Today is tsiknopempth! It is the Thursday very close to the beginning of Lent for the Greek Orthodox Easter, where traditionally we consume meat. And if you’ve ever been to Greece you will know that one of the few things that go perfectly with meat are pies!

Traditionally, pies were peasant dishes, in which people would use literally whatever they had available. Greens from the garden (spanakopita!), cheese from their animals (like in this bulgur wheat pie), you get the idea. But of course, they are quite sophisticated dishes, as they can be elaborate in their making, this is why they are usually made in large trays. But fear not, this is a simple recipe, open to all! It will require some time, so consider this a Sunday affair. Or you know, make it any other day of the week, days seems to have blended into one now that we are in lockdown.

For this one we’ve used the last pumpkins of the season, a very appropriate goodbye to one of our favourite autumn/winter vegetables -yes we are now ready for wild garlic, bring it on, spring!

Serves 12

1.5 kg pumpkin (around 1.350gr flesh)
1 large onion
4 tbsp olive oil
salt, pepper (to taste)
85g Carolina rice
250g feta cheese, grated or crumbled
1tsp dried spearmint
2 eggs
8 sheets filo pastry
150g olive oil

Using a sharp knife, cut your pumpkin into smaller pieces. Peel the outer layer. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds. Coarsely grate the flesh.

Peel and finely chop the onion.

In a medium-sized pot, place the olive oil and onion over medium heat. Cook until caramelised, about 5-10 minutes.

Add the pumpkin and stir well. Season with salt and pepper (but do not add too much salt, as you’ll be adding the salty feta cheese afterwards). Once the pumpkin starts cooking, lower the heat and slowly cook, stirring often for 15 minutes, until soft and tender. Add the rice, stir, and cook for another 20-25 minutes, stirring often.
-Yes, this is a recipe that requires care. But it’s also very relaxing as a process.

You will know that your filling is ready, once the pumpkin is soft and the rice is al dente but not fully cooked. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven at 180C.

In the meantime, prepare your filo. Brush your baking tray with olive oil and place one sheet of the filo. Brush with olive oil again. Cross over a second sheet of filo, ensuring that the entire surface of your tray is covered. Brush with olive oil. Continue crossing over with olive oil and filo, using four sheets in total.

Return to the filling. In the cool pumpkin mixture, add the spearmint, feta cheese and eggs and mix everything together. Check for seasoning and adjust. Place the filling in your tray, careful not to break the filo.

Cover with one sheet of filo and brush it with olive oil. Repeat until the top is covered with four sheets of filo. Tuck in the edges. Brush the top with the remaining olive oil.

Score the pie and bake at 180C at the lower rack of your oven for about one hour.

Enjoy!


The inspiration for this recipe came to us from the classic Greek winter salad: boiled broccoli and cauliflower. This is a simple salad that usually accompanies fish, or other main dishes. Broccoli and cauliflower are cut in large pieces, boiled and then served with olive oil and lemon juice. It is very seasonal and in many households it is the salad which replaces the summer Greek salad.

So after a short trip to the market this week, we bought wonderful winter vegetables and decided to boil them, just like in the classic recipe. But of course, we will kick it up a notch. We’re adding our marinated artichoke hearts with leeks, olive oil and sunflower oil. They are perfect to enjoy on their own, but here, they completely transform our vegetables!

Often, recipes call for draining the artichokes -remember our tomato rice from a few weeks ago? It is, however such a pity to let all all this amazing flavoured olive oil go to waste. So we have decided to use it instead of a dressing! And of course, our beloved feta cheese turns this salad into a wonderful lunch! Add a few splashes of lemon juice or vinegar and you’ve got yourselves a delicious – and very easy to make- winter salad! An ode to the classic one.

Serves 2

1 small head of broccoli
1 small head of cauliflower
½ jar marinated artichoke hearts (in their oil)
150g feta cheese
salt, lemon juice or white wine vinegar (to serve)

Cut the broccoli and cauliflower in large florets. Place them in a large pot and cover with water. Boil for a few minutes, until you’ve reached your desired tenderness. We boiled ours quite a bit, to have the same texture as the buttery artichoke hearts, but you can also simply blanch them by submerging them for a few minutes in boiling water. Drain and set aside.

While the vegetables are still warm, place in a large bowl. Add the artichokes and their oil. Toss everything together until the vegetables are coated in the olive oil. Crumble the feta cheese and add to the salad.

Serve warm, with salt if desired and lemon or vinegar.

 


It’s the beginning of February today after what has felt like a long January. But blood oranges have appeared at the market, which makes us very, very happy! Citrus fruits are at their best at this time of the year and the ideal way to get vitamins and nutrients. Plus, they look amazing! Remember our colourful fennel and citrus salad? Or our citrus dressing? So many amazing things to do with citrus!

This week we’ve got a dressing for you. We’ve used our tahini, our go-to ingredient for all sorts of recipes, including dressings!

We’ve used our whole tahini, made from 100% whole sesame paste. But you can use the classic one, or a combination of the two! Both are produced in Greece using organic sesame. There is no added salt or other ingredients. Tahini has an intense, wholesome nutty flavour that pairs perfectly with citrus! We’ve also used our lemon oil, so it’s citrus bliss all around!

This dressing requires the perfect balance between sweet, nutty, sour and salty. But as you know, some oranges are sweeter than others. So as you whisk everything together, taste it. Then add a bit more lemon if it needs more acidity; a teaspoon of honey for sweetness (we did!); more salt.

Makes 1 jar

100g tahini (7tbsp)
juice of 1 medium lemon (5 tbsp)
juice of 2 medium blood oranges (9 tbsp)
90ml 17 C lemon oil (6tbsp)
3 tbsp water
salt, pepper, dried thyme (to taste)
1 tsp orange blossom honey (optional)

In a bowl whisk together the tahini, lemon and blood orange juices. Add the lemon olive oil and whisk until you have a thick paste. Add the water to make your dressing more runny. Season with salt, pepper and thyme. Taste and adjust for seasoning, adding the honey if needed.

This dressing is great with raw vegetables like carrots or cauliflower, green leaves, grilled vegetables, bulgur wheat salads (simply add some pomegranate, nuts and fresh herbs!) or even as part of your morning smoothie.


This week we’ve got a very Christmassy recipe for you! Think of tender butternut squash and sweet potatoes, roasted in the oven and mixed with plenty of olive oil, to create the perfect creamy mash. It is the ideal side dish for your Christmas table, and why not, a main meal on its own, with a green salad! Oh, and did we mention it’s vegan?

As you know, we love roasting vegetables. Do you remember last year’s Honey & Grape Molasses Carrots, or the Festive Brussels Sprouts with Walnut Oil from a few years ago? It is true that flavoured olive oils take roasted vegetables to a whole other level. Especially this year, we were very happy to add the unique Ginger, Lime & Basil Olive Oil to our selection. And in this dish, it pairs perfectly with our Apple Olive Oil with Cinnamon, Walnuts and Honey!

For this mash, we’ve used not one, not two, but three olive oils! The flavours complement each other, adding depth and silkiness to the dish. Serve with all three, so that your guests can select which one they prefer. And as we are during a pandemic, when we say guests, we mean you.

Serves 6

1 kg sweet potatoes (approx. 3 large)
1.5 kg butternut squash (1 medium)
100ml olive oil, plus more to serve
2 tbsp ginger, lime and basil olive oil, plus more to serve
2 tbsp apple olive oil, plus more to serve
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt, pepper

Preheat the oven at 200C

Peel the sweet potato and cut in bite-sized pieces. Set aside. Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds and cut in bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

Lay the vegetables separately in two roasting trays, making sure they are in one layer.

In a bowl whisk together the olive oil, ginger oil, apple oil, thyme, paprika, salt and pepper. Drizzle the mixture over the two trays. Toss the vegetables, so that they are nicely coated with the flavoured oil mixture.

Cover each tray with tinfoil.

Place the two trays in the oven, roasting the vegetables for 1-1,5 hours, until very tender. Let them cool.

Mash them all together, using the liquid from the roasting trays. You should have a smooth mash. Serve with plenty of olive oil.


If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you must know that we absolutely love chickpeas. It’s true that chickpeas  take a while to cook. But as many of us are now working from home, a chickpea stew is perhaps the ideal dish to prepare. All you need to do is soak the chickpeas overnight, and in the morning, prep your vegetables and put everything in a nice casserole in the oven. Comes dinnertime and you’ve got yourself the most comforting stew. Plus, the entire house warms up and smells like food during the day, which if you ask me, is the best environment to work in.

In Greece there is a big debate if chickpeas are better with lemon, like in our traditional revithada, or with tomato, like in this not-very-Greek spiced stew. This week we went for tomato, but we’ve used two secret ingredients, which add depth to this wonderful stew: grape molasses and roasted red peppers! Pure organic grape molasses, known as Petimezi in Greece is made from Agiorgitiko grapes. The aroma of light honey and fresh grapes, and its distinctive caramel tones are unbeatable. As for the roasted red peppers, these are organic Florina peppers, cooked over open flame. They are famous for their rich and sweet flavour, and balance perfectly the mild acidity of tomatoes.

Serves 2 with leftovers, or 4 for lunch

150g chickpeas
1 very large onion
1/2 cup of olive oil, divided
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium carrot
5 colourful peppers
½ jar roasted red peppers
1 bottle tomato passata
1 litre vegetable stock or water
1 tbsp grape molasses
2 bay leaves
salt, pepper, to taste
2 tsp baking soda (optional)

The night before soak your chickpeas.
The morning after preheat your oven at 200C.
Finely slice the onion. Mince the garlic. Finely slice the carrot. Cut the peppers in thick strips. Drain and finely slice the roasted red peppers.
In a medium-sized casserole, and over medium-low heat add ¼ cup of olive oil and gently fry until the onions are translucent and slightly caramelised. Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes.
Drain the chickpeas and add to the pot, along with the carrot, peppers, roasted red peppers, tomato passata, vegetable stock, grape molasses and bay leaves. Add the rest 1/4 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and carefully add the baking soda (if using). Stir well, cover tightly and place in the oven for approx. 2-3 hours, or until the chickpeas are tender.

Serve with plenty of feta cheese!

 


It’s apple season all right and this week we’re making a wonderful breakfast – dessert recipe with, what else, apples!

Have you tried our olive oil and apple cake? Or our apple porridge? How about our grape molasses tart tatin?

As you may know, when it comes to fruit, we prefer recipes that bring out the natural sweetness of fruits. We are very excited about this one, as it’s quite simple to make but the flavours are quite complex. What is it? An apple and dried cherries compote!

The secret lies in the ingredients! We’ve used our favourite dried cherries to complement the apples, fig molasses to add depth to our compote, cinnamon for warmth and our apple oil for some aromatic silkiness.

The result is a comforting apple compote, which will brighten up your mornings. It is perfect served over Greek yoghurt, porridge, or on its own as breakfast. It also makes for a delicious pie filling, or a side to pork-based dishes or a simple steamed rice.

Makes 1 jar

2 large apples (500g)
2 tbsp fig molasses
½ tsp cinnamon
75g dried cherries
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp apple olive oil
a small espresso cup of water (80g)

Remove the core and seeds from the apples. You can peel them if you want, but we prefer not to. Dice the apples. Place them in a medium-sized saucepan with the rest of the ingredients. Stir well.

Turn up the heat and as soon as you see the liquid bubbling, lower the heat. Let your compote cook for around 45-50 minutes, until the apples are soft and mellow.

This recipe is not on the very sweet side, as we’ve used no sugar or honey. If you have a sweet tooth, you can add some towards the end of the cooking.

Serve warm or cold.


In our last newsletter a few days ago, we shared with you our the need to reconnect with our roots, to rediscover the smells and tastes that we grew up with, in hopes that they will bring some comfort during this lockdown.

As we are slowly getting used to being more and more at home, we are making dishes that remind us of happier times. Fides is an ingredient that many of us at Oliveology have associated with our childhood. Traditionally, fides is used to make a very simple soup just with lemon and a bit of olive oil, often given to children.

These very thin strings of fides pasta boil in only a few minutes, and they are the perfect addition to soups. So this week we’ve used to is to make a hearty soup packed with green vegetables! For this one, we gathered lots of green vegetables from the market and served it with one of our favourite flavoured olive oils!

Cold-extracted at 21°C with walnuts, purslane, fennel seeds, rosemary and oregano, our 21°C  olive oil adds depth and warmth to this hearty soup.

Serves 4

4 tbsp olive oil
1 medium-sized leek
3 medium-sized courgettes
1 small head of broccoli
1 medium-sized potato
a few celery leaves
60g fides
salt, pepper, to taste
plenty of 21°C walnut oil, to serve

Prepare your vegetables: Finely slice the leek. Cut the courgettes in small cubes. Pull apart the broccoli florets and finely cut the stems. Peel and cut the potato in small cubes. The idea is that all the vegetables should be roughly the same size, so that they cook evenly. Finely chop the celery leaves.

Prepare your soup: In a medium-large pot add the olive oil and gently fry the leek until translucent. Add the rest of the vegetables and celery leaves and stir, so that everything is coated in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add 6 cups of water. Bring your soup to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and let it simmer, for 50minutes, almost fully-covered. After 50minutes, check that all your vegetables are tender. Add the fides and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately with plenty of walnut oil.


This week we’ve got a very comforting recipe for you. Soon it will be the beginning of spring, yet some days it still feels like winter. So for those challenging days, there is nothing better than a good casserole dish, to take the blues away.

We are big fans of casseroles, remember our vegan orzo? And then it was the cauliflower with smoked cheese we made a couple of winters ago. This winter, we decided to use beans, as we wanted to feel a bit healthier. And for some reason, beans have that effect. We used small white beans, but you can use gigantes as well.

Our organic beans are harvested every year in farms in northern Greece. You can use them to make your own homemade baked beans, but also add them in soups, stews and grain bowls, like this comforting soup with beans and butternut squash.

This week it’s beans, fragrant pesto and melted graviera cheese. Yum!

Serves 4 with leftovers

200g small beans (you can also choose gigantes butterbeans)
2 bay leaves
2 cups seasonal greens, finely chopped (we used purple kale and spinach)
2 tbsp 17C olive oil
250gr milk or cream
2 eggs
200g graviera cheese, grated
¾ cups pesto (we used our green pistachio pesto)

The night before soak the beans in cold water. The morning after, boil the beans with the bay leaves for around 45 minutes or until tender. Drain the beans and discard the bay leaves.

Steam the greens until soft.

In a bowl whisk together the lemon oil, milk or cream and eggs, adding half of the cheese in the end.

In a casserole, mix together the beans and pesto. Add the eggs-cream mixture and stir everything together, until well mixed. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Bake at 180C for 30min or until hot and bubbly inside.


At this time of the year, too much work and a gloomy weather often makes us feel low in energy. So we often go for colourful food, to balance the grey skies. This week we are making a nutritious salad, with raw fennel and citrus.

First of all, we love crunching on raw vegetables. It is relaxing, I can’t explain it. Do you remember our raw beetroot and apple salad? Or the wonderful galomyzithra and yoghurt dip we made a few weeks ago to accompany raw veggies? And then there’s citrus, the fruits that give colour to winter. And vitamins! Last year we made a wonderful citrus dressing, and a carrot and citrus salad to go with it. This week we found some blood oranges at the market. They are highly seasonal, and we absolutely love foods that you can only find for a few weeks in the year –wild garlic, we are waiting for you!

For this salad, we also used a selection of olives, wild green unripe olives with lemon and our kalamata olives with ouzo, to perfectly complement citrus and fennel! They are a good source of protein, vitamin E, antioxidants and polyphenols and an excellent provider of oleic acid and oleuropein. And yummy!

And as this is a citrus feast, we couldn’t but use our 17C olive oil with lemons and oranges and our mandarin balsamic vinegar. So go on, grab your fruit and veg and join us in making our days more colourful and fresh!

Serves 4

1 bulb of fennel
1 small orange
1 small blood orange
1 small pink grapefruit
½ tub of olives (we used a combination of unripe lemon and kalamata with ouzo olives)
1 tbsp balsamic cream with mandarin
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp 17C flavoured olive oil
salt

Thinly slice the fennel. Peel and finely slice the orange, blood orange and grapefruit.

Place in a large platter and scatter the olives. Drizzle with balsamic mandarin cream, lemon olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and serve immediately.

This salad turns into a whole different dish if you keep it overnight. The fruits and veg soften up and the flavours all blend wonderfully together. So you can have it for lunch the next day!


Christmas is around the corner and all of us are feeling very festive here at Oliveology! Have you checked our advent calendar yet? We’ve got a special treat every day, how exciting!

We’ve had a very busy few weeks, planning our delicious events for 2020!

We are very excited to share with you some very interesting workshops: In February we will warm up with our Greek stews & soups workshop. In March we will learn how to make Traditional Greek pies, and at the end of March we have our Vegan Workshop.

When it comes to dinner experiences, On Valentine’s Day we have a special dinner experience planned, focusing on the senses. In June we have a dinner & a talk around Greek olive oil mythologies, with lots traditional dishes, slowly cooked in olive oil. The latter by yours truly.

So in case you are looking for an unusual gift this Christmas, our Events Gift Card is what you need!

Following last week’s festive spirit, when we made a warm orange salad with our truffle honey, this week we have prepared a white soup made with one of my favourite Oliveology ingredients: our apple oil! Imagine olives pressed with apples, walnuts, cinnamon, honey & sage, what a combination! And like we did in our celeriac soup, we’ve added a little secret ingredient: almonds!

Serves 6 as a starter

1 kg cauliflower
5 tbsp apple oil
salt, pepper, dried thyme
50g almonds
2 cups of milk

Preheat the oven at 180C.

Break the cauliflower in florets and place it in a single layer in a large baking tray. Add the almonds. Season with salt, pepper and dried thyme. Drizzle the apple oil and toss everything gently together until all florets and almonds are coated with the oil and the seasoning.

Bake until the cauliflower is golden and tender, for around 30min. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Using a blender, blend the cauliflower and almonds, adding the milk. You can work in batches if necessary.

Transfer the soup in a large pot. Cook until bubbly hot, adding more milk if needed. Check for seasoning.

Serve immediately, drizzling more apple oil.