1, B2 and B3. So it’s our go-to ingredient during winter, when we feel we need an immunity booster. At the same time, it really reminds us of spring, of flowers blossoming and bees buzzing, as it is collected by honeybees from the forests and flora of Northern Greece.

So we decided to settle the debate, by making a spring granola with bee pollen. Eating this granola for breakfast also feels great for our body during these challenging times. And what goes best with bee pollen? Honey, of course and crunchy, beautiful almonds.

Makes 1 jar

200g oats
100g almonds
pinch of salt
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp orange blossom honey
1 tbsp sesame seeds
3 tbsp bee pollen

Preheat the oven at 150C.
Roughly chop the almonds.

In a large bowl, place the oats and almonds. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey and salt. Pour the liquid mixture over the oats and nuts, and gently toss everything together, until the oats and nuts are all covered with honey and olive oil.

Place the granola on a baking sheet, nicely spread out and bake in the oven for around 20’, tossing regularly. Be careful not to burn it!

Once the granola is golden remove from the oven and let cool. Toss in the sesame and bee pollen. Store in an airtight jar.


Valentine’s Day is one of the most wonderful days of the year. Why, you ask? Well, in my mind it’s associated with chocolate and you must know, I love chocolate. All of us at Oliveology as especially excited this year, as we are hosting our first Valentine’s popup dinner tomorrow evening. Our chef Lida has prepared a delicious menu (including a wonderful dessert with chocolate and bee pollen!) and will share with our guests fascinating facts about aphrodisiac foods and the senses. The event is sold out, but we have more exciting dinners coming up!

And for those of you who are looking for last-minute presents, have a look at our selection of Valentine’s treats, and especially our Valentine’s hamper and gift bag of treats.

In the past we have made some fun recipes for this day: A luscious white chocolate slab and an exciting orzo with truffle sauce.

And if you want to read more on wine and chocolate, this is by our very own Lida.

This year we decided to do something special. An olive oil and dark chocolate mousse.

Serves 4-6

200g good-quality dark chocolate
100g extra-virgin olive oil
5 eggs
75g sugar
pinch of salt
bee pollen (to serve)

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or using a bain-marie. Let cool and stir in the olive oil.
Separate the egg whites and yolks.
Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until fluffy and smooth.
Separately whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.

Slowly add the chocolate and olive oil to the egg yolk/sugar mixture. Mix well. If it looks funny, don’t worry, keep going. Gently fold in the egg whites and mix well. You should be left with a smooth mixture.

Transfer to small bowls and refrigerate for a few hours until set. Serve with bee pollen and lots of love!

 


This week we’ve got a lovely Christmas recipe for you. As we all know, carrots are the perfect ingredient to accompany our Christmas meal. This week we’re preparing them combining some very unique ingredients: orange blossom honey and grape molasses! We got our inspiration from our Valentine’s Dinner Experience (our first for 2020), in which our talented chef Lida is making a honey carrot soup. Yes, honey and carrots are very good friends!

In this recipe we added grape molasses, an ingredient that adds depth and balances the sweetness of the honey. It is made purely from grape must. A staple in my own kitchen, I highly recommend it!

So let’s get cooking. And have a warm and peaceful Christmas everyone!

Serves 6 as a side
1kg carrots
50g cranberries
5 tbps olive oil
3 tbsp orange blossom honey
3 tbsp grape molasses
1 large orange, zest and juice
salt (to taste)

Preheat the oven at 180C

Slice the carrots diagonally in uniform thin slices. They will shrink a bit while cooking, so make quite big slices.

Place them in a large baking tray, in one layer.

Sprinkle the cranberries.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey, grape molasses, orange zest and juice. Season with salt.

Drizzle over the carrots and toss well everything together.

Roast in the oven until tender.


As we are well into winter and a few weeks away from Christmas, many of us are wondering what to prepare this year for our festive table. Let’s have a look at our recipes.

There is of course the question of stuffing. Shall we go with a vegan one? A less ordinary one made with bulgur wheat, or a colourful one with dried nectarines, cherries and almonds?

What is your favourite Christmas main? Here at Oliveology every year we’ve got different traditions and family recipes that come into the discussion.

But no matter what your main course is, plenty of colourful vegetable-based plates are a must! The last few years, we went for green. We loved our festive Brussels sprouts with walnut oil. Or how about a crunchy fresh green salad with galomyzithra cheese, dried figs and grape molasses?

This year we got our inspiration from one very unique ingredient. Truffle honey. Our truffle honey is made from acacia honey, infused with slivers of real black summer truffle. The intense aroma of this truffle honey pairs particularly well with cheese and charcuterie platters. But it is an excellent ingredient to add a unique flavour and a little luxury to this year’s table.

And as we are going for a colourful table, we have chosen a selection of orange winter vegetables. The inspiration came from a restaurant dish I used to prepare years back, where the chef was using only orange vegetables-what a brilliant idea! The result is a memorable dish that will definitely appeal not only to truffle lovers, but also to those who have never tasted truffle before.

Serves 6

1kg pumpkin
500g carrots
500g sweet potato
½ jar truffle honey
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup of water
dried thyme
salt, pepper
50g walnuts (to serve)

Peel the pumpkin, carrots and sweet potatoes. Cut the vegetables in large bite-sized pieces and place in a large roasting tray.

In a bowl, whisk together the truffle honey, olive oil, water, thyme, salt and pepper.

Drizzle on top of your vegetables and toss everything together.

Bake at 180C for about 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tended inside and slightly crunchy on the outside.

Sprinkle some walnuts and serve warm in a colourful platter.


Youthful and fruity, the well-structured 2017 Sant’ Or Krasis presents a classic Bordeaux style with unique Greek grape varieties. I am deeply surprised that a red wine with the vintage of 2017 has already developed to that extent.

Produced in Santameri, Greece, this wine is made from the local grape variety Mavrodaphne, a grape that was mostly often used in producing sweet or fortified wines. Nowadays, however, modern winemaking philosophies and approaches have contributed to the reinvention of oak-matured Mavrodaphne, as is the case of this wine.

The town of Santameri sits in the mountainous area in north-west Peloponnese Peninsula. Generally, wine lovers may be more familiar with the other two famous Denomination of Origin appellations in the peninsula: Nemea and Martina, both situating in the eastern side and enjoying a slightly more ‘continental’ climate for viticulture. Santameri, in contrast, is located in the Patras region where the climate is definitely more ‘Mediterranean’. This means that the long and dry summers with short and rainy winters have created warm climate conditions with relatively small temperature variations, ideal for the Mavrodaphne grapes to grow and ripe. As a result, the wine usually displays distinctive aromas of ripe dark fruits.

The wax seal of the bottle may add extra points to attract your attention. Just in case you are not sure how to open a wax-sealed bottle, here is a tip: Pretend the wax does not exist and use the corkscrew as usual. But make sure to spend a few seconds clearing the wax pieces around the very top bit of the bottle before you pull the cork out, so as to avoid small pieces falling in the wine as the cork is coming out.

At first glance, you may easily find out that this is a very youthful wine, for it has a clear and bright deep purple colour with blue-ish hints in the purple rim. The viscosity is high. On the nose, it exhibits clean and intense aromas of ripe fruits such as black cherry and black plum. Following these initial aromas, the wine also has noticeable traces of oak barrel: toast, cocoa, toffee and tobacco. Gently swirling the glass, the wine also releases notes of wood, cedar box and a very small amount of hay. This suggests that the wine is in a developing stage, in spite of the youthful colour it shows. On the palate, this wine is dry, with high acidity, smooth firm tannins, medium alcohol level and a medium body. The finish is long. The intense flavours it brings include ripe black cherry, cigar, wood, toast, cocoa, and dark chocolate. It is slightly savoury, and shows characteristics of a developing wine. Combining with the outstanding flavours of a cigar box this wine reminds me of a typical red Bordeaux, and also surprises me for the range of flavours it has, considering that it is a 2017 vintage.

This wine is ready to drink, but may benefit from another 1 or 2 years of bottle maturation. It is best served at 18 – 20°C, in a large tulip shape glass. For such a youthful wine with firm tannins, I suggest to decant it for at least 10 minutes. This wine is suitable to drink on its own, but also will be fantastic to pair with grilled red meat, game dishes, and tomato-based sauces, for example with pasta.

 

By Celine


It was Valentine’s day yesterday and we hope you had a wonderful time with your loved ones! Did you make our Valentine’s Orzo with Black Truffle Sauce? If not, go ahead, it’s simple, delicious and between us, it doesn’t have to be Valentine’s day to enjoy something like this!

This week we have a new recipe using one of our products of the month: saffron! Remember our Saffron and Orange Chickpeas from a few weeks ago? If you haven’t used this unique ingredient before, this week’s recipe is ideal.

And I must say, do have a look at our beautiful hamper for the adventurous cook. It includes saffron amongst other intriguing ingredients that guarantee to inspire your daily cooking! Or check our gift bag with saffron and other treats!

This recipe is adapted from the Greek magazine Gastronomos, one of our favourite ones. It is on the sour side, so if you prefer your dressings sweeter don’t hesitate to add a bit of honey or grape molasses. Cooking after all is all about adapting recipes to your own unique preferences!

Serves 2

400g carrots
1 tbsp lemon
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 generous pinches of saffron in 1 tbsp of warm water
1 clove of garlic minced
5 tbsp olive oil
Salt

Wash, peel and cut your carrots in bite-sized pieces. Place them in a large pot with boiling, salted water and boil until tender. Remove from the pot and drain. You can skip this step if you prefer and use the carrots raw.

In the meantime, make your dressing.
In a bowl whisk together the lemon juice, orange juice, red wine vinegar, saffron in water and garlic. Slowly add the olive oil, until the mixture is emulsified. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Toss warm (or raw!) carrots and dressing together and serve immediately.


Valentine’s Day on February 14th is usually associated with romantic love. For us here at Oliveology it is indeed a day of love. Love is not only for lovers, but also for friends, family, yourself. It is also the day to indulge in the pleasures of eating-and cooking for that matter.

So this week we have prepared a recipe for you, using one of our very special ingredients! Black. Truffle. Sauce.

Our truffle sauce is made of champignon mushrooms, blended with black summer truffle, extra virgin olive oil, salt and spices. Each jar contains 10% of truffle, so the aroma is quite intense. You can use this sauce in various dishes, stir into warm pasta, add on omelettes or mix with cream for a delicious sauce. My personal favourite is simply spreading it on warm toast, with fresh herbs on top. Add a poached egg and you’ve got yourselves the most luxurious breakfast -or dinner for that matter!

But back to this week’s recipe. It is possibly the simplest way to use this delicious ingredient. Apart from simply spreading on toast, that is. You can swap orzo for rice, and if you want to complicate it a bit more, use vegetable stock instead of water. But for us, this version is ideal.

Serves two

1 medium red onion
2tbsp olive oil
150g orzo
½ jar black truffle sauce
300ml water
salt pepper
30g kefalotyri cheese, finely grated
springs of thyme (to serve)

Finely slice the onion. In a medium sized dish and over medium-high heat gently fry the onion in the olive oil until translucent and slightly caramelised. Add the orzo and stir until covered in the remaining oil and well mixed.

Add half of the truffle sauce and stir again.

Add the 300ml of water, season with salt and pepper and let it cook, half covered until orzo is al dente.

Remove from the heat, add the cheese and stir, adding a few splashes of water if needed.

Serve with the remaining black truffle sauce and fresh thyme.


A few months back, we saw that our lovely Amarylis had made chickpeas with orange, using our olives and capers. What a wonderful combination of flavours, I thought at the time! So when thinking of this week’s recipe, and with all the citrus fruit around, this idea came to mind. Chickpeas and orange! And as winter makes us all feel really cold, we thought of adding something different to our chickpeas. Saffron!

Our organic Greek Saffron comes from the Kozani Cooperative in Northern Greece. It has a unique floral flavour and aroma, while it gives an exquisite amber colour to many dishes, desserts and beverages. Including our chickpeas! Oh and did we mention it has antioxidant properties amongst other things?

Here’s the recipe and check out our hamper for the Adventurous Cook, that includes saffron!

Serves two for lunch

1 small leek
1 medium onion
4tbsp olive oil
100 g chickpeas
1 very large orange, zest and juice
2 pinches of saffron in 1 cup of warm water
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp orange blossom honey
salt

to serve:
Boiled rice or Greek yogurt
Fresh coriander or parsley
Honey

 

The night before, soak your chickpeas. The morning after, boil the chickpeas in plenty of water, until soft.

Preheat the oven at 180C.

Finely slice the leek and chop the onion. In an oven proof casserole, heat fry your leek and onion in the olive oil until transluscent and slightly caramelised. Remove from the heat and add the chickpeas, orange juice and zest, saffron, smoked paprika, salt and honey. Stir well and place in the oven. Bake for an hour to an hour and a half, until the flavours have blended, adding a bit more water if needed.

Serve with rice or Greek yogurt, fresh herbs and more honey if you desire.