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!


Last week we were very happy to have the wonderful Margot, from Margot’s Kitchen hosting one of our workshops. During two fully booked classes, Margot talked about the Mediterranean diet, healthy eating and offered clever tips on how to incorporate more wholesome ingredients into our daily diets.

The workshop, as with all of our workshops was vegetarian and included delicious recipes such as a Butternut Squash Kibbeh with Chickpeas & Caramelised Onions and a gluten-free Banana and Pistachio Teff Cake.

So, this week, we have one of Margot’s recipes for you, made especially with our favourite Oliveology ingredients. This Roasted Antipasti recipe is very easy to make, and will definitely impress your guests!

We’ve got more cooking classes coming up this spring and summer, so watch this space or email us to make a booking!

 

Margot’s Roasted Antipasti with Mixed Olives

Ingredients

350g mixed olives (black and green)
1 jar artichoke hearts
1 jar roasted red peppers
150ml extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, sliced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
a pinch of flaked red pepper

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan).
2. In a medium-sized tray, place the mixed olives along with the roasted peppers and artichokes.
3. Add the sliced lemon and fresh herbs.
4. Toss with the extra-virgin olive oil and roast for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.


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 lemon and 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
2tbsp olive oil plus more to serve
30g capers
75g kalamata olives with lemon and 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.


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!


This week we’ve used our product of the month, our lovely pistachios to make a unique recipe! It brings to mind our green pistachio pesto from last year. But with a few twists of course. For this recipe we have used our raw and unsalted pistachio kernels, but you can use the roasted and slightly salted ones if you wish, to add a bit more depth to this recipe. Greek pistachios are renowned for their wonderful flavour, their beautiful pink exteriors and vibrant green kernels. Fantastic for desserts and a wonderful addition to your breakfast or snack recipes. You can read more about our pistachios. And did you know, our roasted and slightly salted pistachios received a great taste award this year! Same with our 22 olive oil! Have a look at our other awarded products!

This recipe is inspired by Bon Appetite magazine. This is a delicious nutty and garlicky dip to savour with crunchy raw vegetables. Alternatively, spread it on bread for a quick bruschetta or light lunch. And of course, you can mix it in your pasta or warm potatoes for an easy dinner! Can’t think of anything better for those cold winter evenings ahead of us.

For 1 medium-sized jar you will need

100g spring onions
2 fresh green chillies
13 cloves of garlic
100g pistachios
juice of ½ lime plus more to serve
½ cup of olive oil plus ¼ cup of olive oil
salt

Preheat the oven at 200C and set on grill.
Roughly chop your spring onions. Peel the garlic.
Scatter the spring onions and garlic in a baking tray in the oven for about 5min until charred. Let cool.

In a mixer, or using a mortar and pestle blend together the pistachios, spring onions and garlic and half a cup of olive oil. Blend adding the rest of the oil. Season with salt and add the lime juice. Taste and serve with more salt and lime if needed.


This week we are feeling very autumn-y. The weather here in London? Not so much yet. It is sunny and smells like spring. But as we really love autumn, this week we’ve prepared a recipe that will make you feel warm and cozy inside. And it also goes with the lovely weather.

What could we be making that feels both like spring and autumn? Wholemeal pasta with roasted butternut squash! What’s very interesting about this recipe is that this dish is equally enjoyable served both hot or at room temperature. So you can enjoy it on a sunny day too!

When we cook, we always love trying out new types of pasta. Remember our zea penne pasta salad?  What about our zea spaghetti with asparagus?  This week we are trying our new wholemeal spaghetti. It is nutty, cooks in no time and somehow makes us feel healthier. And we’ve paired the butternut squash with our smoked paprika and smoked salt! Yum!

 

Serves 4

1 medium squash, approx. 750g
3 tbsp olive oil
1tsp smoked paprika
smoked salt
a few pinches of cinnamon
a few pinches of grated nutmeg
1 large chilli, finely chopped

320g wholemeal spaghetti

To serve
4 tbsp olive oil
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 lime
salt (to taste)

Preheat your oven at 180C

Wash and cut the squash in large, bite-sized pieces. You can peel it if you want, but we prefer not to.

Place the squash in a large baking tray, along with the olive oil, smoked paprika, smoked salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, chilli. Mix everything together so that each piece of squash is nicely coated with olive oil and spices.

Bake at 180C for 40min, stirring the pieces half way through. Squash should be tender and slightly crispy on the edges.

In the meantime boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water for 5-10min, until al dente. Drain and place in a large bowl with 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Stir well and add the cooked squash, chilli. Taste and season with salt if needed. Serve with lime wedges and squeeze some lime on top of the pasta before eating.


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.


Remember our herby oil from last week? Well, we actually ended up making more and used it in various ways! This week we have a recipe for you with our favourite summer vegetable: aubergine! We love aubergine because it reminds us of our childhood summers. You see, in Greece this vegetable is used only during the summer and takes part in many traditional recipes, such as moussakas or briam. Some people also stuff it with rice or mince, or even bulgur wheat (and we actually did so in our last cooking workshop)!

This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit, one of our favourite magazines. The dish includes gently fried aubergine, crunchy cucumber, tangy Greek yogurt and caramelised onions. Our herby oil helps bring everything together.

And a little secret: You can plate this dish for your guests, or, what we prefer is to lay all ingredients (fried aubergine, cut cucumber, yogurt, caramelised onions, herby oil and so forth) separate at the table and let everyone make their own version.

Serves 2 as main with leftovers or 4 as a side

700g (4 medium-small) aubergines
4tbsp olive oil
salt, pepper
1 tsp dried oregano

1 medium onion
4 cloves of garlic
1tbsp olive oil

1 large cucumber
a small bunch of fresh spinach

To serve:
4 tbsp Greek yogurt (optional)
4 tbsp herby oil

Cut the aubergine in bite-sized pieces. In a shallow frying pan, and over medium heat place 2 tbsp of olive oil and half of the aubergine. You need to form a single layer, so that the aubergine doesn’t steam. Season with salt, pepper and ½ tsp of dried oregano. Gently fry the aubergine for approximately 10min until cooked inside and charred outside. Remove from the pan and set aside. Repeat with the remaining olive oil and the aubergine. Remove and set aside too.

Finely chop your onion and garlic.
Using the same frying pan, place 1tbsp of olive oil and over medium heat gently fry the onion, for approximately 5min, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 5 more minutes, until everything is caramelised. Remove and set aside.

Cut your cucumber in bite-sized pieces. Wash and dry your spinach.

To serve, lay the yogurt on each plate. Top with aubergine, onions, cucumber, spinach. Add the herby oil. Instead of the herby oil you can of course drizzle some olive oil and add fresh chopped herbs.

 


Spring vegetables excite us, you must know this by now. And it is always a challenge to find new things to do with all these greens that are popping up in the market.

This week we decided to use one of our favourite staples, lentils. We usually associate lentils with comforting winter soups, or nutritious salads. But how about something…lighter? This dish is filled with all sorts of green things. The way we think about food is reflected on this lentil salad.

So follow us, take a walk around the market, and put in your basket all the greens that inspire you. We got a selection of broad beans, peas, sugar snap peas, zucchini, avocado and leeks. And to make it even more exciting, we’ve added crushed nuts on top of the salad. You could also top it up a notch by adding some feta cheese or galomyzithra cheese, but we decided to keep this one vegan.

For 2 people you will need:

1 avocado
150g lentils
100g various spring vegetables (peas, broad beans, sugar snap peas)
1 zucchini
1 leek
4tbsp olive oil
25g mixed nuts (walnuts, almonds)
1-2tbsp red wine vinegar
salt

Boil the lentils in salted water for around 20min until cooked but not mushy. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

Finely chop the leek. Place the leek in a frying pan, over medium low heat with the olive oil. Cook until soft but not caramelised.

In the meantime, cut the zucchini and avocado in small cubes. Rinse your spring vegetables under cold water and drain.

Add the zucchini to your frying pan with the leek and cook for 4-5min until tender. Add your spring vegetables and cook for 2 more minutes.

Place everything together with the lentils and avocado in a large bowl. Stir and season with salt. Serve with the crushed nuts and by drizzling vinegar on every plate.


Yes, it’s spring! After our weeks of asparagus love (did you make our asparagus frittata? How about the bulgur wheat salad?) we were very tempted to cook again with asparagus. But you know, spring has so many other beautiful vegetables. So this week we decided to make a delicious spinach and rice stew! Spanakoryzo, as we call it in Greece, is the simplest yet the most delicious dish. I think the reason is that, as with most Greek recipes, very few ingredients come together, and each shines.

In spanakoryzo, you can taste how the lightly metallic taste of spinach mellows in slow cooking. We paired it with sweet spring onions and leeks (yes, we love it when spring vegetables all come together). In the end, we put loads of dill and squeezed plenty of lemon juice. The aniseed and lemon notes of dill pair perfectly with the warm stew and the lemon brings the sun into your dish.

We used our carolina rice. This is the one we use for our rice puddings. As the rice absorbs all the fragrant juices from the vegetables, its high starch content gives the spanakoryzo a creamier texture.

Serves 4

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
5 spring onions
1 medium leek
1 large onion
1 kilo fresh spinach
200g Carolina rice
500ml water
1 large bunch of dill, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon, plus more for serving
salt

Finely chop the spring onions, leek and onion. Finely chop your spinach.

In a large shallow pot, pour the olive oil and over medium low heat gently fry the spring onions, leek and onion until translucent.

Add the spinach and stir until half in volume.

Add the rice and stir until it’s well mixed in. Soon after pour in the water. Stir and season with salt.

Let your stew simmer for 20-30min or until the rice is cooked through.

Turn off the heat, add the dill and lemon juice. Serve with more lemon juice and a generous drizzle of olive oil.