Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tuesday Dinner in Lisbon

It's been great traveling with Tuesday Dinner. At this time, everyone is back in Toronto. I'm in Heathrow, 2.5 hrs before my flight leaves and the perfect time to catch up on the blog. So sorry for the delay, but as you might have guessed, there hasn't been much spare time (when we have proper internet access) during the trip.

In the following menu, you will find simple dishes that tastes really fantastic. Especially when you put truffle oil in them :)
  • bruschetta
  • fig and peach salad
  • beans
  • pasta
1/2 jar of sun dried tomatoes
1 small red onion
1 bulb of garlic
2 containers of fresh garden tomatoes
salt and pepper

1. Dice fresh graden tomatoes and red onion.

2. Chop garlic and sun dried tomatoes.

3. Toss everything in olive oil, add salt and pepper and put on top of bread. You can serve the bruschetta as is or bake it at 350 C for a couple of minutes and add grated cheese (optional).

Fig and peach salad
Figs and dates were abundant in Lisbon and this is a great way to incorporate figs or dates into staple salads.

3-4 figs, chopped
3 peaches, chopped
half cup of chopped mint
balsamic vinegar
bed of chicory and mixed greens

1. Chop figs, peaches and mint then mix.

2. On a separate bowl, mix honey and balsamic vinegar to taste.

3. On a salad bowl, make a bed of chicory and/or mixed greens.

4. Put the mixed figs, peaches and mint of top of the bed of mixed greens.

5. Pour the honey and balsamic vinegar over the salad and serve.

2 cups borlotti (common) beans or romano beans
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cup rapini, chopped
2 cups of tomatoes, diced
1 T of olive oil
1/2 cup of red wine

1. Boil and shell the beans in 2 cups of water for 45 min.

2. While the beans are boiling, chop the onion and rush the garlics.

3. Add the onion, garlic and olive oil to the boiling beans.

4. Once the beans are boiled, drain and set aside.

5. Dice 2 cups of tomatoes and boil in 1/2 cup of red wine. When the wine is reduced, throw the chop ramini and when the red wine is reduced, throw the beans that has onions and garlic for 10 min. Add olive oil if the mix becomes too dry.

1 bag of pasta
4 cups of onions and shallots, chopped
1/4 cup butter
3 small head of broccoli
white wine
3 T of truffle oil

1. In a pan, melt 1/4 cup of butter and add the onions and sugar until the onions are caramelized.

2. In a separate pan, cook the pasta according to the instructions, then drain.

3. In a third pan or the same pan after the onions have been cooked, saute the broccoli in white wine.

4. Mix caramelized onions, pasta and broccoli. Add 3 T of truffle oil and mix. Serve with a side of grated cheese.

Tuesday Dinner in Lisbon!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Salads, pasta and mascarpone filled cake!

And we're back! Well, we didn't really go anywhere (yet), I've just missed a couple of dinners and forgot to ask people to document it for me. Hopefully, the next following recipes makes up for the missed entries!

For once, the weather was actually nice, neither humid or rainy, and it was a very good turnout. Especially since Zhadie and her mom came by!

Elisha and sis' arugula, pumpkin seed and strawberry salad
Let's start with a summer salad of arugula, pumpkin seeds and strawberry from Elisha and her sister.

For salad
1 container of arugula
1/2 container of strawberry, sliced
100-150 g of goat cheese
2 T of pumpkin seeds

For dressing
olive oil and balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
1. Slice strawberries.

2. In a bowl, mix arugula, sliced strawberries and pumpkin seeds.

3. Crumble goat cheese into the mix.

3. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Mix.

Purple coleslaw

This recipe is from Danielle and Chris, who are expecting their first child ANY DAY NOW. We're looking forward to meeting baby Moishe when we come back from Europe!

For salad
1 whole purple cabbage (can be substituted by carrots, radish, etc.), sliced

For dressing

1 cup mayo
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 T salt
1 t pepper
juice of half of a lemon

1. Slice the cabbage and put in a salad bowl.

2. Mix all other ingredients into the bowl.

3. Eat right away.

Bread salad
If you have some bread that are starting to go stale, this is a good recipe you can use to salvage them.

For salad
1/2 of a baguette, cut in thin slices
1 container of fresh arugula
6 tomatoes, sliced
1 cucumber, cut in quarters
2 red onions, chopped
2 T capers
4 cloves of garlic, chopped

For dressing
red wine, olive oil and salt and pepper

1. Chop the red onions and put in a heat proof bowl or pan. Pour boiling water on them and let sit for 45 min.

2. Cut the baguette in thin slices and brush with olive oil and chopped garlic.

3. Cut tomatoes into halves then slice, cut cucumber into half lengthwise, then cut into quarters.

4. Mix red wine, olive oil and salt and pepper in a small bowl to your taste.

5. After 45 min, mix all the ingredients into a salad bowl and serve.

Gem Squash from South Africa
Apparently gem squash is not sold or grown in Toronto. You can get your friends to bring over some gem squash next time they are in South Africa. Or do what Jamie did - have friends bring you seeds from South Africa, plant it in your farm then wait a year. Or, substitute zucchinis for them.

a dozen gem squash or 6 zucchinis
olive oil

1. Heat oven to 350 C or start your grill.

2. Cut your gem squash (or zucchinis) into quarters.

3. Put in a bowl and toss with olive oil and pepper.

4. Gut in oven or grill for 30 min, check intermittently as they might be cooked (stick a fork into it and if it's soft, then it's cooked) earlier.

5. Lather with butter. Mmmmm mmmm mmm.

Pasta with broccoli, cilantro and basil

For salad
1 container of pasta
1 head of broccoli
1 container of cherry tomatoes, sliced

For dressing
olive oil and balsamic vinegar
1 T dijon mustard
1 T honey
1 T chopped basil
3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1. Cook pasta (follow the instructions on the package).

2. While pasta is cooking, chop broccoli and slice the tomatoes

3. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic and basil.

4. In a salad bowl, mix all ingredients. Can be served warm or cold.

Salad from the New York

When she doesn't have classes, my friend Minh-Huyen will join us for dinner. She recently moved from New York and she likes to remind us that when she comes over and brings recipes from the New York publications ;-)

For dressing

3⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 eggs, hard-boiled, finely chopped

For salad

1 pound gemelli, cooked al dente, rinsed to prevent sticking
6 ounces prosciutto, julienned
1 pound asparagus, peeled, grilled, and thinly cut
1 small bunch of radishes, thinly sliced and crisped in ice water
6 ounces pecorino peppato, shaved
1 small bunch of basil, leaves torn
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. To make the vinaigrette: Add all ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth. If necessary, add more vinegar to acidity.

2. To make the salad: put all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss together with the vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.

Source: New York magazine recipe

Mascarpone filled cake with sherried berries

This next recipe is now a favourite of mine. A friend from grad school recommended it and the fact that it has mascarpone makes it an automatic winner. The only down side is that it only uses half a container of mascarpone. My suggestion is to double the quantity for the mascarpone filling - use half for the filling and the other half to top the cake with. The original recipe states 2 hr prep time, with 45 minute active time but I finished the whole thing in an hour, including clean up. Granted that clean up involved putting the dishes in the dishwasher but that still counts. So, don't be daunted about the time commitment - it's absolutely worth it!

For cake

2 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk

For berries

1/2 cup Fino (dry) Sherry
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups mixed berries, cut if large

For cream

8 ounces mascarpone (1 cup)
1 cup chilled heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
I suggest you double the quantity for this so you can put a layer of cream on top of the cake as well, it will not disappoint.


confectioners sugar

Make cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan (2 inches deep). Line bottom with a round of parchment paper, then butter parchment.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer at low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing after each addition until just combined.

Spread batter in cake pan, smoothing top. Rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles.

Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, then invert onto a plate. Discard paper and reinvert cake onto rack to cool completely.

Macerate berries:
Bring Sherry and sugar to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Put berries in a bowl and pour hot syrup over them, gently tossing to coat. Let stand 15 minutes.

Make cream and assemble cake:
Beat mascarpone and cream with sugar in a large bowl using cleaned beaters until mixture just holds stiff peaks.

Halve cake horizontally with a long serrated knife. Carefully remove top half and reserve. Put bottom half on a plate, then spread evenly with all of cream and replace top half. Serve with berries.

Cooks notes:

  • Cake, without cream, can be baked 1 day ahead. Wrap in plastic wrap once cool and keep at room temperature.
  • Berries can macerate at room temperature up to 2 hours.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Hi everyone,

I've been remiss in updating this- it's the last week of school so things are on deadline mode, resulting in back entries waiting to be posted. Everything will be back on schedule after this week so please check back next Wed (Jul 28) for new recipes.

We're heading to Paris and Lisbon two weeks from today and Tuesday Dinner is very excited about that! August updates will be full of recipes from foreign ingredients, so check back often for our first Tuesday Dinner vacation.

Tuesday Dinner gang

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Beating the heat with an outdoor picnic

This week, we hit the first heat wave of the summer. Temperatures rose to about 42°C with the humidex. As sticky and icky as the weather was, I'd still choose it over the wet and rainy summer we had last year for the single reason that you can actually spend time outdoors.
This week, Tuesday dinner was moved to Wednesday so this is a bit of a late post. Tonight's recipes are great for an outdoor dinner party or picnic.

Jenna's Watermelon Salad

We'll start with the refreshing salads, the first being Jenna's watermelon salad. This salad goes well for a weather like today because you can use half of the watermelon for the salad and the other half to snack on while waiting for dinner.

1/2 of a watermelon, diced
1 cucumber, diced

120 g feta cheese, diced

1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves, chopped

1/2 cup of sunflower seeds

1. Mix all ingredients together, put in the fridge to cool.

2. Snack on the other half of the watermelon!

Green Salad with Beets, Peas, Avocado and Feta Cheese
This salad is from Elisha, whose introduced me to the different ways you can use avocado in a salad.

1 head of lettuce, chopped
4 beets, roasted (save the leaves as this will be used for one of the flatbread recipe below)

4 green onions, roasted
120 g feta cheese, chopped

1 avocado, chopped

1/2 cup of fresh peas (can also be frozen but not canned as those are too soft)

olive oil and balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt

1. Start grill or set oven at 350°C. To roast the beets, drizzle them with olive oil then wrap in foil. Put them on the grill or in the oven for 20 min, or until they are soft. Peel and dice once they are soft.

2. To grill the green onions, drizzle them with olive oil and set on the stove or grill for 5 minutes, make sure not to burn them.

3. In a salad bowl, mix thee chopped lettuce with the grilled beets, green onions, feta cheese, avocado and peas.

4. On a separate bowl, mix equal amounts of olive oil and balsamic vinegar - amount depends on how much dressing you want in your salad. Drizzle the salad dressing on the salad, add a pinch of salt.

Flatbread 1: Tomato and Mozzarella with Basil
1 whole grain pizza dough - you can make your own or buy one from the grocery or local baker such as
Papa Ceo's in Spadina and Harbord.
6 tomatoes, diced

1 ball of mozzarella cheese, sliced

1 head of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil
olive oil

1. Set oven to 400°C or warm up the grill.

2. Use a long baking sheet as a work area, lightly dust with flour and flatten the pizza dough into a flatbread (see photo above for size).

3. Brush olive oil on the bread.

4. Sprinkle the diced tomatoes and chopped garlic on the flatbread.

5. Add a layer of sliced mozzarella.

6. Add a layer of the chopped basil.

7. If you are a meat lover, you can add prosciutto, ham or any choice of meat on the flatbread.

8. Bake in the oven or put on the grill for 20-30 minutes. Check intermittently and take out when edges start to brown. Do not overcook.

Flatbread 2: Sweet Potato and Vodka Sauce

1 whole grain pizza dough

2 sweet potato, baked

1/2 cup of peas

1 small onion, sliced

1 pint of cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil
4 beets worth of beet greens, chopped

balsamic vinegar

pinch of salt

1. Set oven to 400°C or warm up the grill and bake the sweet potato until soft. About 20 minutes. When done, peel and chop the sweet potato into cubes.

2. Use a long baking sheet as a work area, lightly dust with flour and flatten the pizza dough into a flatbread.

3. Use all of the vodka sauce and spread evenly on the flatbread.

4. From the beets used in the salad above, chop their green leaves and add to the flatbread.

5. Add a layer of the cherry tomatoes, cubed sweet potatoes and peas.

6. Add a layer of basil topped with the sliced onion.

7. Lightly drizzle with balsamic vinegar then add a pinch of salt.

8. Put in oven or grill for 20-30 minutes or until the sides start to brown.

Asparagus Egg Nest

This recipe is good for two cooked servings so you can cut the ingredients to half if you want to serve a smaller quantity. It's also a good recipe for breakfast.

1 bunch of asparagus, sliced thinly or shaved

6 eggs

1 1/2 cup of vegetable stock

1. Set the stove at medium high.

2. Thinly slice or shave 1 bunch of asparagus (15-20 stalks)

3. Put half the slices of asparagus on a pan on top of the heated stove, spread them out evenly. Add 3/4 cup of vegetable stock on the pan and let it simmer.

4. Poach 3 eggs on the pan until stock has evaporated.

5. Repeat step 3 and 4 for the rest of the ingredients or cook them at the same time.

Recipe to come!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

In-between: banana, strawberry, pineapple smoothie

As the summer progresses and the sticky icky humidity rises, I've been looking for different ways to cool down. One is through a deliciously refreshing shake. This recipe is from Rebar, whose recipe book a friend recommended.

What you'll need:
1 banana
5-6 regular sized strawberries (more or less depending on the size)
2 spears of pineapple
1/3 cup soy milk
4 Tablespoon light coconut milk (optional)
ice cubes (optional)

1. Chop banana, strawberries, and pineapple.

2. Put in a blender or juicer, blend/juice.

3. If putting in a blender, you can add 3-4 ice cubes to make the smoothie cooler.

I haven't had a chance to try this with coconut milk and it's still awesome without it. I usually make my smoothies this way, minus the pineapples and trust me - the pineapples makes it a whole new ball game. It adds a different texture and citrus taste to the shake. If you can, make the smoothie from organic fruits - also makes a difference in the taste. Although I must admit, I have yet to see organic pineapples.

Other variations can be: 1 banana, 5 strawberries, 1/3 cup yogurt, 1/3 cup soy milk, 1T honey blended together - a great breakfast to start your day!

If I get organized enough, I'll make some ice cream for the next in-between Tuesday dinner posts.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Greens, greens and beans

All of us have those days that get really busy and it's hard to make elaborate meals, or update an entry on time (sorry!). But a hectic day doesn't mean that you can't make something simple and delicious. The following recipes can be made quickly, or while you're doing other things. Majority of this week's recipes are made from green leafy vegetables, which are very easy and quick to cook.

But first, let me introduce you to Jamie, one half of our weekly host, the cook extraordinaire, supplier of fresh farm vegetables and when he has time, also of delicious lamb meat (yum yum).

That's Jamie with one of the humongous pak choy that he grows in his parents' farm.

Now for the recipes, the following were enough for 12 people.

Swiss Chard Salad

10 leaves of swiss chard, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped

6 garlic cloves, sliced
2 Tablespoon of butter

1 cup of grated cheese (can be Parmesan, Romano, Asiago, or your preferred type of hard cheese)

1. Slice garlic, saute in butter in low heat for 30 min. Make sure not to burn garlic or butter.

2. Mix swiss chard and tomatoes, pour sauted garlic and butter.

3. Top with grated cheese.

Pok Choy with Maple Syrup

1 bunch of pok choy (see Jamie's photo on top)

1 onion, diced
2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 T of olive oil

1 T of sesame oil

2 T of maple syrup

2 T of whiskey (optional - you can also substitute white wine, sherry or other cooking wine)

1. Saute garlic and onions in olive oil in medium heat. Add pok choy until wilted. If you have a lot of pok choy, divide in either third or half when adding to the pan. Start with the bottom parts of the pok choy, then the leaves to ensure consistency - the bottom parts take a while longer to cook compared to the leaves.

2. Add the red pepper flakes, you can skip this if you don't like spicy dishes but if you do, this adds a nice and very subtle spiciness. Sautee for another five minutes.

3. Add sesame oil, maple syrup and whiskey. Sautee for another 5 minutes, do not overcook.

Collard greens and spinach with onions

1 bunch of collard greens, chopped

1 bunch of spinach, chopped

1/4 glass of white wine

1 onion, diced

1. Mix all ingredients in medium heat, saute until greens are cooked.

Broccoli wit
h kohlrabi
1 head of broccoli
1 kohlrabi, sliced

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 C or start your grill.

2. Chop broccoli and slice kohlrabi. Mix together with olive oil, salt and pepper.

3. Put in oven or grill for 30 minutes or until vegetables are cooked but not soggy.


1 bag of dried kidney beans, soaked overnight but if you don't have time, it will just be in the oven a little longer

1 onion, cut in half

3-4 sticks of dried marjoram (or any other spice you prefer), this also amounts to 2 tsp of dried spice (can be oregano, thyme, rosemary, etc.)

1. Set oven to 400 C. Boil beans on stove top while waiting for the oven to heat, follow the water to bean ratio in the package. If you have time to soak the beans overnight that's great as cooking time will be shorter. But if you don't, it's ok as it just means that it'll be in the oven longer. If you're busy, you can do other things (such as writing your essays!!!) while the beans are in the oven.

2. Once beans have boiled, add spice, boil for another 10 min.

3. Add some risotto from the collard greens for added taste.
Put in the oven for 60-90 minutes or until beans are soft, check intermittently.

If you have a bit of time, here is the bread and dessert that was served with the veggie dishes above:

Rye bread
Prep time: 20 minutes
Whole process: 3 1/2 hr

This recipe is from Jenna, one of the bakers in the group. Hopefully there will be a recipe from Jenna for one of her vegan desserts. Sorry there's no photo of the bread - it disappeared very quickly, it was that good! The best part about this bread is that you don't need a breadmaker and most of the time is just waiting for the bread to bake. Plus who doesn't want a kitchen that smells of freshly baked bread?

t = teaspoon
T= tablespoon

1 1/4 cup white flour

2 cups dark rye flour

1 T bread machine yeast

1 T kosher salt

1 T caraway seeds

1 1/2 cup lukewarm water

1/4 cup molasses

1. In a bowl, mix white flour, dark rye flour, yeast, kosher salt and caraway seads

2. In a separate bowl, mix lukewarm water with molasses.

3. Mix the above toger and stir until blended. Stir about 40 times until all ingredients are nicely mixed. Take the mix and cover with plastic for 2 hours in the refrigerator.

4. Take the bread mix and mold with both hands (don't knead!) until it is formed into a loaf.

5. Cover with a towel (but not a terry cloth) to rest for 40 minutes. While waiting, pre-heat oven for 30 minutes at 450 C.

6. Put the bread mix in a casserole dish, roasting pan or cookie sheet and place in the oven. A casserole dish, especially one with a cover is the best as it will result in consistency.

7. Bake the bread, preferrably in the covered dish but a cookie sheet is also ok, for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and add a pan of hot water at the bottom of rack (for moisture), bake for another 15 minutes.

8. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.

Julia's Trifle
This trifle was made by Julia with a lot of improvised ingredients - the best part is that you can change any of the layers with your favourite flavours. This particular trifle resulted in a whole lot of chocolate and berries (nice mix of texture and taste) in one bite. This recipe is great because it nicely uses packaged cake mixes with fresh berries that results in a delicious yet easy to make trifle.
Approximate cooking time is 1 1/2 hours for everything, cake included.

1 box of Dunken Hines chocolate cake (you can use white cake or any other flavour of cake that you prefer)

1 box of Lindt chocolate, chopped

1 cup of white chocolate chips

1/3 cup whipping cream, chilled

2 cups dried apricots, pureed after being soaked in water for 20-30 min.

2 cups of vanilla pudding
1 cup raspberry jam

1 cup of berries (raspberries, blackberries are best but you can also add or replace with strawberries, blueberries)
1 cup of rum mint leaves for decoration

1. Bake the Dunken Hines chocolate cake as directed. Once cooled, slice into small pieces the size of a Mars bars or smaller, depending on the size of your pan.

2. On a stove top, melt the milk chocolate with the whipping cream.

3. Soak the dried apricots in water for 20-30 minutes, then puree.

4. Put the sliced chocolate cake at the bottom of the pan. Drizzle with rum - don't use all of the rum and make sure not to oversoak.

5. Pour a layer on top of the cake followed by a layer of pureed apricots, layer of vanilla pudding (you can swap whipping cream for this), topped with melted raspberry jam.

6. Repeat step 4 to 5.

7. Top with a final layer of sliced cake, drizzle with rum, add a layer of whipped cream and a final layer of fresh berries and some mint leaves for decoration.

Check back next Wednesday for next week's recipes!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lobsters and Collard Wraps stuffed with Sweet Potato, Mango and Avocado

Tonight was the first time that we had a "theme" night. It was supposed to be surf n' turf but in the end, it was just 'surf' night. Which, I guess, was a good thing since we were all stuffed to the seams. Collard Wraps also made an appearance. J introduced them a couple of months ago and they were a hit. Same the second time around.

Serving size: Tonight there were approximately 14 people, recipes would be enough for 20 people (except the lobster).

Collard wraps (serves 15-20 people)

For the wraps:
A bushel of collard greens, each leaf can make 2-3 wraps depending on how many people you are feeding
6 medium sweet potato
9 medium sized carrots
1 onion, chopped
3 mangoes, cubed
3 avocados, cubed
3/4 cup tahini sauce
1 T olive oil
2 cloves chopped garlic

For the peanut sauce
1/2 cup melted peanut butter
4 T soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped cilantro

1. Preheat your oven to 350C or start the grill.

2. Peel and slice the sweet potato and carrots, sprinkle with the chopped garlic and olive oil. Place in a pan and put in your oven or grill. Grill for 15-20 min or until potato and carrots are soft. Once soft, mash the grilled sweet potato and carrots with the onion and tahini sauce.

3. As you're waiting for the grilled potato and carrots, cut up the mango and avocado to cubes and set aside.

4. To assemble the collard wraps, take a leaf of the collard and place a good heap (approx. 1/2 cup) of the the mashed sweet potato and carrot with tahini sauce in the middle of the leaf, sprinkle the cubed mangoes and avocado. Fold the bottom inside and then the sides, roll until you have a wrap. Depending on the size of the wrap, cut into half or thirds for individual portions.

5. To make the sauce, heat the peanut butter over the stove top or a microwave until it's melted. Be careful not to overburn.

6. Mix in the soy sauce and brown sugar (optional). Add a couple of teaspoons of water if you want the consistency to be less thick. Mix in the cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Serve on the side.

Beet and pear salad
5 beets, sliced
3 pears, sliced
3 kohlrabi, sliced (optional)
1/2 cup blueberries (optional)

1/2 cup yogurt
2 T walnut oil
Juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste

1. Peel and slice the beets, pears and kohlarabi. Soak the sliced pears and kohlrabi in cold water for 10-15 minutes.

2. On a separate bowl, mix the yogurt, walnut oil, lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Mix the sliced beets, pears and kohlrabi. Drizzle the salad dressing and top with the blueberries.

8 1.5 to 2 lb lobsters (can serve 7-10 people depending on how many each one eats). Where to buy: Oriental harvest in Chinatown, just north of Dundas on the West side of Spadina. Usually sells for $7.99/lb.

1. Put lobsters in freezer for half an hour to overnight to make them sleepy.

When cooking lobsters, show no fear! Put in head first to kill them quickly and lessen the pain.

2. Boil water and add some salt. Put lobster head first. Boil for 5 minutes for each lb of lobster, and an extra 3 min for each additional lb. The water will cool down once you put the lobster in the boiling water so let it boil again. Once it boils, lower the heat to medium and wait until lobster looks red and juicy.

3. Let lobster cool (5-10 min), cut off the claws and head (J said you can make lobster bisque with the head, but I usually discard it because of the lobster brain guts). Place in bowl and serve with lemon and butter. Yum yum yum.