Displaying items by tag: appetizers

This potato soup is a traditional Ecuadorean starter. 

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ready time: 1 hour



1 kilograms (2 pounds) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons butter

1 cup onions, chopped

1/3 cup chopped shallots

1 teaspoon garlic, chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 litres (8 cups) water

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup whipping cream

1/2 avocado, thinly sliced

1/4 cup crumbled feta

2 tablespoons corn nuts or cracked lentil chips



Cut half the potatoes into two-inch chunks. Cut remaining potatoes into 1/2-inch dice. Set aside.

Heat oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, shallots and garlic, and cook for three minutes or until starting to soften. Add the two-inch potatoes and cook until they are coated with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered until potatoes are very tender and beginning to break down.

Transfer soup to a blender and purée in batches until smooth. Return soup to same pot and bring back to a simmer. Add reserved diced potatoes, milk and cream, and cook for 15 minutes more or until potatoes are tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with sliced avocado, feta and corn.



It’s a long way from Ecuador to Chile and Argentina, but let’s travel to those latter two countries for a “regional,” or at least continental, pairing for the soup. The big consideration is texture. It’s creamy, and that demands wine with substantial weight. Chilean or Argentine chardonnay fits the bill. Or you could venture to another country that speaks the same language, Spain, for a small pour of luscious amontillado sherry – perfect, assuming you like sherry.

For the cheese tart, try a late-harvest Riesling dessert wine from Canada or Germany, or a sweet Vouvray (often labelled moelleux) from France. Alternatively, try a fruit beer or, to resonate with the anisette, a Sazerac cocktail (2 ounces rye whisky, a sugar cube, splash of absinthe or Pernod and two or three dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters, served on ice). - Beppi Crosariol

Published in Recipes

Imagine cooking without salt: It’s like reading in the glow of a Bic lighter. Salt is the culinary light switch, amplifying and sharpening everything. The following composed salad, featuring pickled fennel, gives the mineral plenty of room to strut its stuff. As for what sort of beverage to serve with it, follow one of the cardinal rules of pairings: salt loves acidity. Sodium’s dry tingle begs for a mouth-watering beverage.


Preparation time: 1 hour (including pickling and cooling time)

Ready time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Servings: 4



1 fennel bulb

1 cup water

1/2 cup white-wine vinegar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

2 cups cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves

1/2 head escarole lettuce, washed and torn

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 large ball buffalo mozzarella, sliced

Maldon salt



To make the pickled fennel, begin by chopping fennel in half lengthwise and cutting out the core. Cut fennel in quarters, then thinly slice crosswise or shave on a mandoline. Place in a bowl. Combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt and fennel seeds in a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. (You can also leave the fennel in the pickling liquid for up to a week if you’re making it ahead.) Pour over fennel and marinate for 30 minutes or until softened. Drain and refrigerate until needed.


Preheat oven to 400 F.

Toss tomatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 10 to 12 minutes or until browned and just crinkling. Set aside to cool.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add rosemary and sauté for 30 seconds or until crispy. Drain on paper towels.

Toss escarole with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide escarole among 4 plates. Lay a few slices of buffalo mozzarella on the side of each plate along with one-quarter of the roasted tomatoes and about 1/4 cup of the pickled fennel. Sprinkle fried rosemary leaves around the edges of the plates and decorate with a little more extra-virgin olive oil and Maldon salt.




Falanghina: I am still waiting for this stellar white Italian grape to have its day in the fashion spotlight. A signature of the Campania region around Naples – where buffalo mozzarella reigns supreme – it is crisp yet more characterful than (yawn) pinot grigio.


(Photo by Ryan Szulc)

Excerpted from The Flavour Principle © 2013 by Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol. Published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Published in Recipes

Do not dress this salad until just before serving as it will wilt a bit.


Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ready time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4 with leftovers



2 small yellow zucchinis, unpeeled and shredded

2 small green zucchinis, unpeeled and shredded

8 radishes, shredded (about 2/3cup)

1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped Salt and freshly ground pepper



1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon grated garlic

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint



Combine zucchini, radishes and red onion.

Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, and whisk in one tablespoon mint. Toss with salad and sprinkle with remaining mint. Season with salt and pepper.

Published in Recipes

This dish is multifaceted. Dab the sauce over the sprouts or serve it on the side. I also used it as a veggie and dip at a cocktail party.


Preparation time: 30 minutes

Ready time: 45 minutes

Servings: 4


Brussels sprouts

500 grams (1 pound) Brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Romesco sauce

1/4 cup olive oil

1/3 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1/2 cup tomato, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup red pepper, roasted and chopped

1 teaspoon garlic, chopped

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes or more to taste

1/2 teaspoon hot Spanish paprika

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar




Preheat oven to 425 F. Toss Brussels sprouts with oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, turning once or until tender-crisp and golden.

To make Romesco, heat 2 tablespoons oil in skillet over medium heat. Add almonds and sauté until lightly browned. Add breadcrumbs and sauté until golden. Remove from heat and stir in tomato.

Place skillet ingredients in a food processor along with remaining oil, red pepper, garlic, chili flakes and paprika. Process until smooth and then add vinegar. Season with salt to taste. If purée is too thick, thin with a little water.

Published in Recipes

Presentation changes your viewpoint of a dish. Taking three elements and stacking them as in this salad make it a visual winner.


Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ready time: 40 minutes

Servings: 4





1 teaspoon chopped garlic

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Salt and pepper to taste


Roasted pears:

2 Bosc pears, not quite ripe

2 tablespoon melted butter

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 ball burrata (buffalo mozzarella or fior di latte would also work)

8 slices prosciutto




Heat oven to 400 F

Place garlic, basil, olive oil and Parmesan in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, and reserve.

Slice pears in half and remove core. Cut each half into 4 slices

Combine butter and brown sugar, and toss with pears. Place on baking sheet and bake for 25 to 40 minutes depending on ripeness. They should be just tender. Let cool.

Slice the burrata horizontally into 4 pieces. Place each slice on a serving plate. Top with pears and finish with prosciutto. Garnish plate with pesto.

Published in Recipes



These corn puddings are a creamy soufflé topped with meaty portobello mushrooms with a touch of miso to really bring out the flavours. Serve with a zucchini slaw on the side. These dishes can be made ahead of time. To reheat, bake puddings on a baking sheet at 350 F for 10 minutes or until thoroughly warmed.


Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ready time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Servings: 4



Corn pudding

1 large cob of corn (to make 1 cup kernels)

2 tablespoon melted butter

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

11/2 cups grated old cheddar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup sour cream

1 small jalapeno, seeded and chopped about 4 tsp or to taste

Salt and pepper


Miso mushrooms

4 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed

2 tablespoons light miso

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil


Tomato salsa

1/4 cup chopped red onion

2 cups tomatoes, coarsely chopped


1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

2 teaspoons seeded and finely chopped jalapeno or serrano chilies

2 teaspoons lime juice or to taste

Salt and pepper to taste



2 cups mixed greens

2 teaspoons olive oil

Lemon juice



Preheat oven to 350 F.

Scrape corn from cob into a bowl keeping any of the “milk” that is extracted. Butter 4 individual 1-cup ramekins.

Stir all ingredients together. Spoon into ramekins and bake for 20 minutes or until edges are bubbling and pudding is golden. Remove to a cooling rack and let sit for 5 minutes. Turn out onto serving plates or leave in ramekins if desired.

Combine miso, balsamic and olive oil, and brush on to both sides of portobellos. Let marinate for 10 minutes.

Preheat grill to high. Brush grill with oil and place mushrooms gill-side down on grill. Cook for 2 minutes, then flip and grill for 1 more minute or until cooked. Alternatively, bake for 20 minutes in 450 F oven.

Stir all ingredients for tomato salsa together gently.

To assemble, slice mushrooms on a 45-degree angle and lay over puddings. Toss greens with 2 tsp olive oil and spritz with lemon juice. Stack 1/2 cup greens over each pudding. Scatter tomato salsa around the stack.

Published in Recipes



The nutritious and meaty eggplant is a late-summer favourite and, along with vibrant green Swiss chard, is the star of this outstanding crustless pie. Eggplant torte is easy to prepare, and makes a terrific main course when served with a salad or cut into smaller pieces as a starter. It may seem like a lot of Swiss chard, but it cooks down to make just enough for two layers. Serve warm or cold, with a fresh tomato sauce on the side, if desired.


Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ready time: 1 1/2 hours, including cooling time

Servings: 8



1/2 cup olive oil

2 pounds (1 kilogram) eggplant, cut on a bias into 1/4-inch slices (about 2 large eggplants)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 bunches Swiss chard, stemmed and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon chili flakes

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 cup grated provolone cheese

3 eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt

8-ounce (250-gram) ball buffalo mozzarella, thinly sliced

1/2 cup grated Parmesan



Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).

Brush 2 baking sheets with a thin layer of olive oil. Brush more oil on one side of the eggplant. Place slices, oiled side up and slightly overlapping, in a single layer on prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes flipping eggplant halfway through. Bake until browned and softened. Cool and reserve.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add remaining olive oil. Add chard, garlic and chilli flakes, and stirfry for 2 minutes or until chard is wilted. Stir in whipping cream and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add provolone and stir until melted. Let cool, then stir in eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.

Oil a 9-inch spring-form pan and line the bottom with parchment, making sure the paper goes halfway up the sides to prevent leakage. Cover the bottom of the pan with a third of the eggplant slices, spread on half of the chard mixture and top with half of the buffalo mozzarella slices. Repeat layers, ending with the eggplant. Sprinkle the top with Parmesan and bake for 30 minutes or until the top is browned and the filling is set.

Let stand 10 minutes then remove sides of the spring-form pan and cut like a cake into servings.

Published in Recipes

This salad, made with kid-approved cucumbers, is a different take on the celery and blue-cheese dip that’s usually served with wings.


Preparation time: 10 minutes

Ready time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4



1 English cucumber

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/3 cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 ounce crumbled blue cheese



Cut cucumber in half lengthwise then slice on a diagonal into half moons. Place on a serving platter or in a large bowl.

Combine mayonnaise with mustard, lemon juice, hot sauce and sugar. Whisk in olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over cucumbers. Scatter with blue cheese.

Published in Recipes



Korean gochujang paste, available at Asian stores and some supermarkets, is the new chili paste taking over from Sriracha and Sambal Oelek. It has a slight sweetness and a consistency like miso, and is a great addition to soups and sauces for both texture and taste.


Preparation time: 10 minutes

Ready time: 45 minutes

Servings: 6



2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onions

1 tablespoon chopped ginger

3 cups sliced carrots

2 cups sliced parsnips

1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar

½ teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

2 teaspoon Korean gochujang paste

6 cups chicken stock

2 tbsp chopped green onions



Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, ginger, carrots and parsnips, and sauté until vegetables are coated with oil and begin to sweat, about 2 min. Stir in vinegar, sugar, dark soy and paste. Add stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Puree with food processor or hand blender. Return to heat and season well with salt and pepper. To serve, garnish with green onions

Published in Recipes




Treadwell makes a sorbet with fromage frais and a lot of lime. I found it easier to buy a lime sorbet and add a couple of tablespoons of chopped basil or mint to it. The soup is hot, the sorbet cold.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour
Serves: 4

½ cup lime sorbet
2 tbsp chopped mint or basil

1 cup chopped onions
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
4 cups vegetable stock
6 red peppers charred, skinned, and seeded
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper
A few sprigs of thyme
4 cheese straws

chili oil for garnish

Stir chopped herbs into lime sorbet. Keep frozen.

Heat butter and oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add vegetable stock, red peppers and thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft. Stir in milk. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle one cup liquid into a bowl and reserve. Remove thyme sprigs from soup. Blend soup, adding reserved cooking liquid as need to get the desired consistency. Pass mixture through a strainer and re-season with salt and pepper.

Serve soup hot with a last minute addition of lime sorbet and a few drops of chili oil. Add a cheese straw across the top.

Published in Recipes