For the third week in a row, we’ve got a very summery recipe from Amaryllis from The Tasty Other. Amaryllis is one of our favourite guest chefs in our dinner experiences cooking workshops. She has a pure love for food, a fascination with tradition and gatherings, and great passion about storytelling through photography. You can check out many of her recipes here, and of course follow her on instagram. So here it is, words and recipe by Amaryllis, right below. Enjoy!

Simple, straightforward and filled with flavour, this tomato salad comes together in mere minutes and is sure to be a summer staple, as a great alternative to the very popular Greek salad. It’s simply a variety of juicy tomatoes (try to use the best you can get your hands on, they will really make a difference), dressed in Oliveology’s best extra virgin olive oil, white balsamic, delicious petimezi (grape molasses) and a pinch of mildly spicy Aleppo chillies, and served with a big handful of sweet raisins and a generous dusting of dried oregano and lots of sea salt flakes.

Ingredients
20 cherry tomatoes (left whole, halved or quartered depending on their size)
3 medium tomatoes, cut in thick slices
1/3 cup Corinth raisins
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon grape molasses
1/2 teaspoons chilli flakes
A big pinch of sea salt flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Method
Place the tomatoes and raisins in a salad bowl; put the olive oil, balsamic, grape molasses, salt & chilli in a jar (or bowl) and combine well.

Dress the salad, add the oregano and toss gently. Taste and adjust the salt, vinegar and chilli flakes to your liking.

Serve cold (but not straight from the fridge) with a big piece of aged feta and lots of crusty bread on the side.


This week, and for the next couple of weeks, we’ve got three very summery recipes for you, from Amaryllis from The Tasty Other. Amaryllis is one of our favourite guest chefs in our dinner experiences and cooking workshops. She has a pure love for food, a fascination with tradition and gatherings, and great passion about storytelling through photography. You can check out many of her recipes here, and of course follow her on instagram. So here it is, words and recipe by Amaryllis, right below. Enjoy!

One of my favourite dishes (and certainly my favourite summer dish) is gemista, chubby tomatoes & bell peppers stuffed with rice (or bulgur) and herbs and baked until soft, bubbly and delicious. It really is the quintessential Greek summer dish and though I never tire of it, this time it only served as inspiration, allowing orzo, another favourite of mine, to take centre stage. A delicious minuscule pasta, which tastes delicious both straight out of the oven and at room temperature, orzo is widely used in Greek cooking. Here I’ve stuffed roasted peppers with a very seasonal orzo pasta salad: juicy cherry tomatoes, which I’m never without in the summer months, red onion, lots of herbs, and a few of my favourite Oliveology products: black Kalamata olives and artichokes, all dressed in white balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, and finished off with homemade golden oregano breadcrumbs.

Ingredients
4 red bell peppers, halved, seeds discarded
4 garlic cloves (skin on)
1 cup orzo
About 15 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on their size
1/2 cup Kalamata olives
1/2 cup jarred artichokes, whole or roughly chopped
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 bunch of dill, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch of mint roughly chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle over the peppers
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

For the homemade breadcrumbs:
3 slices stale bread
1/2-1 teaspoon dried oregano
Zest from 1/2 lemon
extra virgin olive oil
Big pinch of salt

Method

Put the bread in a food processor & pulse until you have thick breadcrumbs; toss with the oregano and lemon zest and add to a hot pan, along with a good drizzle of olive oil. Cook over medium heat for about 7’, or until golden. Remove from the heat, add a good pinch of sea salt flakes and set aside until ready to use. (You can store any leftovers in a jar for up to a week).

Preheat the oven to 200C (180 Fan); place the peppers & garlic on a baking tray, drizzle with some olive oil, add a good pinch of salt and bake for 20’-25’, until soft, but still holding their shape.

Meanwhile, cook the orzo in plenty of salted water for about 10’, drain well and add about a tablespoon of olive oil; set aside to cool a little and then toss with the tomatoes, olives, artichokes, onion, herbs, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic and black pepper.

Take the peppers out of the oven and squeeze the garlic cloves off their skin; add to the orzo and toss again gently. Scoop the salad into the halved peppers, finishing off with feta crumbles, a light drizzle of olive oil and a good sprinkle of the breadcrumbs.


One of our favourite routines during the summer has always been a weekly visit to the farmers’ market. Of course these days things are a bit more challenging and many of us prefer to stay at home and have our vegetables delivered to us. Nonetheless, I’m sure that all of us have by now managed to source lovely seasonal produce, one way or another.

And summer is the season for aubergine, courgettes, peppers! So this week we’ve thought of an easy way to prepare all these colourful vegetables, and turn them into a very filling summer dish! As with most of our summer recipes, this is great served hot, but you can also enjoy it at room temperature, and yes, it’s excellent eaten cold too! For this recipe we’ve used various of our dried herbs. They are organic and wild, hand picked from the mountains of Epirus, in the north-west Greece. They add a wonderful complexity to our vegetables. And to make this dish quite filling, this week we’re cooking with our favourite bulgur wheat. Remember last year’s bulgur summer salad, or our take on the Greek salad with bulgur wheat? It’s an ingredient we absolutely love!

Serves 4 as a side, or 2 as a main

100g bulgur wheat, plus 1.5 cups of water
3 peppers, approx. 250g (we used colourful ones)
2 courgettes, approx. 250g
1 aubergine, approx. 250g
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried herbs (oregano, thyme, spearmint, basil, we used ½ tsp from each)
zest and juice from ½ lemon
1 tsp white balsamic vinegar with honey
100g feta cheese

Place the bulgur wheat and water in a small pot and cook over medium heat until tender and all the water is absorbed, around 10-15min. Set aside.

Cut the courgettes and aubergine in small bite-sized pieces. Make sure they are all equal, so that they cook evenly. Cut the peppers in thin strips.

Toss the vegetables together with the olive oil and all the herbs and place in a baking tray, all in one layer.

Bake at 180C until tender and slightly charred, around 20’.

In a bowl toss together the bulgur wheat, roasted vegetables, lemon juice and zest, vinegar.

Serve with the crumbled feta cheese and more olive oil and vinegar to taste.


It’s all about tomatoes these days! The market is full of aromatic tomatoes, of various varieties, colours and sizes. In our June newsletter we had a selection of summer recipes with tomatoes for you.

Now. Are you ready for the simplest, yet most fascinating summer recipe ever? This week’s recipe was a spontaneous creation. Which, as most spontaneous creations go, ended up being spectacular.

The inspiration for this recipe was simply a half-full jar of sun-dried tomatoes.We often use sun-dried tomatoes in our recipes, and always keep a jar in the fridge. Our sun-dried tomatoes are organic, and come from a small Greek cooperative in Northern Greece. They are naturally dried in the sun, placed in large wooden trays with sea salt. They are then preserved in a delicious extra virgin olive oil with oregano, pepper, vinegar and bay leaves, which we will use in this recipe!

This is a recipe made with juicy summer tomatoes, but if you want to prepare this tomato sauce in the winter, you can use our tomato passata instead, which is made with fresh tomatoes picked now in the summer!

Makes 1 large jar

½ jar (100g) sun-dried tomatoes and their oil
2 tomatoes, or 400g tomato passata
½ teaspoon dried oregano
salt (to taste)

Cut the tomatoes in large pieces and place in a blender. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and their oil, oregano and salt. Whizz everything together until smooth. Taste and season with more salt if needed.

This makes for a delicious dip, which you can enjoy as is, with some crusty bread. You can also use it as a sauce, in your home-made pizzas, on top of Dakos rusks or bruschettas, add it in your gemista stuffing, and of course enjoy hot or cold with any pasta!

 


This week we’ve got a trick and a recipe for you. The trick is something we have been doing for years, and it came out to be quite handy during those challenging days. We read recently that it is indeed a very popular Greek trick.

Nowadays it is often difficult to maintain our regular shopping habits and visits to the market. One of the things we miss the most is fresh herbs. Enter the trick. What you need to do is get large bunches of herbs, wash and finely chop them (I like to keep the stems separately for stocks). Then, place them in small bags in the freezer – make sure to label them, trust me! These herbs are perfect to use in your cooking, in soups, stews and so forth. Simply add straight from the freezer. It is, of course, not the same things as having fresh herbs around, but it is the next best thing. And if you want to take it to the next level, you can do so with spring onions and leeks, too.

That said, this week we have a recipe using this trick!

So what are we making? We took the well-known falafel recipe technique of blending together raw chickpeas with herbs and spices, and gave it a Greek flavour-twist! So we’ve used a selection of our favourite fresh and dried herbs and, of course, lemon. This flavour combination really reminds us of Greece, ahhh. And because the frozen herbs have a different level of moisture inside, we ended up with very fluffy little balls. Bliss!

Makes around 14 small balls

100g chickpeas
4 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
4 tbsp finely chopped parsley
3 tbsp finely chopped spring onions
1 tsp dried spearmint
1tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt (to taste)
olive oil or other oil for frying
yoghurt and chilli oil (to serve)*

The night before soak your chickpeas. The morning after rinse with fresh water and drain. The chickpeas will have absorbed plenty of water and you should be able to easily cut one in half -but always be careful!

In a food processor add the raw chickpeas, fresh and dried herbs, spring onions, lemon juice and salt. Whizz together, adding a couple of tablespoons of water if needed. There’s no need if you are using herbs straight from the freezer. The texture we are going for is finer that the classic falafel texture. We are aiming for pieces smaller than bulgur wheat. But you do not want to end up with a paste, so blend pausing regularly and checking.

You can then go on and fry the mixture or keep in the fridge until you are ready to do so.

To fry: In a small pot, place plenty of oil. As the oil is heating up, roll small balls the size of a tablespoon. Be careful as the mixture is quite delicate.

When your oil is hot, add a few balls at a time, frying until golden-brown on the outside, around 4 min. Rest in a towel to absorb any excess oil and serve with plenty of yogurt, and chilli oil.

Enjoy!

*You can find delicious Greek yoghurt and chilli oil at our Borough Market shop


Last week we celebrated Greek Easter. Celebrations this year were very different, with large family gatherings being replaced by phone and video calls, baskets filled with food gifts and love shared from a distance. It was a strange Easter, no doubt.

With our families often far away, we spent a lot of time preparing old family recipes. You see, food always makes us feel closer to home. In my family, we made the traditional mageiritsa soup, a soup made with offal and lots of spring greens. Marianna made her mothers’ traditional recipe of flaounes. Flaounes is a cheese-filled pastry from the island of Cyprus, that is traditionally prepared for Easter. Marianna’s family usually makes flaounes on the Thursday before Easter, and eats them on Easter Sunday – and the entire week after!

Marianna’s mother, Mrs Kalliopi does all sorts of amazing dough-based recipes. Remember her olive oil apple cake? And her kourou dough?

So this year, she sent us from Athens her hand-written recipe of flaounes, which we couldn’t but share with you this week! I always find it exciting to get hand-written old family recipes, don’t you?

This recipe makes more flaounes than you can eat (around 12). This is because making them is a communal process, where neighbours come together and all cook together. Now, at times of quarantine, make the whole recipe and share the flaounes with your neighbours!

Dough
1kg all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tbsp mahlepi, ground (we got ours from Spice Mountain)
½ tbsp mastiha, ground to dust with ½ tbsp sugar
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup milk
2 eggs

Filling
700g graviera cheese, grated
2 pieces of halloumi, grated
10 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup Corinth raisins
3 tbsp dried spearmint

1 egg and sesame (for baking)

In a large bowl, sieve together your dry ingredients: flour, baking poder, salt, mahlepi, mastiha.
Add the butter and using your fingers, mix everything together, until you have a texture that resembles small breadcrumbs.
Whisk the milk and eggs together and add to your mixture.
Kneed until you have a dough that is not sticky.

Let it rest for an hour, in a warm place.

Preheat the oven at 170C.

While your dough is resting, make the filling: grate the cheeses all together. Whisk the eggs, adding the baking powder and spearmint. Mix together the cheeses, egg mixture and raisins. You should have a filling that is slightly dense in texture.

On a clean surface, dust some flour and using a rolling pin, roll out your dough. Cut large rounds of dough, using a small plate as a guide.

Place 2-3 tablespoons of filling in each round, and fold the ends inwards, so that you have a neat parcel – but not all the way, you should be able to see some of the filling in the centre. Pinch the ends with a fork, to ensure the dough will hold its shape during baking..

Place the flaounes in a buttered baking tray. Whisk the egg and brush generously over each flaouna. Sprinkle with sesame.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.


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.

 


For some reason that we cannot comprehend fully, we very much enjoy cooking chickpeas in the spring. We do feel that chickpeas are for most a winter dish, maybe a summer one if you turn them into a cold salad. But, to reiterate, for some reason that we cannot comprehend fully, we very much enjoy cooking chickpeas in the spring.

This week, as most of us are at home with what we assume is fully-stocked pantries, we thought it was time we made some chickpeas. Maybe to remember that it is spring outside, even if it often doesn’t feel like it.

Our chickpeas come from small farms in northern Greece and have this beautiful softness and intense flavour that is rare to find. They also behave well in cooking. So they have become one of our favourite cupboard staples.

We like experimenting with sweet flavours (have you made these ones with honey?) and spices. This week we are not making a stew. We are roasting them in the oven, using only things you have in your cupboard: fragrant spices and dried herbs! Of course, feel free to omit or replace any herbs or spices you don’t have. Now that time seems to move differently, you can leisurely soak them the night before, boil them the morning after and pop them in the oven just in time for dinner.

Serves two

150g chickpeas
1tsp baking soda
6 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried garlic
½ tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp curry powder
½ tsp salt
Greek yogurt (to serve)

The night before soak your chickpeas. The morning after, rinse them and place them in a pot with fresh water. Add the baking soda and cook until tender but not broken down, around 45 minutes. Drain and let cool.

Preheat the oven at 200C.

In a big bowl, toss together the chickpeas with the olive oil and all the herbs, spices and salt.

Scatter them in one layer in a baking sheet that’s covered in greaseproof paper and place in the oven. In around 15 minutes, the cheickpeas will be tender and slightly crispy. You can remove them then. Or, leave them in the oven for another 5 minutes, until they become very crispy.

Serve with Greek yogurt, drizzling more olive oil and crunchy raw vegetables-we used fresh red peppers!


This week we’ve got the ultimate Greek summer dish for you! Kolokuthokeftedes. Or, as this dish is also known zucchini fritters. This is one of the quintessential Greek summer dishes, that one finds in every taverna by the sea. They pair perfectly with a crisp dry white wine and are one of our favourite things to order when eating al fresco, by the beach, under the shade of trees and with cicadas all around us.

So this week, we decided to bring you some Greek sunshine to our urban table and make it ourselves. Marianna and I spent quite some time discussing different variations of this recipe and going through cookery books. You see, as you may know about Greek food, there are endless variations for each recipe.

So without further ado, here is the recipe for Oliveology’s Kolokuthokeftedes! And, to make things a bit more interesting, we have served this dish with our lemongrass and tarragon olive oil. Trust us, it works! And of course, with plenty of tzatziki!

Serves 6
1kg zucchini
1 large bunch of parsley
1 small bunch of spring onions (approx. 5)
100g feta cheese
100g graviera cheese
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
2 eggs
150g all-purpose flour
salt, pepper
olive oil (for frying)
lemongrass and tarragon olive oil (to serve)

Grate your zucchini and place in a clean tea towel. Squeeze it, so that all liquid is released and you are left with a dense ball of grated zucchini. Place in a large bowl.

Finely chop the parsley and spring onions and place in your bowl.

Grate the feta cheese and graviera cheese and mix into your bowl with the vegetables.

In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs with the dried herbs, oregano and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Add the egg mixture to the zucchini mixture and stir very well, until everything is combined.

Add the flour, one tablespoon at the time, stirring well. You should be left with a moist mixture that can be shaped as a ball without falling apart.

In a frying pan place plenty of olive oil, so that the entire bottom of the pan if covered.
Using your hands or two spoons, form small, flattened patties and place in the frying pan, a few at a time. Fry until golden brown, flipping them half-way through, about 4 minutes in total.

Serve with lemongrass and tarragon olive oil and tzatziki.


This week, our oregano oil producer Michalis Georgaras is writing about his new product, the amazing organic, extra virgin olive oil & oregano essential oil, awarded by the Health & Nutrition Committee of the World Olive Center for health with the Bronze standard of Excellence Award. We are very excited to read his story!

Sharing food is a ritual in Greece. It is a sacred time when family and friends gather around the table, share large platters of food, talk, fight and joke around. Indeed, food brings people together here in Greece. But we don’t just share food. Around the table we share feelings and ideas, our joys and sorrows. The most important social events, the warmest family gatherings, all of these happen over hearty meals. Food is the social glue that brings people together…and this is exactly how our new product came into being. We were inspired by this togetherness of people -and oils as a matter of fact.

The initial idea originated three years ago. We wanted to make a fine culinary product, an olive oil flavoured with the unique aroma of our oregano. Something that would be both tasty and with health benefits. It took us two years of intensive research to create what I consider to be the finest culinary oil I could possibly put together.

And it was food once again that brought people together. My wife Anastasia and myself started meeting olive oil producers from all over Greece and trying their best varieties of olive oil. After tasting over thirty different types of olive oil, some of the best our country has to offer, we found just what we were looking for:

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