Displaying items by tag: appetizers

This warm potato salad is very versatile. Serve it with Cauliflower with Cheese Crumble as a vegetarian dinner or as a side with grilled chicken, fish or even hamburgers. It is also perfect for a buffet table. If you don’t like feta you can use goat cheese.

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Andrew Milne-Allen, owner-chef of Zucca Restaurant in Toronto, makes this delicious pancake as a little snack before dinner. Bake it either on the barbecue, in the skillet or in the oven. Cut into triangles for serving. Serve it with olives on the side.
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This is the perfect salad to serve with chicken. It’s crisp, soft, rich and cool.

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This recipe is based on a favourite Japanese appetizer, Denkgaku eggplant. If you don’t want to use an egg yolk, just omit.

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This is a great appetizer served on skewers or a main course tossed with the Sriracha.


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In her excellent book Around My French Table, Dorie Greenspan has a recipe for cured salmon that my daughter Emma successfully adapted to fit our seder table as an alternative to gefilte fish. This keeps for a week.

Ready time: Ready in: two days, including marinating time

Servings: 6 to 8


2 1/2 tbsp kosher salt or other coarse salt

2 tbsp sugar

1 one-pound salmon fillet, cut from the thickest portion of the fish, skinned

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tbsp black peppercorns

2 bay leaves, halved

8 thyme sprigs

1 large carrot, trimmed, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced

Olive oil to cover salmon

2 tsp grated lemon zest

3 tbsp lemon juice

Lemon or lime wedges, for serving


At least one day before serving: Stir the salt and sugar together in a bowl. Slice the salmon into 12 equal pieces (about two-inch pieces) and toss the pieces into the bowl, gently turning the salmon around to coat it evenly. (It’s easiest to use your hands for this.) Massage the salt and sugar in.

Layer the salmon snugly in a bowl or terrine, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, or up to 24. You can also use 1/2 litre canning jars.

Remove salmon and rinse under cold water discarding any brine. Pat dry.

Repack the salmon into the bowl or terrine layering it with coriander seeds, peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme, carrot, onion, lemon zest and juice. Pour in enough of the olive oil to cover the ingredients and seal the bowl or cover the terrine tightly. Chill for at least six hours, or for up to a week.

Slice the salmon thinly and plate with some spicy lettuce or frisée and a little juice from the jar. Alternately, you can serve directly from the jars with lemon or lime wedges.

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This smoky, fiery tapas is so popular in Madrid that many bars have their own version. They are usually deep-fried but I prefer to bake them for ease.

Servings: 4 as tapas


1.5 lbs (750 g) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut in a rough 1-inch dice

3 tbsp olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Bravas sauce

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup chopped Spanish onion

1 tbsp chopped garlic

1 tsp or more hot smoked Spanish paprika

1/4 tsp red chili flakes

1 796 ml can tomatoes, puréed

1/2 cup water

1/4 tsp sugar

2 tbsp sherry vinegar


1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 tsp minced garlic or more to taste

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tbsp chopped parsley


Preheat oven to 400 F

Toss potatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until golden and tender, turning occasionally. Remove from oven and sprinkle with extra salt. Reserve.

Heat oil in skillet over medium low heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 7 to 10 minutes or until soft. Stir in paprika and chili flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until thickened. Add sugar and sherry vinegar and bring back to boil. Season well with salt to taste. Reserve.

Combine mayonnaise with garlic and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Place potatoes on serving plate and top with tomato bravas sauce. Streak with the aioli and sprinkle with parsley.

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Our friend Woody Wells drew inspiration for this salad from Judy Rodgers, author of the classic The Zuni Cafe Cookbook. Do not dress the salad until right before serving. For texture make sure the breadcrumbs are coarse, not finely processed.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Ready in: 20 minutes

Serves: 8




2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs

3 Belgian endives, shredded

1 head radicchio, shredded (about 6 cups)

11/4 cups chopped red onion

1 egg, hard-boiled



1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

4 anchovies, chopped

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper



Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and toast, stirring until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Place endive and radicchio in a medium bowl with onion. Grate egg over the salad.

Whisk together mustard, anchovies, garlic, vinegar and 1/4 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss salad with vinaigrette, then breadcrumbs. Serve immediately.



This salad, enticing though it is, will be kind to no wine. Pungent mustard, sharp vinegar, egg, raw onion – that’s quite the arsenal. Best to go with a very crisp, light Mediterranean white. -Beppi Crosariol

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This is a terrific way to cook winter greens. We used dandelion, but Swiss chard, turnip greens, collards and escarole will all work.


1 cup pecans

1 egg white

1 tablespoon sugar


1 tablespoon olive oil

5 strips bacon, diced

1 cup chopped onions

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

2 bunches dandelion greens, stems removed

3 tablespoons wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Toss pecans with egg white and sugar. Lay on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until pecans are dry and crisped.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes or until crisp.

Remove bacon and reserve. Add onions and garlic and sauté until softened.

Drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat and add greens. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until just wilted.

Add vinegar and mix together. Place on a platter and scatter with bacon and pecans. Serve warm. Serves 4.

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Wild leeks are a magical green because the fragile little bulbs are packed with so much flavour. You can eat them raw or cooked and they are delightful with chicken or fish. They sprout under maple trees - I have tried to grow them in our garden, but with little success. They self-seed, so you should pick judiciously because once you pull them, they don't return. I picked too many last year and now have none left!

If you cannot find wild leeks, substitute 2 ounces (60 grams) thinly slivered regular leeks, white and light green part only.


4 ounces (125 grams) goat cheese

3 tablespoons whipping cream

¼ teaspoon grated lemon rind

¼ cup grated Parmesan

¼ cup chopped pistachio nuts

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 sheets phyllo pastry

¼ cup melted butter

2 bunches wild leeks, trimmed and cut in half

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat oven to 400 F.

Combine goat cheese, whipping cream, lemon rind, Parmesan and pistachio nuts in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve.

Cover leaves of phyllo with a slightly damp dish towel. Place first sheet on a flat surface and brush with melted butter. Place second sheet on top, butter and top with remaining sheet of phyllo. Cut phyllo stack into two 8-x-12-inch pieces.

Spread half of goat cheese mixture onto the bottom third of each phyllo stack, leaving a 1-inch border around the sides and bottom edge. Lay leeks across goat cheese. Roll over once to hide leeks, butter exposed phyllos, fold in ends and continue to roll.

Place strudel seam side down on a buttered baking sheet and brush with butter. Repeat with remaining phyllo stack and filling. Use a sharp knife to cut 3 long evenly spaced slits on the diagonal across the top of each strudel.

Bake for 15 minutes or until phyllo is browned. Using the slits as a guide, cut each strudel into 4 pieces. Serve with the herb salad. Serves 4 to 8, depending on appetite.



Local baby lettuces are perfect for this simple spring salad, but for ease add some to the packaged mixed herb salad that is available in produce sections. Toss in fresh tarragon, chervil and basil for a flavour hit.


4 cups mixed lettuce and herbs

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil


Place salad greens in a large bowl. Whisk together lemon juice and olive oil in a separate bowl to make dressing.

Toss greens with dressing, season with salt and pepper and serve with strudel. Serves 4.

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