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!

 


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.


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.