This week we are feeling quite autumn-y. And what goes better with autumn, than wonderful baking activities on a Sunday afternoon!

So this week we are making a recipe that is something between a bread and a cake. What do we mean? It is a dough made with flour, nuts and dried fruit! It is very moist and not at all sweet. You can have it with tea, butter and honey for a filling breakfast, serve it as part of your cheese platter alongside crackers, or even enjoy as is.

For this recipe we used dried apricots and cherries. As our dried fruit have no added sugar, the result is dense and flavourful. But do not expect it to be sweet. It is more on the bitter/sour side. So if you wish, you can add a bit of honey or sugar in the recipe, or omit the balsamic vinegar. But first, try this one, it really is something special, especially served with plenty of honey.

Another idea would be to get our Autumn Baking bundle and use all of its ingredients for this recipe!

This recipe is adapted from a recipe created by Nena Ismirnoglou, whose recipes always surprise us with their simplicity and flavour.

Makes a medium-sized cake tin

200g all-purpose flour
8g dried yeast
300g dried fruit (we used a combination of apricots and cherries)
50ml balsamic cream with mandarin
120ml water
100g nuts (we used raw almonds and raw hazelnuts
2 tbsp oak honey, plus more to serve
½ tsp ground cloves, cinnamon or other warm spices

Finely chop the dried fruit. Warm up the balsamic cream with the water and pour over the fruit. Let them soak for 30minutes.

Ground the almonds and hazelnuts. Mix together your flour, ground nuts and spices.

In a large bowl whisk together the yeast with 2tbsp of warm water. Add to the bowl the flour-nuts mixture and dried fruit. Knead well until you have a slightly sticky dough. Cover with a tea-towel and let your dough rest in a warm environment for 30minutes.

Preheat your oven at 180C.

Place some greaseproof paper on a cake tin and drizzle it with 1 tablespoon of honey. Place your dough in the tin and push it gently. Drizzle the rest of the honey on top of the dough.

Bake for 30min. Remove from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature.


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.


Many of you ask where we get our vine leaves. Our producer, Marianna has been producing vine leaves for more than 20 years. They are collected from the family’s vineyard in Chalkidiki, Nothern Greece. Their stems are removed and the vine leaves are carefully rolled and packed in brine. The entire process from farm to table only lasts a few hours, so that they retain all of their freshness and nutrients. We really like this ingredient! So this week we decided to experiment a bit with it.

And here it is, a somewhat unusual recipe for you. Think: dolmades meet cheese pie. What does this mean? It means that we are using vine leaves, but not stuffing them in the classic way! When looking into what else we could do with those tasty leaves (our) Marianna suggested: why don’t you stuff them with cheese? It was brilliant!

And watch this space, we will soon share with your our classic dolmadakia recipe, stuffed with rice and plenty of herbs!

Makes 35
1/3 jar (around 40) vine leaves
Zest of ½ lemon
½ tsp dried thyme
250g manouri cheese*
200g graviera cheese*
5 tbsp olive oil

In a bowl grate the graviera and manouri. Season with thyme and add the lemon zest. Mix well.

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 large teaspoon of the cheese 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.

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 enough water so that they are just covered and 5 tbsp of olive oil. Bring to the boil and then lower the heat and let the dolmadakia cook until the vine leaves are tender, for around 40 minutes.

Serve immediately or at room temperature.

*you can find graviera and manouri cheese at our chop at Borough Market.

 

 

 


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.


This week we’ve got a somewhat unusual recipe for you. August and September in Greece are usually months of preserving in our household. We make tomato passata to last all winter, and jams using very ripe fruit, like figs or peaches, as their season is coming to an end.

However, it is not a preserving recipe we’ve got for you this week. It is one that you can make using any overripe fruit you may have. It works great with apricots, but you can also use peaches, plums and yes, figs!

Here, we have combined apricots with dried apricots (how surprising, I know!) and almonds, but you can mix and match, depending on what dried fruit or nuts you love most. We baked these in the oven with olive oil, our balsamic cream with mandarin, and a bit of honey. The result is soft fruit, bold flavours and the perfect pairing to a grilled manouri or halloumi cheese. This recipe is also perfect to accompany a cheese & cured meats platter, or your morning yogurt. It really is the best way to make use of the wonderful last fruit of summer and welcome autumn.

We are serving this with one of our favourite summer ingredients: rosemary floral water!

We spent most of the summer spraying this aromatic water on our body and hair after the beach, but who says we can’t ‘perfume’ our dishes too? Floral waters are absolutely perfect to use in the kitchen too! So as you are serving this dish, spray on each plate -and on each guest if you dare! Trust us, you are in for a treat.

Serves two

150g apricots
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic cream with mandarin
30g dried apricots
30g almonds
1 tbsp vanilla fir honey
pinch of salt
rosemary water (to serve)

Cut the apricots in half, removing all stones. Cut the dried apricots in small pieces and roughly chop the almonds. Place everything in an oven dish. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic mandarin glaze, honey and salt. Mix with your fruit and nuts, so that everything is coated with the liquid.

Cover with tinfoil and bake at 200C for 30 min or until the fruit is soft and the flavours have blended.

To serve, place on individual plates and spray rosemary water over each plate.


This week we’ve got another exciting recipe with chickpeas for you. Chickpeas are one of our go-to pulses for all seasons. They work perfectly used in a spiced winter stew, or turned into a fresh summer salad. So this week, as we are well into Lent, we have prepared this vegetarian dish that is perfect for those of us fasting.

This recipe is quite interesting, as we’ve decided to use honey and raisins to add sweetness to the chickpeas. We spiced it up with curry spices and served it with plenty of Greek yogurt to balance it (of course, you can omit this if you are fasting). And turns out, this dish makes for a wonderful, hearty breakfast, I kid you not. And did we say that it is super easy to make?

Serves two with leftovers

200g chickpeas
4 medium carrots
6 tbsp olive oil
2/3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp curry spices
30g Corinth raisins
1 cup of water
2 tsp wild flower honey
yogurt and fresh herbs (to serve)

The night before soak your chickpeas in plenty of water. The morning after cook them until tender.

Preheat your oven at 200C.

Cut your carrots into small bite-sized pieces. In a baking tray add the chickpeas, carrots, olive oil, spices, raisins, water and honey. Mix very well. Bake, covered at 200C for 20 minutes and uncovered for another 20 minutes, until all ingredients have happily come together and you have a thick stew.

Serve hot or at room temperature, with plenty of yogurt and fresh herbs.


Happy New Year all!

We hope you had a wonderful holiday break and that you are well settled into the new year. January is an interesting month. Sometimes we feel very motivated to change all those things that we were not satisfied about in 2018. Sometimes we feel a bit gloomy, cold weather and all. This week’s recipe is the most wonderful way to energise and motivate you. It is very colourful too, which always makes us feel better! And let us say, it is full of vitamin C, with carrots and citrus fruit.

It is the perfect salad to pair with the citrus dressing we made a few weeks back. But if you are not in the mood to make the dressing, just add a bit of olive oil and a few splashes of white balsamic vinegar with honey.

Serves 4 as a side

500g carrots
1 grapefruit
1 orange
1 blood orange
50g raw pistachios
Salt
Citrus dressing (to taste)
A few parsley leaves (to serve, optional)

Peel and grate the carrots.
Fillet the oranges and grapefruit: Using a sharp knife, cut the top and bottom off the orange. Place your knife where the pith meets the flesh and continue cutting downward in a curved motion and following the shape of the orange. You should be left with a peeled orange with no white stuff around it. Cut between these membranes so as to segment the orange, retaining any juices.

Peel the carrots and then keep peeling, so that you have thin carrot ribbons. If you prefer you can also grate the carrots.

In a bowl place the carrots and citrus pieces. Add a generous amount of dressing (or olive oil and white balsamic vinegar), season with salt and toss well to combine.

Serve with the raw pistachios, roughly chopped and a bit of parsley.


As the weather is getting colder and colder, we like adding colours to our dishes. Somehow eating colourful foods makes us feel warmer inside.

This week’s potato salad takes inspiration from the lemon-yogurt dressing we made a few weeks ago. In search of lovely ingredients to pair it with, we came up with this colourful dish.

You need to do a bit of chopping, but we find that the preparation of this potato salad is quite relaxing, as there is no ‘right’ way to chop your ingredients. And if you are like us and always looking for new, interesting ways to make food and get culinary inspiration, we have two wonderful cooking workshops coming up at the end of November and in December. Have a look at our website and book, spaces are filling up fast!

This potato salad is perfect for lunch, as it can be enjoyed at room temperature and makes for a lovely dinner, especially served warm.

Serves 6

1kg potatoes
2 small bunches spring onions
1 handfull of celery leaves
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 cup cooked corn
1 small bunch of dill
50g capers
1 cup lemon-yogurt dressing

Peel the potatoes. In a large bowl with salted water boil the potatoes until tender but not mushy.

In the meantime prepare the rest of your ingredients.

Finely chop the spring onions. Place them in a large bowl (large enough to fit the potatoes afterwards). Cut the peppers in small cubes, strips or whichever shape you like. Add them in your bowl, along with the corn. Finely chop the dill and set aside.

When the potatoes are cooked and cool enough to handle, cut them in large bite-sized pieces. In your bowl, toss together the potatoes, vegetables, capers, dill, and lemon-yogurt dressing.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

 


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.