Romesco Sauce


This classic Catalan sauce is often thickened with fried bread; here, I have used almonds, which are also traditional and make the recipe gluten-free.  Romesco sauce is a wonderful finish for grilled fish and seafood (especially shrimp), poultry and meat (especially pork) and even vegetables. It is actually a slight variation on a sauce served in the province of Tarragona in Catalonia, where it stars in an annual celebration along with a local onion known as the calcot.

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Catalonian Grilled Vegetable Salad

Catalonian Grilled Vegetable Salad
This salad is a specialty of Catalonia where it is known as escalivada, which means "to cook in ashes". That's why, for the most authentic smoky flavor, I recommend roasting the vegetables on a barbecue.
  1. 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil
  2. 1 eggplant (about 1 1/2 lbs/750 g), sliced
  3. 2 red bell peppers
  4. 1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick rounds
  5. 4 tomatoes, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick rounds
  6. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  7. 2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley
  8. 1 red finger chile, cut in paper-thin slices
  9. Dressing
  10. 1 tbsp (30 mL) red wine vinegar
  11. 1 tsp (5 mL) red wine vinegar
  12. 1 tsp (5 mL) ground dried nora pepper or sweet paprika
  13. 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
  14. 1 clove garlic, pureed
  15. 1/4 cup(60 mL) extra virgin olive oil
  1. 1. Brush olive oil over eggplant, bell peppers, red onion and tomatoes. Place on preheated barbecue and cook, turning occasionally, until nicely charred. When bell peppers are done, place in a bowl and cover with a plate. Set aside to sweat. When cool, life off the skins, seed and cut into strips, reserving accumulated juices. When the onion is cool, cut the rounds into quarters.
  2. 2. Dressing: In a small bowl, combine vinegar, nora pepper and salt, stirring until salt is dissolved. Add garlic and reserved juices from roasted peppers. Whisk in oil.
  3. 3. Arrange vegetables on a platter.Drizzle dressing over top.
  4. 4. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with parsley and finger chile. Set aside at room temperature until ready to serve.
  1. The vegetables will be done at different times; watch closely and remove them as completed and set aside to cool.
  2. Nora is a type of pepper that is associated with Catalonia. It has a rich, sweet flavor. If you can't find, sweet paprika (preferably Spanish) works just fine.
  3. If you want to add a bit of smoky heat to this salad, add 1/8 tsp (0.05 mL) hot smoked paprika to the dressing.
Judith Finlayson

Traditional Coleslaw




There is nothing fancy about this coleslaw – it’s the kind our mothers used to make. Here we’ve added some caraway seeds to bump up the flavor and made a jalapeño pepper an option for those who like a bit of heat.

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Moroccan-Style Couscous Stuffing


This deliciously different stuffing is wonderful with roast chicken or even whole boned fish. I like to use it to stuff a large capon, which I roast and serve as a splendid Sunday dinner. Vegans can use it as a stuffing for roasted bell peppers or eggplant

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Down-Home Tomatoes with Okra


This is a great side dish. A particularly mouthwatering combination of flavors, it makes a perfect accompaniment to grilled meat, fish or seafood. Leftovers make a delicious filling for an omelet.


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Fennel Braised with Tomatoes


Here’s a perfectly luscious side dish that makes a great companion for grilled or roasted fish and meats or a splendid topping for hot whole grains such as wheat berries, barley or brown rice. The gratin variation, which adds a fancy finish and nice texture, is particularly attractive on a buffet table.


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New Orleans Braised Onions


I call these New Orleans onions because I was inspired by an old Creole recipe for Spanish onions. In that version, the onions are braised in beef stock enhanced by the addition of liquor such as bourbon or port. After the onions are cooked, the cooking juices are reduced and herbs, such as capers or fresh thyme, may be added to the concentrated sauce. In my opinion, this simplified version is every bit as tasty. If your guests like spice, pass hot pepper sauce at the table.


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Cumin Beets


I love the simple, but unusual and effective combination of flavors in this dish, which is inspired by Indian cuisine. It’s my favorite way of cooking small summer beets fresh from the garden because I don’t have to heat up my kitchen with a pot of simmering water on the stove top. If you prefer a spicy dish, add hot pepper sauce, to taste, after the beets have finished cooking.

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