Category Archives: Appetizers

Youssef’s Ba’abnjan (a.k.a. babaganoush or eggplant salad)


  • 2lbs eggplant (usually 1 large eggplant)
  • 3-4 cloves of fresh garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Mayonaise -OR tahina; to desired consistency


  1. Punch a few wholes in the “ba’abnjan” = eggplant
  2. Bake in the oven @ 450 F, for 20-30 minutes;
  3. Flip the eggplant over so that it bakes evenly; keep it in for another 20-30 minutes
  4. Take it out; peel the charred eggplant skin;
  5. Put the 3-4 cloves of garlic in the food processor and pulse
  6. Add the eggplant; pulse;
  7. Add salt & pepper to taste and then either the mayo or tahina until you reach your desired consistency


Filed under Appetizers, sides, Snacks

Like…Sari’s Guacamole


Liat (left) and Sari (right)

Sari, who just turned 16, has a sophisticated palate – and often has very sophisticated reviews of food, both of family and of restaurants (quote: “I mean, they don’t know how to slice an onion!”) Below is a go-to recipe of hers for a quick and healthy snack – she was watching TV while I managed to wrestle this one out of her. If you like it, some freshly chopped cilantro (which Sari does not add) is a nice addition. Thanks Sar.


  • 2 avocados, ripe (Sari says, “like a little overripe, you know…mushy”)
  • “and then like, thinly sliced purple onions, like..diced”; a handful worth
  • Diced medium-sized tomato; “take out the seeds”
  • Crushed garlic ; When asked how many, Sari responds, “Like depends how garlicky you like it.” She uses 1 and a half
  • a bit of pepper and salt
  • freshly squeezed lemon, “just like, half a lemon”
  • And…that’s basically it.


  1. Cut up the avocado and mush it with a fork
  2. And then, mix in all the salt, pepper, garlic & lemon
  3. Add tomato and onion last
  4. Eat it with tortilla chips

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Filed under Appetizers, sides, Snacks

Eli Shem-Tov’s Chummus

Be sure to eat lots of this before you go visit Eli Shem-Tov in the dentist’s chair, and breathe your thick garlicky breath on your friendly dentist. You can visit Eli’s website at:

TO know more about the man behind the chickpeas, see below:

Dr. Shem-Tov as a child

Dr. Shem-Tov was a patient at North York Dental since he was a young boy and was inspired by his childhood dentist, Dr. Tom McKean (past President of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario), to pursue a career in dentistry.

As an undergraduate, Dr. Shem-Tov studied neuroscience at the University of Toronto. In 1988, he entered the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario and received his DDS. He then returned home to North York and became the dentist at his boyhood practice.

2 Dr. Shem-Tov at the University

Dr. Shem-Tov is currently a clinical instructor at the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Toronto. He has volunteered his dental skills in his travels to Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Central America.

Dr. Shem-Tov lives in the Annex and is a passionate cyclist, avid skier and horrible golfer. He is more than happy to swap recipes and stories about his two children, Levi and Zoe.

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  • one can of chickpeas (CEDAR is the best brand); reserve juice from can
  • 3-6 cloves of garlic – depending how garlicky you like it
  • 4-6 tablespoons of tahina (sesame seed paste); preferably Middle Eastern
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil – preferably a Middle Eastern brand
  • sprinkle of cumin
  • the juice of 1 fresh lemon
  • optional: za’tar


  1. Crush garlic in a garlic press & put it in food processor
  2. Add tahina, sprinkle of cumin, olive oil, lemon juice and 3-5 tablespoons of the chick pea juice reserve to food processor; blend until texture is light and smooth
  3. Add drained chick peas – in portion, and pulse to maintain a chunky texture; if you like it smoother, blend until desired texture is reached
  4. You’re done; nice to place it on a dish and use tablespoon to “shmear” around a plate; drizzle a little olive oil, paprika and parsley and eat with a brown egg.
  5. Best served at room temperature, with warm pita.

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Filed under Appetizers, Israeli, Links, Middle-Eastern, sides