As promised last week, here is the recipe for olive oil and orange pastry dough, and olive and scallion rolls. This was one of my favorite recipes that I learned how to make during my trip to Kea Artisanal in Greece. The pastry for these rolls is made with fresh orange juice and olive oil, making it delicious and pretty healthy. There is no yeast involved, so you don’t have to worry about working with yeast here.
The olives we used had been harvested in the olive orchards on the property, and cured by Aglaia. It’s better to use olives with pits, because they will be more juicy and will have a better texture than pre-pitted ones. Pit them by pressing down on them with a bench scraper or the side of a wide knife, and then remove the pit. You could even use a meat mallet. I used a mix of kalamata, picholine, and cerignola. Cerignola olives can be difficult to pit. Instead of pressing down on them, just slice the meat around the pit. This is easier to do because they tend to be very large olives.
I loved the days I spent at Kea Artisanal. I got to know the other participants, and we continuously talked about our love of food and cooking. There were so many talented people there: a glass sculpture artist, a hand-made guitar artisan, a chocolate expert, a hand crafted soap expert… I was completely in awe. Most importantly, everyone was warm and friendly.
Olive Oil and Scallion Rolls in Olive Oil and Orange Pastry (Eliopita)
(Adapted from Aglaia’s Table)
Olive Oil and Orange Pastry (makes 4 rolls)
• 4 cups all purpose flour
• 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 cup olive oil
• 1 cup fresh orange juice
Olive and Scallion Filling (enough for 2 rolls)
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 cup scallions, finely sliced
• 1.5 cups olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
• ½ teaspoon dry oregano
• 4 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
• Freshly ground pepper
Chocolate Filling (enough for 2 rolls)
• 8 ounces good quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
• Flaky sea salt for sprinkling
Topping (enough for four rolls)
• 1/3 cup sesame seeds
• 1 cup water
1.Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.Prepare the topping: Soak the sesame seeds in the water, and set aside.
3.Make the pastry: In the bowl of a stand mixer add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Mix together the olive oil and orange juice. With the mixer running, add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and knead with the dough hook until the dough comes together. Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.
4.Make the filling: In a large skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the scallions and sauté until they soften, about 4 minutes. Add in the olives and the oregano, sauté for 1 more minute. Remove from the heat, and add the mint. Season the mixture with freshly ground pepper.
Aglaia showing us how to flatten out the dough to make the rolls
5.Roll and fill the pastry: Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Lightly flour your surface. Flatten the first piece into a rectangle that is about 5 inches wide by 10 inches long. Fill with your preferred filling. Using a bench scraper, roll the pastry dough over the filling tightly, like you would a jelly roll. Make sure to pinch the sides in and under, and lightly pinch the seam to ensure that it is enclosing the filling. You should have a tight log.
6.To make the topping, drain the water from sesame seeds on a colander, and spread them on a tray. Lightly roll the log on the tray to cover with the sesame seeds. Place the log on the prepared cookie sheet. Repeat with the other dough and fillings, to make 4 logs.
Logs after rolling in sesame seeds
8.Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the logs are a light golden brown. Move the logs to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing with a serrated knife.
Olive and scallion roll on the left, and chocolate roll on the right. For the chocolate roll, you can omit the sesame seeds if you like.