As you may already know we love making dips with pulses. Have you tried our mixed pulses dip? Or our bean dip with roasted red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes?

It’s a great way to eat beans, especially when it’s warm outside and the weather calls for something other than a stew or a soup. So this week we’ve prepared a lovely white dip, using our little small beans from Grevena, in northern Greece. You can use gigantes beans as well if you prefer, but we like these little ones.

We are making it with a few simple ingredients: spring onions and garlic, but you can experiment with any other onions or garlic that you have handy. And we’ve added a secret ingredient, capers!

And as we realised, this dip is also lovely served as a side dish, instead of mashed potatoes or any other mash you may be making. Yum!

Makes one large bowl

250g small beans
3 cloves of garlic
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp lemon juice
zest from 1 lemon
2 spring onions
2 tbsp capers

The night before soak your beans. The morning after drain, and cook in plenty of water until tender.

Drain the cooked beans, reserving one cup of the cooking liquid. Set aside and let cool.

Roughly chop the spring onions, garlic and capers.

In a blender blend together the beans, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, spring onions, garlic and capers. You will need to add a bit of the cooking liquid to loosen up the mixture. We used ½ a cup, but you might need a bit more. Once your mixture is smooth transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

We prefer serving this dip on a simple white soup plate. Sometimes simplicity is quite calming, I do not know if you agree?

But if you’re into decorating, then finely chop some spring onions, add some more capers, reserve some of the cooked beans, drizzle some olive oil and add some more lemon zest. Either way, enjoy with some raw vegetables and crusty bread!

 


Roasted red peppers really are the easiest thing to make. Don’t get us wrong, we love the jarred ones equally. Our organic Florina peppers are cooked over open flame. And this specific variety of Florina peppers is famous for its rich and sweet flavour! But as we now have a bit more time, we decided to go ahead and cook things we don’t ordinary prepare. And this recipe works well with any type of peppers you’ve got.

Roasted red peppers are excellent when stuffed with rice, shrimps, mince meat and of course, feta cheese! Finely chop them and add in sauces, salads, pasta and risotto for a boost of flavour. Blend them with some extra virgin olive oil and make your own dip.

10 large red florina peppers (around 1kg)
3 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar or sweet balsamic chilli vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil

Pierce the red peppers all around with a fork. Make sure you do not skip this step!

Remove the tops and gently tap the peppers so that you remove all seeds as well.

If you have a gas stove, you can roast them directly over the gas flame. Turn them around regularly for 10min or so, depending on how large your peppers are, until there are charred bits all around and the flesh is soft when pierced with a fork.

If you are using a conventional oven, place the pierced peppers in a baking tray and bake at 160C (no fan) for about half an hour, or until tender.

Remove from the gas flame or oven and place in a bowl. Cover with cling film and let the peppers steam a bit, until they are still warm, but cool enough to handle. Using your hands or a small knife, remove the skins and discard.

Place the pepper flesh in a jar, tupperwear or serving platter and add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Keep in the fridge.


One thing we love about veg boxes, is that you never know what you will get. For the last couple of weeks we’ve been getting nettles. Last week we made a spinach pie, adding the nettles for a different twist. This week however, we got two bunches. So we thought, let’s make pesto!

If you are following our recipes, you will know by now how we love making pesto. I don’t know if I’ve written this before, but realising that you can make pesto using anything you’ve got around was life-changing for me. So in the past we’ve made a pistachio pesto, a sun-dried tomato pesto with almonds, and the uber-seasonal wild garlic pesto!

One must be careful when handling nettle, as this lovely green can sting. The way we usually go about with nettle, is blanching it for a few minutes, and then use it in recipes such as pies, or in this pesto here. That way, it will not sting you. But do use gloves beforehand, to separate the leaves.

Makes one jar

2 bunches of nettle
¾ cups olive oil
½ cup raw nuts (we used walnuts, but pistachios are great too! – you can use whatever you have)
2 tsp white wine vinegar or 2 tsp lemon juice (or one of each)
salt (to taste)

Using gloves, separate the nettle leaves and thin stems.
Place in a large pot with boiling water. Blanch for 3-5 minutes. Drain and let cool.
Place the nettles in a clean tea towel and squeeze out all excess water. You should be left with 1 cup of nettle pulp.

In a large frying pan, dry-toast the walnuts and let cool.

Whiz together the nettle, olive oil, walnuts. Season with salt. Add the vinegar or lemon juice (we used a teaspoon of each), and whiz again until smooth. Taste and adjust for salt or acidity.

Serve with pasta, veg or simply crusty bread!


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.

 


Sometimes the inspiration for a recipe comes from the most unusual places. In this case, it came from one of our producers, Michalis. Michalis creates the amazing oregano oil and, lately, some fascinating floral waters. He loves to cook, too. A few weeks back, he made a dip using leftover cooked pulses he had in his fridge. What a fascinating idea, we thought!

As you may know, we love mixed pulses! In the past we have turned them into a salad, with plenty of herbs and pistachios. And even know we love dips made with pulses, like our white beans dip with sun-dried tomatoes, we had never thought of actually making a dip with various pulses.

This tastes amazing and somehow feels so good for our body! We’ve also added roasted red peppers and salted almonds, to make it even more delicious. And served it with our favourite rosemary floral water, thinking of our wonderful producer, Michalis.

Serves 8 as a starter

300g mixed pulses (we used a mixture of various beans, lentils, yellow split peas and chickpeas)
2 bay leaves
1 clove of garlic
2 large roasted red peppers (approx. 200g)
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
50g roasted and salted almonds
4 tbsp olive oil
smoked salt (to taste)
smoked paprika (to taste)
rosemary floral water (to serve)

The night before, soak your pulses in plenty of water. The morning after, place the pulses, bay leaves and garlic in a large pot with fresh water. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and cook over medium heat for 1-1.5 hours, until the pulses are very tender.

Drain and discard the bay leaf. Let cool.

Whizz together the pulses, adding the olive oil, vinegar, peppers, almonds. You can whizz until you have a smooth paste or for a bit less if you like your dips a bit lumpier-we do!

Transfer to a bowl and season with smoked paprika and salt.

Serve with olive oil, more paprika and spraying with the rosemary floral water.


Well, as most of you may know Greece has a long tradition of stuffing foods with other foods, wrapping foods in other foods and so forth. And this goes beyond Greece and over to various Mediterranean and other countries. A few years ago, a Turkish friend and I bonded over our mutual fascination for foods that you can stuff.

In Greece we have of course the all-famous gemista (stuffed vegetables with rice or meat) that are one example of this tradition. Another example is of course the all-famous dolmades.

So this week, as we open a jar of vine leaves, we set off to make our own version of this classic dish. Traditionally, vine leaves had to be briefly boiled before being used. But these ones require no such preparation. They are ready for you to fill! And we must admit, we love this!

The first few that you will roll are the hardest. Then somehow your fingers and hands learn their way around the vine leaves and before you know it you are rolling dolma after dolma, feeling relaxed and at peace.

Makes 65-70

2/3 jar (around 75) vine leaves
1 large white onion
1 small bunch of spring onions
6 tbsp olive oil, plus 5 tbsp more for cooking
300g Carolina rice
3 cups of water
1 large bunch of dill
1 large bunch of parsley
1 large bunch of mint
juice of half a lemon, plus more for cooking
salt

Finely chop the onion and spring onions.
In a medium-sized pot and over medium-low heat place the olive oil and onions and cook until soft and transluscent.
Add the rice and 3 cups of water. Season with salt and cook until the rice still has a bite, for around 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Finely chop all your herbs. Mix well the herbs with the rice and the lemon juice. Adjust for seasoning. Let the rice cool down completely.

Remove the leaves from the jar and carefully rinse under cold water. Pat dry.

In a chopping board or clean surface, lay a vine leaf, veins down, bottom side down and the pointy sides facing away from you. Place a quite large teaspoon of the rice mixture in the middle. Carefully fold the vine leaf bottom edges forwards, then the two sides inwards. Then roll it away from you, like a cigar. Make sure to roll them as tightly as you can, otherwise they will fall apart during cooking -trust me, I have been there!

Place the dolmadakia tightly together, seam side down, in concentric circles in a pot and in one layer. If you have more and need to continue to a second layer, place some vine leaves between the two layers.

Pour over the dolmadakia around 5 cups of water, so that they are just covered with water. Drizzle 5 tbsp of olive oil and more lemon juice, around 4 tbsp. Bring to the boil and then lower the heat and let the dolmadakia cook until the rice and vine leaves are tender, for around 40 minutes.

Serve with more olive oil, lemon wedges and some Greek yogurt.


It was autumn a few years ago, when I first joined Oliveology. I was about to make one of my first recipes for this blog. Marianna had given me a few produce to experiment with. I looked at the tin with our apple oil. I was fascinated. Who would think of that, I wondered. Who would combine apples with olives? I loved it before even opening the tin. And when I finally tasted it, and poured it over this pumpkin soup, it was, and I am not exaggerating here, one of the most interesting things I’d ever tasted in my life.

It is perfect with sweet things, of course: drizzled over cake, and over your morning porridge -yes, try it!

So this week, we’ve used our favourite apple oil to make soft oven-baked sweet potatoes! We just love this autumn ingredient. Do you remember our vegan lentil soup with sweet potatoes? Or our sweet and sour winter vegetables? Delicious!

Serves 4 as a generous side

1kg sweet potatoes
1/3 cup apple oil
5 spring onions
smoked salt
black pepper
50g roasted hazelnuts
balsamic creme with mandarin (to serve)

Preheat the oven at 200C.

Finely chop your spring onions. Scrub your potatoes under running water. You can peel them, but we’ve left them with their skin. Cut them in rounds, around 1cm thick. Roughly chop the hazelnuts and set aside for serving.

Place the sweet potatoes and spring onions into a baking tray. Drizzle the apple oil. Season generously with the smoked salt and pepper and toss everything together. Cover with tinfoil and bake at 200C for around 30-40min or until the sweet potatoes are tender.

Serve with the hazelnuts, drizzling some balsamic cream with mandarin.

 


As we go into autumn, we feel less and less nostalgic about summer and more excited about the months to come. All of us at Oliveology are impatiently waiting for the new season ingredients to arrive, and for our workshops and dinners to begin! This autumn we are going to learn how to make Cretan food, baklava, cooking with no-waste, and of course, our Christmas workshop will prepare us for the holidays.

For the first time we have some very unique dinner experiences! Amaryllis is cooking a delicious vegetarian menu with amazing autumn produce, Lida is preparing a festive meal with mostly surplus fresh produce from Borough Market and I will be sharing stories from my research at Athenian delis and fine-dining restaurants, while I prepare for you traditional and modern Greek foods.

As we all are now back into our post-summer schedules, what we need is lunches that we can make ahead and enjoy cold, at room temperature, as well as heated up. So this week we have a filling potato salad for you. Oh and check out this potato salad too!

For this recipe, we found some colourful beans at the market and will use these too! And what makes this dish more special is that we will cook everything together in our 3-star awarded 17 olive oil! This is a limited production oil made from unripe olives, crushed with fresh lemons, oranges and thyme. Yum!

Serves 4 for lunch

½ bunch spring onions
500g fresh beans (we used a combination of green and yellow beans)
700g potatoes, peeled
6 tbsp 17 olive oil, plus more to serve
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
salt, pepper
½ tub unripe lemon olives

Cut the potatoes in rounds, 1cm thick. Trim the edges of the beans and cut them in half.

Place the potatoes in a large pan with salted water and bring to a boil. Add the beans. Cook for around 10-15 minutes, until potatoes and beans are tender. Drain and set aside.

As your vegetables are boiling, finely chop your spring onions. In a large frying pan add 6 tbsp of 17 olive oil and over medium-low heat cook the onions until tender.

Once the vegetables are cooked, place in a large bowl. Mix in the spring onions and toss them around, seasoning with salt and pepper, lemon zest and juice. Add the olives.

Serve immediately or let the salad cool and enjoy at room temperature. It is perfect served with a few boiled eggs cut in half.


Have you tried our ospriada? It is a mixture of various beans, lentils, yellow split peas, chickpeas and bulgur wheat. Produced in the organic farms of Nestoras in northern Greece, it is ideal to turn into a hearty soup. But we prefer to save soups for winter days.

This week we are using handfuls of this nutritious mixture of pulses to create a filling salad. You often ask what is the inspiration behind our recipes. Often, it is the desire to use everything that we have in our fridge and cook with no waste. It is a philosophy many of our chefs share and first and foremost, Lia. Lia is one of our favourite Greek chefs. She is passionate about quality and low impact food and is part of a collaborative food pop-up focussing on food waste reduction. You can meet and cook with her in our November Wasteless Greek Cooking Workshop.

So in this case, we had small bunches of herbs left from last week’s bulgur salad. We store our fresh herbs in small jars with water, like you would with flowers. That way they last longer. But their time had come. So we decided to whiz them with plenty of olive oil and voila, our salad was born! Some pistachios for added saltiness and crunch and there you have it.

This is a salad that takes a bit of time to make. But it’s perfect for the end of the summer, as you can slowly cook the beans, slowly shell the pistachios and generally it requires no rush. And as September is just around the corner, we can spend the last days of summer at a slower pace.

Serves 4 as a side

100g ospriada
a small bunch of parsley
a small bunch of dill
a small bunch of coriander
1 bag of roasted and slightly salted pistachios
½ cup olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar

The night before put the ospriada in cold water to soak. The morning after, drain and place in a pot with fresh water. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and cook until all beans are tender, around 1-2 hours. Drain and set aside to cool.

Roughly chop all the herbs and place in a blender with the olive oil and vinegar. Blend everything together, until you get a smooth paste.

Gently mix together the beans and herb mixture.

Shell and crush the pistachios and toss into your salad.

Serve at room temperature.


Did you hear the wonderful news about our 17°C olive oil?
Yes, it has been awarded with three stars, the highest accolade in Great Taste 2019!

We are σο excited and proud.

And of course, this week we couldn’t but create a recipe using our awarded olive oil. Cold extracted with fresh lemons, oranges and thyme, it has always been one of our go-to summer staples, perfect with grilled white fish, or drizzled over fresh vegetables. The salad we’ve created for you today uses a classic summer vegetable combination, but adding our 17 olive oil transforms these familiar flavours.

What is it, you may wonder? Tomatoes and corn, of course! We absolutely love cooking with fresh corn on the cob during the summer. Remember our zucchini, corn and feta salad made with our lemongrass and tarragon olive oil from last summer?

So go on, give it a try, cooking with fresh produce when in season is the most wonderful thing to do! And if you make any of our recipes do take a pic or two. We have an exciting competition coming up, more info soon to follow!

Serves 6
900g grape tomatoes
2 pieces of corn on the cob
1 large red onion

4 tbsp 17°C olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
a few pinches of dried thyme
salt

fresh herbs such as parsley (to serve)
lemon and orange wedges (to serve)

Following the same instructions as last year, place the corn in a large pot of salted water. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to medium and cook until the kernels are tender, around 20 minutes. Remove and let cool. Once the corn is cool enough to handle, remove the kernels. To do so, place your corn vertically against your chopping board. Running the knife parallel to the corn, remove all kernels. They should fall on your board. Collect and place in a large bowl.

Cut your tomatoes in half lengthwise. Place in the bowl. Finely slice the onion. Toss everything together. Season with thyme and salt. Drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar and mix well.

Serve with lemon and orange wedges and fresh herbs.