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Recipes: OliveOlive shares a taste of new cookbook

Showcasing its famously authentic Cypriot olive oils and halloumi, Cambridge brand OliveOlive has just released its debut cookbook. Spoiler alert: it’s delicious

Billed as a celebration of “family-friendly food, rustic and full of flavour, with simple steps to delicious dishes”, The OliveOlive Mediterranean Cookbook is the debut from Cambridge’s Rob and Pam Marsden.

Founded to bring her family’s authentic, delicious olive oil from Cyprus to the UK, their local hero brand OliveOlive is now famous not only for its olive oils, but also for handmade Cypriot halloumi - and the cookbook shows how best to cook with both the oils and cheese across three sections: starters, sides and salads; main courses; and sweet and savoury treats.

As well as Pam’s family recipes - think traditional Greek and Cypriot kleftiko, katimeria, ravioles and eliopittes - the new book also features dishes created in some of our area’s most acclaimed restaurants, including Greek Style Roast Fish from Bedford Lodge Hotel, Newmarket, and Heirloom Tomato Carpaccio with Olive Ice Cream from Bury’s Maison Bleue.

To mark the launch of the cookbook, published this summer by Meze, we’ve got three recipes to give you a flavour. . .

Trio of Houmous

OliveOlive Cookbook - Trio of Houmous (49843397)
OliveOlive Cookbook - Trio of Houmous (49843397)

Makes: 500ml of each

Preparation time: 10 minutes each

Homemade houmous is easier than you think, especially if you use tinned chickpeas. You can play about with different flavours like roasted aubergines or beetroot, but here are three classics in our family.


Plain Houmous:

400g tinned chickpeas

2 cloves garlic

1 lemon, juiced

2 heaped tsp tahini

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Lemon and Coriander Houmous:

400g tinned chickpeas

2 cloves garlic

1 lemon, zested and juiced

2 heaped tsp tahini

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

60g fresh coriander

Sweet Chilli Houmous:

400g tinned chickpeas

1 lemon, juiced

2 heaped tsp tahini

6 tbsp fused chilli oil

2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

Pinch chilli flakes (optional, if you like it hot)


Drain the chickpeas and throw them into a food processor. Grate or crush in the garlic if using, then add the lemon juice (and zest, for lemon and coriander houmous) and tahini.

Turn on the food processor and drizzle in the olive or chilli oil as everything blends. You may end up using more than 6 tablespoons but who’s counting?!

Lastly, add the extras depending on what type of houmous you are making (fresh coriander, sweet chilli sauce and chilli flakes, if using) then taste to check the seasoning. Chill before serving.

Grilled Halloumi Salad

OliveOlive Cookbook -Grilled Halloumi Salad (49843398)
OliveOlive Cookbook -Grilled Halloumi Salad (49843398)

Serves 4-6

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

This recipe comes from Marta Wierzbicka - a good friend and a big fan of all things OliveOlive. She is a keen and excellent cook. This recipe is simple but delicious and perfect for outdoor dining. Marta likes to cook all the vegetables with the halloumi on the barbecue, if the weather allows!


1 large or 2 small aubergines

1 large or 2 small courgettes

Red, yellow, and orange peppers

6-8 open cup mushrooms

250g halloumi

Generous drizzle olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

Chilli flakes

Garlic powder

Dried herbs: basil, oregano (optional)

Fresh herbs: sprig rosemary (optional), parsley (to garnish)


First, prepare the vegetables. Slice the aubergine and courgette into rounds about 1cm thick. Halve the peppers and remove their cores, seeds and white membranes. If liked, peel the skin off the mushrooms. Lastly, cut the halloumi into slices about 0.5cm thick.

Lay all the prepared vegetables and halloumi on a baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over some dried herbs or other flavourings of your choice.

Place the tray under a hot grill to cook until everything is golden brown on both sides. You could also do this on a barbecue. If you like, add the fresh rosemary to the tray while cooking.

When the vegetables are ready, let everything cool down a little. Peel the skin off the peppers, then slice them into bite-size chunks.

Chop the rest of the veggies into bite-size chunks if needed and arrange them on a platter. Place the halloumi on the top and garnish the salad with a little fresh parsley.

Orange, Dark Chocolate and Olive Oil Cake

OliveOlive Cookbook -Orange, Dark Chocolate & Olive Oil Cake (49843399)
OliveOlive Cookbook -Orange, Dark Chocolate & Olive Oil Cake (49843399)

Serves 12

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 40-45 minutes in a cake tin or 30-35 minutes in muffin tins

Says recipe writer Lindsey Kennedy of Compton And Kennedy’s Emporium: “I first came across this cake on a trip to Spain. It was so good we had to recreate it immediately on my return! This cake looks lovely when baked in a Bundt tin but a regular 23cm round cake tin or muffin tins will also work.”


Knob butter, melted

300g golden caster sugar

5 large eggs

3 oranges, zested and juiced (approximately 150ml juice)

150ml olive oil

280g self-raising flour, sieved

60g dark chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 160°c/140°c fan/Gas Mark 4. Grease your tin well with the melted butter.

Put the sugar, eggs and orange zest in a bowl and whisk with an electric mixer on full speed until thick and pale for approximately 5 minutes. With the mixer running on a medium to low speed, drizzle in the orange juice and olive oil until fully combined.

Add the sieved flour to the bowl and whisk until you have a smooth batter. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and bake in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. It will keep in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days, and can be frozen for up to 3 months.

OliveOlive Cookbook, Meze Publishing (49843404)
OliveOlive Cookbook, Meze Publishing (49843404)

Out now in 128-page hardback - available from Amazon, Waterstones and local bookshops - The OliveOlive Mediterranean Cookbook is published by Meze and priced £12. For more information and to shop visit oliveolive.co.uk

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