Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Quinoa and Prawns with Chilli Dressing


1 cup El Olivo organic quinoa
10-12 large prawns, peeled and deveined
2 tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh micro greens, to garnish

For the dressing

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons Olive Tree extra virgin olive oil
Chilli powder, as per your preference
1 garlic clove, crushed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Cook the quinoa as per instructions on the packet. Drain the quinoa well and place it in a bowl.
Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and sauté until the underside turns pink, about 3 minutes.
To make the chilli dressing - combine lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, chilli powder, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Thinly slice one tomato and place on a plate. Dice the other tomato and mix with the cooked quinoa. Place quinoa on the tomato slices. Top this with the cooked prawns and generously drizzle the dressing. Garnish with micro greens and drizzle some more dressing. Serve with a dollop of wasabi.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Easy Yogurt Spread

Ingredients :

• 1 cup yogurt made using Europaea Free Range Farms Cow's Milk
Sea Salt, to taste
• Roasted cumin powder, to taste

Method :

Line a sieve or colander with a large piece of muslin or cheesecloth. Set over a large bowl or plastic container. Place the yogurt in this and allow the whey to drain out completely. Place the drained yogurt in a mixing bowl. Add cumin and sea salt and mix. Refrigerate for 1 hour. The desired consistency is that of Greek yogurt or thick sour cream. Spread on bread, toast or crackers and top with cucumber, radish or seasonal fruits! This yogurt spread can be stored in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for 2-3 days.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Cardamom ghee

Making ghee at home is not quite as complicated as it is made out to be. All it needs is access to good quality milk and a little understanding of technique. Given the growing incidences of adulteration in ghee, it is best to learn how to make one’s own. This simple, step-by-step recipe will help you to make a jar of your own ghee at regular intervals. Look at the bottom for more ideas on flavored ghee!

·         3 cups Cream, collected from Europaea Free Range Farms grass-fed cow’s milk
·         3 tablespoons natural yogurt starter
·         6 pods of good quality green cardamom, bruised

        i.            To collect the cream from the milk, simply heat the milk and allow it to cool. The skin that floats on top of the milk when completely cooled is the cream. Carefully skim this off the milk and collect in a separate bowl. Do this over a few days.
      ii.            In order to make ghee that has a longer shelf life and a better flavor profile, it is important to add a natural yogurt culture to it. Simply add the natural yogurt starter to the cream you have collected and mix well. Cover with a loose fitting lid and set aside in a warm spot for 6-8 hours. Once set, chill in the refrigerator.
    iii.            Add the cold set cream to a blender jar along with 1 cup of chilled water. Blend for 3-4 minutes until the butter floats to the top. Carefully strain out the cold butter and place into a bowl. Reserve the buttermilk for drinking as is or use in cooking or baking. You can refrigerate this butter under a thin film of water for 8-10 days.
     iv.            To make the ghee, strain off any water or buttermilk left in the bowl and place the butter in a thick-bottomed pan over low to medium heat. Once all the butter has melted and started clarifying, add the green cardamom to the pan. Continue to reduce on low-medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once the milk solids at the bottom of the pan turn a rich golden brown, turn off the heat and strain the liquid into a jar. Set aside until completely cool. If small granules of fat begin forming on the top of the ghee as it cools, it is a good thing, so don’t worry!
       v.            Store at room temperature for 2 weeks or refrigerate and thaw small quantities as required.
     vi.            This flavored ghee is great to use in cooking fragrant dishes such as biryani or as a finishing fat on desserts or in bakes.
Tip: Experiment with other spices such as cloves or herbs such as rosemary.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

3 ways to cook Quinoa Gnocchi

Olea Europaea quinoa gnocchi
Olea Europaea Quinoa Gnocchi

While it is perfectly legitimate to eat your Quinoa Gnocchi simply drained and tossed in a little browned butter and sage (because it tastes great even if you do little to it) or in a decadent four-cheese sauce, baked to perfection, it would certainly help to shake things up a bit every now and then.

Here are our Top 3 Recipes to cook Quinoa Gnocchi that you would love:

        i.            Gnocchi Soup: Heat 1 teaspoon of butter in a soup pot. Add a bay leaf, 3-4 peppercorns, 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped, 1 medium sized onion finely chopped, 1 small carrot finely chopped and sauté on medium heat until the onions turn translucent. Now, add 1 cup of vegetables of choice (shelled peas, broccoli florets, cubed zucchini, corn, etc.) and sauté again, briefly. Now, pour in 3 cups of milk and ¾ cup of quinoa gnocchi, followed by 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed in a little water. Stir well until the milk begins to thicken. Season with salt and pepper and a few stalks of thyme. Simmer gently for 6-8 minutes or until the vegetables and gnocchi are cooked through, and serve hot with a sprinkling of cheese.

      ii.            Toasted Gnocchi, with Mushrooms and Pine Nuts: Cook 1 cup of gnocchi according to the instructions on the pack. Drain and transfer to a baking tray. Season with salt and pepper and a generous 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees centigrade for 6-8 minutes or until lightly golden. Heat ½ teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil in a pan. Add 1-2 sage leaves, torn followed by 2 cups of halved button mushrooms, a pinch of salt, and sauté on high heat until just cooked. Add 2 teaspoons of Balsamic vinegar and turn off the heat. Now combine the Gnochhi and Mushrooms on a platter and top with crumbled Gorgonzola, torn roquette, and toasted pine nuts. Serve warm.

    iii.            Gnocchi Shepherd’s Pie: Cook 1 large cup of Quinoa Gnocchi according to the instructions on the pack. Drain and keep aside. Meanwhile, pressure cook 1 cup of rehydrated soya kheema with 1 teaspoon garlic paste, 3 peppercorns, and salt to taste until cooked through. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and sauté one onion finely chopped until it turns translucent. Now tip in one small chopped tomato and sauté until the oil begins to separate. Add salt to taste, ½ teaspoon of garam masala and 1 teaspoon of chili flakes and a handful of fresh basil followed by ½ cup of thawed frozen peas. Now add the cooked mince of soy and mix well. Cook together until the flavours combine and there is not much moisture left. Layer the same in a baking dish and top with the cooked quinoa gnocchi. Now add a generous sprinkling of cheddar and mozzarella cheese and finally, a few chili flakes. Bake in a pre heated oven at 200 degrees centigrade for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese melts and gets a light golden colour. Serve hot with a side of salad.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

El olivo Organic white quinoa
El olivo' Organic White Quinoa stuffed Bell pepper

This is a great one-dish meal option, especially when you are alone. It needs very little prep,
almost makes itself, and tastes fabulous!

Serves: 1


       1 large red or yellow bell pepper
       2-3 baby corn, chopped
        1 small shallot, chopped 
¼ cup El Olivo organic white quinoa cooked in ½ cup water 

         2-3 Olea Europaea sundried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped 
Sea Salt to taste 
1 teaspoon Olive Tree extra virgin olive oil
 ½ teaspoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon of mozzarella  (grated)  

2-3 basil leaves, chopped 

Heat oil in a pan. Add the garlic, shallot, and baby corn. Sauté until fragrant. Add the chopped sundried tomatoes, chili powder, salt, and basil. Tip in the quinoa. Toss to mix. Core the inside of a bell pepper to remove seeds. Fill the cavity with the quinoa mixture. Top with grated mozarella and bake at 200 degrees centigrade for 10-15 minutes or until the bell pepper is slightly charred and the cheese is melting. Serve hot.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Infinite benefits of Olives and Olive Oil

Olea europaea stuffed green olives
Infinite benefits of Olives and Olive oil

Well-aware of the infinite benefits of olives and olive oil, the Romans thought that the humble olive deserved a lot more recognition. The Roman Aristocracy believed that good health was the outcome of two things- Wine and olive oil. The olive branch and its fruit were considered symbols of wealth, peace and prosperity. Technically classified as fruits of the ‘Oleo Europaea’ tree, a tree which thrives for decades, olives add a punch to your meals! Similarly, the oil extracted from olives forms the basis of Italian, Greek, Spanish and several other cuisines and dishes.

The colour of the olive is a measure of the ripeness of the fruit- green olives are picked before ripening while black olives are picked after.  Both the varieties are generally soaked in brine (water and salt mixture) which helps in eliminating the natural bitterness, making the olives more palatable. Green olives are widely used for making stuffed olives- incorporating a wide number of ingredients that can be used as stuffing- pimentos, jalapenos, garlic, almonds, capers and many more. The Kalamata olive from Greece with its glorious purple-black colour and depths of flavor, is one of the most eminent varieties of olives around the world. Kalamata olives are known for the fabulous flavour they lend to a classic pasta puttanesca or a simple salad dressing. However, there are several other varieties of olives like Leccino and Taggiasche, slowly gaining popularity. The health benefits of both black and green olives are numerous.  Green olives contain no fats or trans-fats and small proportions of vitamins and minerals. A typical Mediterranean meal largely comprises of olives and olive oil amongst other healthy ingredients. No wonder, consumption of a Mediterranean diet is associated with reduced risk of osteoporosis, cancer prevention and is also strikingly high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Both black olives and green olives are also high in iron and are excellent sources of Vitamin E.

Use olives to garnish a dirty martini or as a pizza topping! With a little creativity- you can discover numerous uses of olives- a light, roasted garlic and green olive vinaigrette with orange to dress up a simple salad, a creamy garlic, chili and olive dip with crustini or crackers, sliced Kalamata olives in a minestrone or bisque, stuffed olives served as antipasti, for mains- whole or sliced black olives work well with pan-seared tofu, over wood-fired pizza or combined with sautéed porcini mushrooms & cherry tomatoes and stuffed in a rustic ciabatta. Add olives to your side dish potatoes, salads, sprouts or vegetables for a delicious flavour! Experiment with olives in your meals- whole olives, sliced, chopped or a flavourful pâté with mushrooms or onions! With its delicious taste, adaptability & the varieties available today, one is spoilt for choice. This also means there are so many more reasons to have a jar or two of olives stacked in your pantry!

OliveTree Trading has a range of whole, pitted, stuffed, Kalamata, Leccino and Taggiasche olives, sourced from countries around the world, to savour your taste buds. Use these in simple or complex recipes, for dinners or drinks to add flavour and character to your dishes instantly!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Risotto with Artichokes

Olea europaea sliced artichokes in olive oil
Olea Europaea's Sliced artichokes in Olive oil
Serves 4


5 - 6 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup Oleo Europaea sliced artichokes in olive oil
4 tbsp. unsalted butter 
2 tablespoons olive oil
Zest & juice from one lemon
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley


Place the stock in a pot with the artichokes and keep warm.
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and olive oil in a heavy saucepan. Add the onions and cook until they are translucent. Add the Italian rice and stir until it is well coated with butter. Add white wine and stir continually over medium heat until it is absorbed.
Start by adding a ladle full of warm stock, stirring as it is absorbed. Continue in this manner, adding ladles full of stock and stirring continuously for about 10 minutes. Add the artichokes as well and continue adding the stock for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked al-dente, with a creamy texture . Remove from heat and finish with remaining butter, lemon juice, zest and parmesan cheese. Stir in the chopped parsley and serve hot.