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.

 

 

 


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.


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.


This year we decided to create a very festive recipe using our newest dried fruits and nuts! We selected the word stuffing when categorising this recipe, but this will make for a wonderful side dish, or vegan dinner. It is somewhat a combination of our other Christmas stuffing recipes. It is made with rice, just like our vegan stuffing from a couple of years ago, but also leeks, like the less ordinary stuffing we made last year. But this year we decided to take it up a notch.

We went full on with our dried fruit and used colourful nectarines and cherries. The bright yellow-orange nectarines are very aromatic and sour enough to add an additional dimension to this dish. Our cherries are moist and intense, full of natural sweetness. And what better pairing than our roasted and slightly salted almonds! And of course, many fragrant spices. It is Christmas after all.

We served our stuffing in an old serving dish, as we are somehow feeling more retro and nostalgic during Christmas. Somehow using old platters or bowls to serve our Christmas food brings us closer to all those moments of food sharing of the past. You know, these dishes do carry their own histories.

But before we get carried away, let’s get to our recipe!

Serves 4 as a side
1 large leek
4tbsp olive oil
200g Carolina rice
600ml vegetable stock
50g dried nectarines
50g dried cherries
50g almonds, roasted and slightly salted
1 tsp spices (we used a combination of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg)
salt, black pepper (to taste)
lemon zest and fresh parsley (to serve)

When it comes to the dried fruit or nuts, you can select to finely chop them, roughly chop them, or for the more adventurous out there, leave them whole.

Finely chop the leek. In a medium-sized pot and over medium-high heat gently fry the leek in the olive oil until transluscent. In the meantime, rince your rice under cold running water. Strain and set aside. Add the rice to your pot and stir until coated with olive oil. Add the dried nectarines, cherries, almonds and stir again. Season with salt and pepper. Be mindful, the almonds are slightly salted!

Pour the vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and then turn down the heat and cook your stuffing simmer half-covered until the rice is cooked and the fruits are plump and rehydrated.

Serve with lemon zest and fresh parsley or other fresh herbs.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!


This week we’ve got something different for you. With December in full swing, the weather is now properly cold. During those cold winter days, we always think of citrus fruit. Somehow all their vitamins make us feel stronger.

So when thinking of this week’s recipe, we couldn’t but use citrus. And what a better way to incorporate all these healthy juices into your daily food routine, than with a delicious citrus dressing! But healthy doesn’t mean not festive. You can use this dressing for your seasonal greens, roasted squash and even in a simple bulgur wheat salad! Can you think of anything better for your Christmas table?

In this recipe, we have balanced the acidity and bitterness of the citrus with a bit of honey and used our favourite red wine vinegar to pump up the flavours. After all, winter requires intense flavours, right?

Makes enough for a side salad of 4

1 lime, zest and juice separately
2 grapefruit, zest and juice separately
1 orange, zest and juice separately
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp orange blossom honey
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
5 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Combine all citrus juice together. Measure 5 tbsp of juice and set aside. Drink the rest, it’s good for you. In a bowl whisk together the zest, juice, the garlic, honey and vinegar. Slowly add the olive oil and whisk until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Taste and if you feel it needs more sweetness, add a bit more honey.


When our Lida wrote her blog post on wine and cheese pairings, we absolutely loved the combination of smoked graviera with a barrel fermented Assyrtiko or aged Xinomavro. The thought of melted smoked graviera cheese has been with us since. And although we were getting ready for spring recipes, the weather did us a favour to remain wintery for a bit longer.

So while we are enjoying the white snow in London, this week we have prepared for you a very comforting recipe. The last winter recipe probably, as we are officially into spring. It is March after all. And what better way to say goodbye to winter with our absolutely favourite cauliflower and cheese. But for this one we’ve used our smoked graviera cheese!

Made from sheep’s and goats’ milk, this cheese comes from Sfakia on the island of Crete. It is made with thyme, making it all more interesting. Herby, woody and smokey, it is the perfect cheese for this recipe. And for a barrel fermented Assyrtiko or aged Xinomavro of course.

Serves 4

1 medium cauliflower (approx. 700g net weight)
1lt whole milk
1 tsp whole peppercorns
½ bunch tarragon plus more to serve
½ tsp salt
1.5 tbsp butter
1/5 tbsp flour
100g grated smoked graviera cheese
Smoked chilli flakes (optional)
Tarragon leaves (to serve)
Olive oil  (to serve)

Cut the cauliflower into florets. Finely chop the stalks and separate the leaves. Add the cauliflower, stalks and leaves in a medium sized pot. Top up with milk. Milk should cover it completely. Add the tarragon leaves, peppercorns, salt. Slowly bring to the boil and simmer until cauliflower is cooked, but still firm when pierced with a fork. Strain and reserve the milk.You should be left with approximately 700ml milk. Discard the tarragon and peppercorns. Place the cauliflower in an oven dish in one layer. In the same pot melt the butter. Add the flour and stir until mixed. Slowly add the aromatic milk you have reserved until your béchamel is thick and coats the back of a spoon. Taste and season with salt. Add the smoked graviera and stir until melted. Pour the béchamel on the cauliflower. Sprinkle with the chilli flakes. Bake at 200C for 20-30 min. To serve drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle some tarragon leaves.

 


So, pancake day is here! Shrove Tuesday or Pancake day is this wonderful day in February or March when we eat (you guessed it) pancakes! This day is linked to the beginning of the fasting for Easter. It is indeed a moveable feast, moving every year as determined by Easter. The idea behind it is that you use up eggs and fats before embarking on the Lenten fast. And pancakes are the perfect way to use up all these ingredients! What is beautiful about these cycles of feasting and fasting though, is that they create traditions and food patterns that remain unchanged. So today, irrespective of whether you fast or not, irrespective of any religious ideas one may have, we all enjoy pancake day!

At Borough Market we celebrate pancake day with the annual pancake day race, where all of us compete in a pancake flipping relay. Obviously, the best way to celebrate pancake day is to eat loads of pancakes with various fillings. And as you know, we love sharing with your our own Greek take on things.

So this week, we came up with the simplest, yet most delicious (and nutritious!) sweet pancake filling. And stay tuned, because there are various ways to use this-more to follow! So this year give chocolate or sugar a break and let us introduce you to the amazing sweet intense nuttiness of…

Tahini and Grape Molasses Pancake Filling

200g tahini
100g grape molasses
pinch of salt

In a bowl place your tahini, grape molasses and salt. Using a fork stir vigorously until both ingredients are combined and the texture is like thick butter. Generously spread over pancakes.

This mixture pairs perfectly with bananas, colourful raw pistachios and dried cherries.

 

 


Remember a few weeks ago we were discussing where our inspiration for recipes comes from?
Often, Marianna is the one who provides this inspiration. This week she came to me with our aromatic sample of mastiha oil and a glass of water. She gently tilted the tiny bottle and a drop fell in the glass. Drink this, she said. What can we make? Maybe rice pudding? I like rice pudding, she said as she walked away, the smell of mastiha all around me.

I, too, love rice pudding. Especially variations of it. Yes, there is the classic one which we prepared last year.
But this week, things get more exciting.

As you may remember from our mastiha cookies, mastiha is an aromatic sap, coming only from the island of Chios in Greece (read more here!). For this recipe, we didn’t use mastiha oil, but instead, we combined mastiha and mastiha liqueur.

Traditionally, in order to use mastiha in baking you have to grind it. But not all of us have a pestle and mortal at home. And in this blog we believe that when we cook we need to make the best with what we’ve got. So you don’t have a pestle and mortal at home. You’ll use the mastiha as is. This recipe asks for slow cooking, so your mastiha will slowly melt and dissolve in the velvety milk. Just make sure you stir every so often. You know, you can always give more love.

Don’t be tempted to use more mastiha, your rice pudding will become bitter. We know so because let’s say that our first batch of rice pudding was not on the sweet side. Learn from our over-excitement.

Serves 2

50g Carolina rice (you need rice with high amylopectin -starch- content such as Arborio or other risotto rice)
50g white powdered sugar
600ml whole milk
one very small rock of mastiha
2 tablespoons of mastiha liqueur
raw pistachios (to serve)

Put all your ingredients in a medium sized pot. Stir and place over medium high heat. Once the milk reaches a near boiling point immediately turn down the heat (be careful not to let it overflow). Let it simmer, stirring every so often, so that mastiha dissolves and evenly offer its aroma to your rice pudding. Once the rice is soft and the mixture feels like porridge remove from the heat. Add the mastiha liqueur and stir. Serve with raw pistachios. Mastiha likes that.