salmon and olivesSMOKED SALMON

  • 400g potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into 0.5cm-thick rounds
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g green beans, ends trimmed
  • 200g smoked salmon
  • ½ punnet cherry tomatoes *
  • 70g black pitted olives
  • ½ bag rocket leaves *


  • 2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon runny honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill leaves


  • ½ lemon, cut into wedges
  • A few dill leaves

Preheat oven to 220 oC. Line an oven tray with baking paper.

1 Place potatoes in a single layer on prepared tray. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for about 20 minutes, until golden brown and tender. Turn once halfway to ensure even browning.

2 Place eggs in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 4 minutes for soft boiled or 6 minutes for hard boiled. Drain and cool under cold tap.

3 Whisk all dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Cut tomatoes in half and place in a large bowl. Cut beans in half widthways. Once eggs are cooked, bring about 1 cup of salted water to the boil in the same pot used for eggs. Cook beans for about 2 minutes, until bright green and tender. Drain.

4 When potatoes are finished cooking, remove tray from oven, move to one side and place salmon on other side of tray. Return tray to oven for 3–5 minutes, to warm salmon slightly.

5 When eggs are cool enough to handle, peel and cut into quarters lengthways. Add beans, olives and rocket to bowl with tomatoes and pour over half the dressing. Toss to combine.

To serve, divide potatoes between plates and top with dressed salad. Gently flake salmon over salad, discarding skin. Top with eggs and drizzle over remaining dressing. Garnish with a lemon wedges and a few sprigs of dill.



Choc-olive cake

Choc_olive_cake_This_is_best_served_to_your_enemies_accordingThis is best served to your enemies according to the Eating For Two cookbook

Artist’s photos of expectant mums’ bizarre food combinations include Oreos with toothpaste and oranges with KETCHUP

Pregnant women hankering for a touch of coal with their steak or tomato sauce on their oranges will now be able to satisfy their odd cravings with the launch of a new virtual cookbook. 

Eating for Two Cookbook, a project by artists Vicky Jacob-Ebbinghaus and Juarez Rodrigues, has detailed instructions on how to create these strange meals and is accompanied by highly-stylised imagery.

The duo were inspired by a pregnant friend who would sneak out of bed at night and eat Oreos and toothpaste secretly while everyone else was sleeping.


Exports hurt by capital controls

Since 29th June 2015, life in Greece operates under capital controls. As things stand, Greeks with debit/credit cards can withdraw €60 a day (in practice €50 as most cash machines have run out of €20s), can make online transfers within the country and can pay with their cards in shops that still accept them.

What does this all mean for businesses?
conteinerr-thumb-largeWhereas individuals may be able to survive off €60 a day, at least for a while, businesses cannot. One particular problem is that Greek businesses rely heavily on imports (especially of raw materials) which they can no longer access easily; this means that, for example, a lightbulb factory reliant on copper from Chile can only make lightbulbs as long as its existing inventory holds out. Exports also fall; Greek manufacturers have already had to cancel orders from buyers abroad and more will follow soon. Domestic suppliers have begun to insist on up-front cash payments (those that didn’t already, at least). This causes similar supply-chain problems; as drivers and petrol stations demand payment in cash, which isn’t readily available, delivery delays grow, occasionally leading fruit and vegetables to go off. Redundancies are already starting to happen as businesses slim down to counter losses.

Whereas some of the bigger businesses with bank accounts abroad or foreign income streams are able to circumvent some of these controls by using their foreign bank accounts to pay suppliers, most family-run businesses and smaller firms—the backbone of the Greek economy—are not so lucky. In theory, they can apply to a special bank committee that assesses applications; in practice this is proving wholly insufficient.

Therefore, it is more than necessary to unlock payments to foreign banks to support Greek exports with raw materials from abroad. Addionally, money transfers from international customers need to be marketed as secure to overcome a situation where foreign buyers of Greek products are receiving warnings from their banks that the money they forward to Greece for the payment of their Greek suppliers may be tied down and never reach the Greek enterprises.

Unless, urgent measures to support greek imports/exports regarding banking services are taken, greek exports will be limited to a level of no return and the respective, more than vital, money flows from abroad will drop dramatically.

There is no more time to lose. Do act!

If You Absolutely Despise Olives, There Could Be a Good Reason Why

To everyone who’s grossed out by olives, this could be vindication: There is indeed something gross about olives, and it’s not just how they taste. It’s how they’re processed.

o3Despite the olive’s low culinary profile, there are armies’ worth of people who absolutely despise them. One olive-hater described them as “balls of hell,” expressing disdain for the slimy yet meaty texture as much as the taste. Much like people who hate Brussels sprouts or cilantro, olive objectors tend to be hyperbolic in their dislike.

So what makes olives so unappealing? Blame it on the processing. When they’re freshly picked from the tree, unripe olives are inedible. The taste is so astringent that even the most bitter lover would have trouble getting them down. This pungent flavor is caused by a chemical called oleuropein, which is both unpalatable and a powerful antioxidant that could have cancer-fighting effects. Go figure.

o2Table olives have to be processed to remove some of that bitterness. Traditional methods use salt and spices, but the most popular way uses the power of sodium hydroxide, also known as lye.

A nice, cold chemical bath. Lye, as anyone who watched Fight Club will remember, is a powerful chemical used in everything from industrial cleaning to drain openers. As a caustic chemical, lye is described by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry as “strongly irritating and corrosive.” At certain levels, it can be extremely dangerous, potentially causing severe burns or respiratory damage. Luckily, lower levels have been deemed safe enough by the Food and Drug Administration to go in our food, as long as it’s done right.

When it comes to olives, lye is what makes them palatable. In comparison to a salt processing method, which can take months, lye processing reduces curing time to seven days. If you’ve recently eaten a can of black olives — the kind with a rubbery texture and almost no taste — it was almost certainly processed using lye. “99% of black, canned olives are debittered with lye, ” California Olive Growers Council representative Adin Hester told Mic.

Fortunately, Hester added, “You are certainly not eating lye.” After the initial contact, Hester says, “they go through three to four [water] wash cycles to ensure that all of the lye is gone.” The lye used for olives isn’t going to hurt you, just as it doesn’t harm us when used on soft pretzels. Plus, not all olives are processed with lye — Whole Foods has you covered with “traditionally cured” versions.

o1But chemical baths have an unfortunate side effect on olives. They take away the briny, pickled flavor we associate with olives, leaving the rubbery skin and meaty insides behind. “If you want to get what an olive truly tastes like,” Hester says, “have a Sicilian-style olive — it retains some of that distinct olive bitterness.”

The lye also modifies the texture, making it softer. It’s why other processing methods are often preferred; immigrants from the Mediterranean regions, and food critics, are often unsatisfied with the canned olives they can buy at their local grocery store. There’s a community of people getting unripe, green olives from the tree and pickling them at home. “They like to process the olives the way their ancestors did,” Hester said.

But these days, the olives you’re probably finding on your pizza have gotten a nice chemical bath that gives them that quality so many people loathe. For those who can’t stand them, know you’ve been validated: The fruit is literally inedible in its natural state — and you’re not crazy for thinking that even in their edible state, they’re anything but.


Green olives with garlic and red pepper

Green olives with garlic and red pepper

un-pitted green olives, such as Picholine or Chalkidiki 350g | garlic 6 small cloves, grated or finely minced | crushed red pepper (peperoncino) 2 tsp | sweet paprika 2 tbsp | smoked paprika (pimentón) 1 tbsp | cayenne a pinch | good quality fruity olive oil 3 tbsp Maldon salt optional

Rinse and drain the olives, then put them in a mixing bowl. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper, sweet paprika, smoked paprika and cayenne. Toss together to distribute the seasonings. Add the olive oil and mix well to coat. Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a couple of serving bowls and sprinkle very lightly with Maldon salt.

Green Olives with Preserved Lemon David Tanis

Green olives with preserved lemon

un-pitted green olives, such as picholine or Chalkidiki 350g | preserved lemons 2 | fresh thyme a few sprigs | spring onions 4 | good quality fruity olive oil 3 tbsp | flat-leaf parsley a few leaves, optional

Rinse and drain the olives. Remove the interior pulp of the preserved lemons and save for another purpose. Rinse the lemon skins with cold water, then dice them small (or leave them in thin strips if you prefer). Remove enough leaves from the thyme sprigs to make about 1 teaspoon roughly chopped, but keep several sprigs whole.

Sliver the spring onions, both white and green parts. Combine everything in a mixing bowl, add the olive oil and mix well to distribute the seasonings. Transfer to a couple of serving bowls and garnish with parsley leaves.


Greece 2-1 Ivory Coast World Cup 2014

Match report: Georgios Samaras’ penalty puts the Greeks through to last-16

ivory_v_greece2Absolutely astonishing scenes in Fortaleza – a 90th minute Georgios Samaras penalty has sent Greece through to the last-16 of this World Cup against all odds as Ivory Coast ended their campaign crestfallen.

It had looked for all the world that Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure and co were heading to the knockout stages when Wilfried Bony cancelled out Andreas Samaris’ first half opener.

But Samaras was felled in the box by substitute Giovanni Sio in stoppage time and coolly slotted home.

GOAL! GREECE 2-1 Ivory Coast (Samaras pen 90)

Samaras, who hasn’t scored for Greece for TWO YEARS, steps up…


Cool as you like. Barry guessed correctly to his left but there was too much weight behind that.

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