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Bonnie's Book Clubs

Corporate Services

News and Events

Restaurant Recommendations

Bonnie's Cookbooks

Featured Recipes


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Bonnie Stern

Phone: 416 484 4810

Email:
bonnie@bonniestern.com

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Bonnie Stern
About Bonnie
When Bonnie Stern started her cooking school in 1973 she wanted people to have more fun in the kitchen, eat more healthfully and nourish their families and friends with delicious food. That goal has never changed. Bonnie is still sharing her love of cooking in everything she does.

Bonnie is an award winning author of twelve best-selling cookbooks and writes weekly in the National Post. As well as offering a wide variety of corporate services, cooking classes and unique book clubs where authors actually attend and dinner is included. She is the recipient of the 2007 Premier’s Award.
 
August, 2014

Wow – summer is going by so quickly. I hope you are having fun! A short recap of my July includes two great Summerlicious meals – dinner at Pukka, the delicious, new, modern Indian restaurant on St. Clair Avenue and lunch on the beautiful terrace at ByMark. Both restaurants offered items on their Summerlicious menus that are also on their regular menus – one of the things you should look for when choosing a Licious (winter or summer) destination.

In July I hosted one of Langdon Hall’s popular summer BBQ Series with Chef Jason Bangerter and Bernard Stramwasser (Le Sommelier). These dinners are elegant, held outdoors (weather permitting) in LH’s beautiful gardens, reasonably priced and there are still a few more dinners this summer.

I was also lucky enough to preview Disney’s delicious new film “The Hundred-Foot Journey” opening August 8, 2014 starring Helen Mirren and Manish Dayal. Although it differed from the book by Richard Morais, the film (backed by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey) was fun and mouth-watering, combining Indian and French food flavours and sensibilities. You half-expected to hear the Disney theme song at the end “When You Wish Upon a Star” but it was easy to enjoy nonetheless.

A quick trip to Boston and visit with my friend, award winning journalist and author, Nina Simonds, yielded delicious results as you can see in the restaurant recommendations below and also the Dan Dan Noodle Recipe in our recipe section.

I just finished Kim Thuy's remarkable new novel Man - our book club choice for September. Be sure to check out our new book clubs for Fall. We still have a few spots for Michael Crummey and his acclaimed Sweetland in August.

See you at the farmer's market. Delicious wishes,
Bonnie





Bonnie's Book Club
Bonnie's Book Club is a labour of love. Nothing pleases Bonnie more than to have the opportunity to bring readers and writers together in a truly unique way that offers the rare opportunity to meet some of the country's leading authors, discuss their work and enjoy a delicious meal inspired by the book.

Drawing on her degree in English and her passion for food and cooking, Bonnie Stern invites you to a literary feast you won't soon forget - Oprah's book club never tasted this good!

*Small print: All registrations must be paid in full when registering. Please check your schedule carefully before registering. Cancellations can be accepted only up to 14 days before event date, a $50 charge (plus HST) applies to cover the administration fee and cost of the book. At any time you may send someone in your place for no additional charge. It is the attendee’s responsibility to mark their calendar with the date, time and location of the event.
MICHAEL CRUMMEY: SWEETLAND
MICHAEL CRUMMY: SWEETLANDIn August, Bonnie Is thrilled to welcome back a Book Club favourite when Michael Crummey makes a triumphant return with his eagerly-awaited new novel Sweetland.

Over the last decade the Canadian literary community has watched the flourishing career of Newfoundland's Michael Crummey with great interest. His novels, River Thieves, The Wreckage and Galore, have all received rave reviews and great accolades on their way to becoming national bestsellers. For his work, Michael has been shortlisted for every major literary award, including the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, while building a devoted audience of readers across the country.

Sweetland is a darkly comic, poignant and deeply suspenseful story about one man's struggles against the forces of nature and the ruins of memory. For twelve generations, when the fish were plentiful and when they all-but disappeared, the inhabitants of a remote outport in Newfoundland have lived and died together. Now, in the second decade of the 21st century, they are facing resettlement, and each has been offered a generous compensation package to leave. But the money is offered with a proviso: everyone has to go; the government won't be responsible for one crazy coot that chooses to stay alone on an island.

That coot is Moses Sweetland. Motivated in part by a sense of history and belonging, haunted by memories of the past Moses refuses to leave. But in the face of determined, sometimes violent, opposition from his family and his friends, Sweetland is eventually swayed to sign on to the government's plan. Then a tragic accident prompts him to fake his own death and stay on the deserted island. As he manages a desperately diminishing food supply, and battles against the ravages of weather, Sweetland finds himself in the company of the vibrant ghosts of the former islanders, whose porch lights still seem to turn on at night.

Join us in welcoming Michael Crummey back to the Book Club.
Date: Monday, August 18, 2014 (Limited seats still available)
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: Rock Lobster
110 Ossington Avenue, Toronto
Fee: $150 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Sweetland sent out as soon as possible after registration)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

KIM THUY: MAN
KIM THUY: MANThe Fall season takes off in September with the return of a Book Club favourite. Bonnie is thrilled to welcome back Scotiabank Giller Prize-nominee Kim Thuy as she launches her eagerly-awaited new novel, Man.

Man has three mothers: the one who gives birth to her in wartime, the nun who plucks her from a vegetable garden, and her beloved Maman, who becomes a spy to survive. Seeking security for her grown daughter, Maman finds Man a husband--a lonely Vietnamese restaurateur who lives in Montreal.

Thrown into a new world, Man discovers her natural talent as a chef. Gracefully she practices her art, with food as her medium. She creates dishes that are much more than sustenance for the body: they evoke memory and emotion, time and place, and even bring her customers to tears.

Man is a mystery--her name means "perfect fulfillment," yet she and her husband seem to drift along, respectfully and dutifully. But when she encounters a married chef in Paris, everything changes in the instant of a fleeting touch, and Man discovers the all-encompassing obsession and ever-present dangers of a love affair. Full of indelible images of beauty, delicacy and quiet power, Man is a novel that begs to be savoured for its language, its sensuousness and its love of life.
Date: Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: Mengrai Thai
82 Ontario Street, Toronto
Fee: $150 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Man sent out as soon as possible after registration)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810

CAROLINE MOOREHEAD: VILLAGE OF SECRETS
CAROLINE MOOREHEAD: VILLAGE OF SECRETSIn 2011, Caroline Moorehead’s A Train In Winter, became an international publishing sensation. Extraordinarily powerful and moving, the book told the true story of an extraordinary group of women and their struggle for survival during the Second World War.

In October, Caroline Moorehead makes a rare trip to Canada from her home in the UK and will visit the Book Club to discuss her new book, Village of Secrets, the story of a French village that helped save thousands, including many Jewish children, who were pursued by the Gestapo during the Occupation.

Le Chambon-sur-Lignon is a small village of scattered houses high in the mountains of the Ardeche. Surrounded by pastures and thick forests of oak and pine, the plateau Vivarais lies in one of the most remote and inaccessible parts of Eastern France, cut off for long stretches of the winter by snow. During the Second World War, the inhabitants of the area saved thousands wanted by the Gestapo: resisters, freemasons, communists, downed Allied airmen and above all Jews. Many of these were children and babies, whose parents had been deported to the death camps in Poland.

Just why and how Le Chambon and its outlying parishes came to save so many people has never been fully told. Caroline Moorehead’s new work, Village of Secrets, brings to life a story of outstanding courage and determination, and of what could be done when even a small group of people came together to oppose German rule. It is an extraordinary tale of silence and complicity. In a country infamous throughout the four years of occupation for the number of denunciations to the Gestapo of Jews, resisters and escaping prisoners of war, not one single inhabitant of Le Chambon ever broke silence. The story of Le Chambon is one of a village, bound together by a code of honour, born of centuries of religious oppression. And, though it took a conspiracy of silence by the entire population, it happened because of a small number of heroic individuals, many of them women, for whom saving those hunted by the Nazis became more important than their own lives.
Date: Monday, October 20, 2014
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Place: Pangaea Restaurant
1221 Bay Street, Toronto
Fee: $150 plus HST*
(includes dinner, beverages, gratuity and a copy of Village of Secrets sent out as soon as possible after registration)
Advance registration only: Bonnie Stern 416 484 4810



Book Club Locations
 
Rock Lobster 5
Rock Lobster 3
Rock Lobster1
Rock Lobster 4
Rock Lobster 2
Rock Lobster
Rock Lobster

Rock Lobster is the perfect location for a book from Michael Crummey. True Maritime personalities shine through the pages as does the warmth and deliciousness of the food and philosophy of Rock Lobster.

110 Ossington Avenue
Toronto
416 533 1800


www.rocklobsterfood.com
Mengrai Thai 1
Mengrai Thai 2
Mengrai Thai 3
Mengrai Thai
Mengrai Thai

One of Bonnie’s favourite Southeast Asian restaurant - consistently high rating and great reviews combined to make Mengrai Thai one of the most popular in Toronto.

82 Ontario Street
Toronto
416 840 2759


www.mengraithai.com
Pangaea 1
Pangaea 2
Pangaea 5
Pangaea Restaurant
Pangaea Restaurant

Chef Martin Kroupie has always championed local, seasonal food and many of the ingredients he uses are only available to Pangaea. He is the author of Pangaea, Why It Tastes So Good, where he reveals the secrets of some of his most celebrated dishes.

1221 Bay Street
Toronto
416 920 2323

www.pangaearestaurant.com
Corporate Services
Corporate culinary events are a great way to host a corporate function. Great food always brings co-workers and staff together. People have fun, learn a lot and take home delicious memories.

Events are customized to meet your location, schedule, objectives and food preferences. Bonnie works with nutritionists, food producers, restaurants, etiquette experts and authors to create exciting programs.

All events will be planned and hosted by Bonnie personally.


Corporate Cooking Class
Private Cooking Class

Bonnie Stern has worked with various food manufacturers, grocery chains, restaurants, chefs, health professionals as well as cookware manufacturers, etc., offering a wide variety of corporate services, such as:

Corporate culinary events
Corporate family dinners
Market Tours
Recipe development
Private cooking classes
Personal chef training
Product consultation
Menu consulting for parties
Fundraising events 
and more...

For detailed information,
please call: 416 484 4810
Bonnie's Cookbooks
 
Friday Night Dinners (Paperback)
Friday Night Dinners
Bonnie's latest cookbook with her favourite menus, recipes, photos and stories. Over 170 delicious recipes for every occasion - holidays, barbecues, fast suppers and fabulous feasts - and Bonnie makes sure you can make fantastic meals and still enjoy the food and fun with everyone else. You'll want to use this book every day of the week.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2010, 320 pages, paperback

$29.95
Bonnie Stern's Essentials of Home Cooking
Bonnie Stern's
Essentials of Home Cooking

Winner of the 2004 International Association of Culinary Professionals Award. A beautiful cookbook filled with Bonnie’s personal favourites - dishes that reflect the way we are cooking today.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2003, 208 pages, paperback

$34.95
HeartSmart
HeartSmart
This wonderful compendium is a must for every kitchen featuring over 300 favourite recipes from the bestselling Simply HeartSmart Cooking, More HeartSmart Cooking and HeartSmart Cooking for Family and Friends, as well as 75 brand-new recipes to add to your HeartSmart repertoire. Many of the classic recipes have been fully updated to incorporate current food trends and new nutritional information.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2006, 480 pages, paperback.

$34.95
Cuisiner au goût du cœur
Cuisiner au gout du coeur
Published by Trecarre, 2006, 512 pages

$18.98 
Appetizers
Appetizers
A very special collection of over 150 mouth-watering recipes including soups, spreads, salads, hors d'oeuvre, pastas and much more. Complete with presentation, entertaining, menu planning tips and over 50 detailed illustrations.

Published by Random House of Canada, 1990, 176 pages, paperback

$22.95
Desserts
Desserts
Over 120 recipes for decadent cakes, pies and pastries, scrumptious cookies, creamy mousses and ice creams – A collection of recipes from a master that stand the test, and tastes, of time.

Also provided are elegant decorating tips, helpful information on equipment and ingredients, and black-and-white illustrations throughout demonstrating basic techniques that will make these recipes absolutely no-fail.

Published by Random House Canada, 1998, 214 pages, paperback

$21
HeartSmart Cooking for Family and Friends
HeartSmart Cooking
for Family and Friends
Featuring nine entertaining menus (over 200 recipes) with complete work plans, presentation ideas and wine suggestions, as well as complete nutritional analysis for each recipe, plus the Canadian Diabetes Association’s Food Choice Values. Colour photos and black and white instructional illustrations throughout.

Published by Random House of Canada, 2000, 320 pages, paperback

$28.95
News And Events
THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY
THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEYThe Hundred-Foot Journey opens August 8, 2014 starring Helen Mirren and Manish Dayal. Although it differed from the book by Richard Morais, the film (backed by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey) was fun and mouth-watering, combining Indian and French food flavours and sensibilities. Don't miss it!
PAN AMERICAN FOOD FESTIVAL
PAN AMERICAN FOOD FESTIVALAugust 8 to 10, 2014

The second annual Pan American Food Festival will feature the best food products, restaurants, food producers, chefs and the variety of national and regional cuisines of the Western Hemisphere.  Celebrating the culinary diversity of the 41 countries of North, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. The Pan American Food Festival will showcase one country each year - this year, that country is Peru. In addition to the food component, a cultural festival of art, music and folklore will enhance the experience.

For more information, visit:
http://panamfoodfest.com/2014/about-the-festival/
CREEMORE SPRING: COPPER KETTLE FESTIVAL
CREEMORE SPRING: COPPER KETTLE FESTIVALSaturday, August 23, 2014
rain or shine


A good old-fashioned country festival featuring classic car show, wagon rides, farmer's market, brewery tour and more. Bonnie will be a judge at the first annual Copper Kettle Cook-Off: Two teams, comprised of culinary icons, gifted chefs, farmers and community members, will each create one delicious recipe using local and seasonal ingredients and a selection of Creemore Springs beer.

For more information, visit:
http://www.creemoresprings.com/en/Home.aspx#
or call 1 800 267 2240
LANGDON HALL
LANGDON HALL'S Each summer Langdon Hall pairs its favourite Chefs, Producers, and Wineries with the best that the season has to offer. Each dinner promises to be fun, relaxed and informative.



For more information and a list of dates and guest hosts, please visit:
http://www.langdonhall.ca/Summer-BBQ-Series
CULINARY TOUR TO ISRAEL
WITH RABBI ELYSE GOLDSTEIN AND BONNIE STERN
'FOOD FOR THOUGHT TOUR'
FOURTH CULINARY TOUR TO ISRAEL:</br>KOLEL AND BONNIE STERN FEBRUARY 2015

We are planning our next 'Food for Thought Culinary Tour' to Israel for February 2015. Please let us know if you are interested so we can contact you directly when we have all the details. The tour will be eight days of culinary and cultural adventures in and around Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the south – market tours, cooking classes, restaurant meals, tastings and an optional post trip excursion to Petra.

To be on the mailing for future trips email: bonnie@bonniestern.com
Restaurant Recommendations and More
TORONTO
Fat Pasha
414 Dupont Street
Toronto
647 340 6142
Everyone loves Chef Anthony Rose’s mash-up of Ashkenazi and Sephardi food that seems to explode with flavour. The patio is especially lovely with a garden, fish pond and slightly less noise than inside. Don't miss the whole cauliflower, couscous, chopped liver, lamb chops and ice cream sandwich.
Moderate
Touhenboku Ramen
2459 Yonge Street
Toronto
416 551 6800
This is a great addition to the Yonge and Eglinton area that has needed a shot of hip and deliciousness for some time. Warm and friendly with the same food as its Queen Street West sister.
Reasonable
Kinton Ramen
402 Queen Street West
Toronto
647 341 6660
With four locations in Toronto, Kinton Ramen rules. Don’t miss the gyoza dumplings and I loved the shio (sea salt) ramen with chicken broth, pork shoulder and egg.
Reasonable
Mengrai Thai
82 Ontario Street
Toronto
416 840 2759
This eclectic Thai restaurant may be hidden away on Berkeley Street but in the know Thai food lovers and people from the film industry located nearby are good clients. Chef Sasi Meechai-Lim cooks delicious food and her husband Allan Lim manages the restaurant. Don’t miss #54 Red Curry Chicken served in a pineapple, crispy beef with cashew sauce and spicy eggplant.
Moderate
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS
Flour Bakery + Cafe
12 Farnsworth Street
Boston
617 338 4333
Great coffee and pastries doesn’t begin to describe Flour. The sandwiches and salads were fantastic and, of course, the treats were endless. There are four Flour Bakeries but this one was near the water and a beautiful walk from our hotel. Don’t miss the tuna sandwich (really), the Boston cream pie, cornmeal and lime buttercream sandwich cookies and sticky buns.
Moderate
Row 34
383 Congress Street
Boston
617 553 5900
This popular new restaurant was very busy, friendly and fun. We loved the smoked seafood charcuterie board with smoked scallops, trout pate, sablefish, mussels and our favourite – incredible smoked uni. We also loved the lobster roll; hot Parker House buns; and although it wasn’t ours, the huge roasted fish head that a couple at the bar was sharing. That fish head looked fanstastic. Next time.
Moderate
Myers + Chang
1145 Washington Street
Boston
617 542 5200
This Asian style diner is a delicious mashup of Asian cuisines interpreted by owners Joanne Chang (of Flour Bakery), Christopher Myers and Chef Karen Akunowicz. Don’t miss Dan Dan noodles (see recipe below); kale and nectarine salad with Korean chili vinaigrette; pork and chive dumplings and fish tacos with kimchee sesame salsa.
Moderate
CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUETTS
Sofra Bakery and Cafe
1 Belmont Street
Cambridge, MA
617 661 3161
This eclectic cafe offers incredibly delicious and interesting Middle Eastern food. The mezze platter was wonderful with smoky eggplant spread, stunning beet tzatziki, muhammara, Moroccan carrot salad, freekeh salad and marinated asparagus with amba. We also had hummus, flatbreads and the best borek ever with nigella seeds. Do not miss the borek! The owner, Ana Sortum, also owns a more traditional restaurant, Oleana, and a mezze bar called Sarma - all serving similarly flavoured foods. Yum.
Moderate
Toscanini's
899 Main Street
Cambridge, MA
617 491 5877
Often voted the best ice cream in Cambridge, Boston and sometimes even the world. It’s very sweet, old-fashioned and the ice cream is delicious.
Reasonable
The Blue Room
1 Kendall Square
Cambridge, MA
617 494 9034
We had a great meal at the Blue Room with a lamb rib appetizer (daily special) that melted in the mouth. Salad with whole mustard vinaigrette was crisp and refreshing and the roast lamb with carrot spaetzle, wood grilled duck breast and pressed grilled chicken were delicious.
Moderate
Featured Recipes
SWEET AND SMOKY GLAZED ALMONDS
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 lb raw almonds
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • SWEET AND SMOKY GLAZED ALMONDSNuts are a great snack as long as you don't eat too many. I became addicted to these while testing them so I know from experience. Eating just a few could be the hardest part of the recipe. They are also great in salads.

    Method:
    1. Place egg whites in a bowl and with a fork, beat together lightly. Add almonds and stir together well. Place almonds in a sieve and drain off any excess egg white.

    2. Combine sugar with smoked paprika, salt and cayenne in a large bowl. Add almonds and toss to coat well.

    3. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toast 35 to 45 minutes in a preheated 250F oven stirring every 15 minutes. Almonds will be syrupy at first but when ready they will be drier and crisp when cool.

    makes 4 cups
    PAPPARDELLE WITH SEAFOOD IN WHITE WINE GARLIC SAUCE
  • 3/4 lb pappardelle (or linguine)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp hot red chile flakes
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine, chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3/4 lb cleaned shrimp
  • 1/2 lb large scallops, cut into quarters
  • 1 lb mussels, cleaned*
  • 1 1/2 cup cooking liquid from pasta
  • 1 tsp kosher salt or more to taste
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (preferably Parmigiano Reggiano), optional
  • PAPPARDELLE WITH SEAFOOD IN WHITE WINE GARLIC SAUCEOver the last few years, many foods we were once told were bad for us have turned out to be good. As it turns out, it seems that foods that are less processed are looking good. Although no one is telling us to eat large quantities of butter, compared to highly processed substitutes it may not be so bad to have a little. And flavour wise, it can't be beat. Moderation is always the key.

    Adding even a little butter at the end of cooking can give many dishes – like pasta and risotto - a good hit of buttery goodness. Use extra virgin olive oil (the least processed olive oil) for cooking but add the butter just before serving.


    Method:
    1. Cook pappardelle in a large pot of boiling salted water for 8 to 10 minutes or until just barely tender.

    2. Meanwhile warm olive oil in a large deep skillet and add garlic and hot chiles. Cook gently until fragrant. Add white wine, increase the heat and cook until liquid is reduced to a few tablespoons - about 3 to 4 minutes.

    3. Add shrimps and scallops and cook one minute. Add mussels and 3/4 cup cooking liquid from pasta. Cover and cook 1 to 2 minutes until mussels begin to open.

    4. Drain pasta well. Add to seafood and toss together. Cook over low heat for a few minutes until pasta absorbs any liquid in the pan.

    5. Add butter and parsley. Toss until butter melts. If pasta is dry, add a bit more of the reserved cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese if using.

    *When cleaning mussels discard any with cracked shells and any that do not close when tapped. Also discard any that do not open when cooked.

    makes 3 to 4 servings
    DAN DAN NOODLES
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or pressed
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger root
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp sriracha or other hot sauce (or to taste)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Asian sesame oil
  • 1/2 lb chow mein noodles or spaghetti
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (or to taste)


  • garnishes:
  • cucumber sticks, 2 sliced green onions, cilantro leaves, 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • DAN DAN NOODLESThis cool, spicy-ish noodle dish is a perfect summer pasta. Myers + Chang is an Asian diner-style restaurant in Boston where owners Joanne Chang and Christopher Myers, with Chef Karen Akumowicz create personal versions of Asian dishes that are exciting and delicious.

    Method:
    1. In a food processor combine peanut butter, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, water, vinegar, lime juice, hot sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Puree until smooth. Reserve.

    2. Cook noodles in boiling, salted water until just cooked. Drain noodles, rinse with cold water and drain again.

    3. Just before serving, toss noodles with sauce until noodles are well coated. Season with salt to taste. Place in serving bowls and top with cucumbers, green onions, cilantro and peanuts.

    makes 3 to 4 servings
    GRILLED CHERRY TOMATOES
  • 6 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • GRILLED CHERRY TOMATOESAs soon as I saw this mesh basket at Williams Sonoma I envisioned these grilled cherry tomatoes. And then grilled partially cooked, baby potatoes. And grilled asparagus. Anything that would normally drop through your grill or anything that sticks badly (eg fish) cooks perfectly in this. It's a great shape and size (approx 11"x17") and the mesh allows the bbq flavour to permeate and brown the food but stops it from falling through. So easy and so delicious.

    Method:
    1. Toss cherry tomatoes with olive oil and salt.

    2. Place grilling basket on a rimmed baking sheet and add cherry tomatoes. Shake so that they are in a single layer.

    3. Place basket on the hot barbecue and grill 3 to 4 minutes, Using oven mitts, shake basket gently (grill basket gets very hot) or move them around with tongs, once in a while. When they brown a little and/or start to split they are ready. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    makes 6 to 8 servings
    BABY KALE, ROASTED ALMONDS AND LABNEH SALAD
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 cups baby kale
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 2 tbsp each chopped fresh dill, parsley and cilantro
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon


  • dressing:
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp good balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or pressed
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup labneh (thick Greek yogurt)
  • BABY KALE, ROASTED ALMONDS AND LABNEH SALADIt is always delicious and enlightening to have a meal with Gil Hovav, Israel's beloved celebrity chef. Labneh is the original Middle Eastern strained yogurt. Commercial Greek yogurt can be used but the texture and tartness isn't nearly as good. Buy labneh at Middle Eastern stores (I go to Ararat in Toronto) or make your own by straining natural yogurt in a strainer lined with cheesecloth or paper towel, set over a bowl for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator to drain.

    Method:
    1. Toss almonds with olive oil and salt. Spread on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or until nicely browned. Cool.

    2. In large bowl combine kale, arugula and herbs. Cover with damp paper towels and reserve.

    3. For dressing whisk lemon juice, balsamic, garlic and salt. Whisk in olive oil. Just before serving toss greens with dressing.

    4. Spread labneh on a large plate platter, top with salad greens, leaving a little of the labneh showing around the edge. Scatter almonds on top. To keep the salad from looking messy, serve by scooping some of the labneh, greens and almonds rather than tossing.

    makes 6 to 8 servings
    RED QUINOA TABBOULEH WITH CITRUS, POMEGRANATE AND DATES
  • 1 cup red quinoa (or black or regular)
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup large flake coconut
  • 3/4 cup orange segments, diced
  • 3/4 cup red grapefruit segments, diced
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 3/4 cup diced, pitted Medjool dates
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • handful of baby arugula


  • dressing:
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • RED QUINOA TABBOULEH WITH CITRUS, POMEGRANATE AND DATESThis is my version of a salad I had last April in a Middle Eastern restaurant in Jaffa. Quinoa should be rinsed with cold water before using unless package directions indicate it has been pre-rinsed. You can use any candied or caramelized nuts instead of coconut.

    Method:
    1. Place boiling water and quinoa in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and cook 18 to 20 minutes on medium low heat or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Spread on a baking sheet to cool.

    2. For candied coconut sprinkle sugar on the bottom of a small skillet. Cook until melted, add coconut and stir until lightly toasted and coated with melted sugar. Spread on a buttered baking sheet. Cool. Break into pieces.

    3. Combine quinoa with citrus segments, pomegranate seeds, dates and cilantro.

    4. For dressing whisk lemon juice with pomegranate molasses, honey, salt and olive oil. Combine with quinoa.

    5. Line salad bowl with arugula, add quinoa and top with coconut just before serving.

    makes 6 to 8 servings
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