Tag Archives: spreads

Appetizers on my plate

Appetizers2Here’s a plate of appetizers we had about a week ago. Nothing fancy, just:

  • Tomatoes (pesticide free, Farmers’ market)
  • Cucumbers (pesticide free, Farmers’ market, $3/ bag)
  • Feta cheese (best feta cheese in town, called the Macedonian feta, in a huge yellow bucket from Kalamata, $30/3kg)
  • Kalamata olives (Superstore, bulk foods)
  • Hummus (Superstore, deli section – not impressed, if you have a chance get the canned one from the ethnic food section and mix with smashed garlic, olive oil, paprika, salt, pepper, lemon juice and parsley).
  • Roasted peppers dip (Kalamata, $6)
  • Red peppers (Superstore)
  • Mortadella with Caciocavallo and Grapes (Lina’s Market)
  • Hot Pastrami with Small Bocconcini and Tomatoes (Lina’s Market)

Cold Cut Appetizers on Foodista

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Sicilian eggplant stew – spread

Italians call this a specific southern Italian dish. Of course, in other parts of the world, it is thought to be specific to other places, like in the Balkans. Wherever you have eggplants, you’re bound to have a variation of this food considered ‘traditional’. While it’s not that easy to prepare, you can keep it in the fridge (or in a den, in a sealed jar) for a long time. It also helps with your daily veggie portion, and it goes wonderfully with crackers, biscuits, or just bread.

You’ll need: 2 eggplants, 2 bell pepper (red, yellow or orange), 4-5 roma tomatoes, 1 onion, 4-5 garlic cloves, 2 celery sticks, salt, pepper, oil. Optional: 1-2 carrots.


  1. You can choose to roast the eggplants and the bell pepper, or not. If you choose to do so, it will take less time to cook the stew. To roast, put in the oven (on a baking sheet or something similar) for 30-40 minutes (350F) or until the skin cracks. Take them out and peel them, then cut into pieces and set aside.
  2. If you do not roast – cut the eggplant and remove the skin. Cut the peppers.
  3. Peel the Roma tomatoes (sink in boiling water for 2-3 minutes) – or use the canned diced tomatoes.
  4. In a big pan, fry for 1-2 minutes the chopped onion and garlic. Add the peppers, the eggplants, the tomatoes and the celery. If you want extra taste, grate the carrots and add them – in the Italian version, you can also add green olives and capers. Add salt and pepper.
  5. Let boil for some 30-40 minutes (more if you didn’t roast the eggplants) or until all the veggies are fully cooked and can be easily mashed. I like to mash everything, so that all the veggies blend into each other, then eat it with crackers or with mustard and paprika bites.
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Spreads that make your life easier…

Here are two spreads that will make your life (and party-planning) much easier. Not only are they healthier than most of the cheese-based stuff, but they are… well, different!

Veggie SpreadThe first one is the Vegetable Spread – you can find quite a wide variety of them in the ethnic stores, with prices ranging from $5-7. They are usually made up of roasted red veggies (such as bell peppers, tomatoes and occasionally eggplants) and are delicious with crackers or even carrots.

The second one is the Taramosalata – basically fish roes with a bit of oil. Add a bit of finely chopped onion Taramosalataand/ or garlic, and you’re guaranteed to have a smashing success (for around $4-5). Crackers, toast or thin strips of bell pepper are great with this salad.

If you live in Calgary, you can get them at Kalamata – the downtown grocery store next to 17th Ave, located at 1421 11 Street SW.

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