Add a Touch of Greece to your Summer Menu with Gaea

Wednesday 16 July 2014

When I was 9 years old I saw the Disney film, The Moonspinners, starring  Haley Mills.  It instilled in me a hunger to visit Greece, which has remained a dream for me up until this very present day.  It is on my bucket list of things I want to do before I die and God willing one year I will actually make it!

Greece is set once more to become a prime holiday destination for Brits this summer, following an increase of 11% in the number visitors from the UK in 2013.  Greek speciality foods producer Gaea has created a beautiful hat trick of recipes using it's authentic tapenades and top quality Greek olive oils to get sun seekers into  Greek holiday mode!

Promising a heavenly taste of sun-kissed Greece, this three-course extravaganza features delicious offerings from the Gaea range, and offers a wonderfully unique chocolate mousse that combines chocolate and the finest Greek olive oil.

Enjoy your meal!

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*Greek Salad Couscous with Kalamata Olive Tapenade*
Serves 4 to 6

A little taste of Greece on the plate.  Light, refreshing and delicious!  

300g pearl couscous (1 1/2 cups)
water or chicken stock
3 firm, ripe tomatoes, cubed or diced if large
1 gree bell pepper, trimmed, deseeded and diced
1 medium onion, peeled, diced and sauteed in 2 TBS Gaea D.O.P. Sitia (or Kalamata)
extra virgin olive oil
2 TBS Gaea Kalamata Olive Tapenade
120g of grated feta cheese (2/3 cup)
salt and pepper
the grated zest of one lemon
1 tsp grated orange zest
pinch of ground cinnamon
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 bunch minit, finely chopped
3 TBS Gaea D.O.P. Sitia (or Kalamata) extra virgin olive oil  

Prepare the couscous according to the package directions, using either water or chicken stock.  Add the remaining ingredients and fluff with a fork.  Let stand for 15 minutes and then serve.

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*Meat Balls with Sweet Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Tapenade*
Serves 4 to 6

This is an easy to make deliciously simple recipe! 

500g of ground lean beef (a generous pound)
6 to 8 TBS plain dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted (small handful)
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
4 TBS finely chopped green bell pepper
salt and pepper to taste
2 TBS dried mint
2 TBS ouzo
140g flour (1 cup)
cooked, warm spaghetti (optional)
Homemade Tomato Sauce (optional)
Grated cheddar, Parmesan or Greek kefalograviera cheese (optional) 

Combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs with the exception of the flour and oil for frying.  Knead well. Cover and chill the mixture for 30 minutes.   Shape into meatballs.  Flour lightly.   Heat some olive oil in a large skillet.   Once the oil is hot add the meatballs and fry them in the hot oil until lightly browned and cooked through.

Once fried, the meatballs may be eaten along, packed inside flat breads, or served covered with tomato sauce with spaghetti and for extra Greek authenticity, sprinkle with kefalograviera cheese.

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*Chocolate Mousse with C.O.P. Extra Virgin Olive oil*
Serves 4

A unique combination to be sure.  Chocolate flavoured lightly with orange.    

270g extra bitter dark chocolate, cut into bits (1 1/2 cups, 9.5 ounces)
170ml of Gaea D.O.P. Sitia, Crete Extra Virgin Olive Oil (6 fluid ounces)
7 large free range eggs, separated
150g of sugar (3/4 cup)
pinch salt
50ml of Cointreau (scant 3 TBS)
the finely grated zest from one orange
chocolate flakes and whipped cream for topping    

Melt the chocolate over low heat.   Stir in the olive oil and Cointreau.    Beat the egg yolks together with half of the sugar until the mixture becomes fluffy with an electric mixer.  Mix this with the chocolate mixture.  Using clean beaters and a clean bowl, beat together the egg whites and remaining sugar, along with a pinch salt, until stiff peaks form.   Fold this into the chocolate mixture along with the orange zest. Chill, covered, in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.  Divide between individual bowls to serve, garnishing each serving with some whipped cream and chocolate flakes if desired.

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Olive oil in Greece, which dates back 4000 years, is globally acknowledged for its purity and exceptional taste. More than 80% of the Greek olive oil is extra virgin, which is the top-ranked classification category in the world. This constitutes Greece as the world’s largest producer of extra virgin olive oil. Gaea’s extra virgin olive oil’s superior quality is appreciated by the international trade, which is the reason why Gaea’s exports to all markets are constantly increasing at a fast pace. Moreover, Gaea produces the 1st Extra Virgin Olive Oils in the world that have been certified Carbon Neutral!

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Natural ingredients from Gaea – the Greek “Mother Earth” are finely chopped, crushed, or blended to make Gaea’s unique tapenades. They are flavoured with other ingredients such as garlic, herbs and lemon, and can be served as a Greek- meze, the typical Greek appetizer to savour and share. Gaea’s tapenades:

Are exclusively made from natural ingredients
Are combined by traditional, authentic recipes of the oldest and healthiest Mediterranean cuisine and serving suggestions. 

For more recipe suggestions check out the Recipe Folder on the Gaea website.


  1. The Greek Salad Couscous sounds like the very thing I want for lunch today! Finished with the Chocolate Mousse of course!

    Hope that you are resting today Marie! xoxo

  2. whenever you decide to come, you know you will stay with me... as long as i'm alive there is no chance i will let you stay anywhere else.. kalamata's olive oil is good and famous... there are lots of other oils though from diferent parts of my country very healthy indeed..

  3. Thanks Tatiana! YOU are one of the reasons I still want to go! xx


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