Savory Saturday – Eating Ethiopian

I’ve tried Tuscany, Italy and Montreal, Canada so far on my new adventure to test out my cooking skills every Saturday.

I really need to start taking more pictures of this process.

BUT it’s very hard for me. I am new to cooking and I am hungry 24/7, so once I start chopping, assembling, baking and timing…I cannot wait any longer.

I need to EAT!

Blue Nile Falls

This weekend, my boyfriend is away and is sometimes a bit shy to warm toward my experiments. So I thought I would start delving into new cuisine realms and try exotic Ethiopian food.

I am not sure if it is as popular in other cities, but for the past 7 years of living in Toronto, I have heard countless time again that the Ethiopian  restaurants in the T.O. have some of the best food around.


Inspired by a few very popular, very delicious sounding restaurants in Toronto (from BlogTO):

1. Nazareth

At Dovercourt and Bloor, Nazareth has a line-up out the door nightly. The small, intimate space has limited seating but the delicious food served in large portions for (surprisingly) low prices make it well worth waiting for a table. It’s a short menu, but most people just order the veggie platter that easily serves two hungry people for only $8. Wander in for a beer on a Saturday night and Nazareth’s regulars might even be having a quiet and charming dance party.

2. Addis Ababa

This staple of Ethiopian cuisine has been in business in the Queen and Dufferin area for 20 some odd years. Between the traditional coffee ceremony, the wide array of hoppy Ethiopian beers, the great dishes and the walls adorned with Ethiopian warriors and kings, Addis Ababa offers the full experience.

3. Lalibela

This popular spot now has two locations, one at Bloor and Ossington and another over near Danforth and Coxwell. They serve up a mean beef tibs and the price is right. With a little more seating than some of the others, this is a great place for bigger groups or those just looking to avoid line-ups at the nearby alternatives.

… is my attempt at a delicious meal:

Yataklete Kilkil


(Ethiopian gingered vegetable stew)


  • New potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks — 6
  • Carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds — 4
  • Green beans, trimmed and cut in half — 1/2 pound
  • Onion, chopped — 2
  • Garlic, minced — 2 cloves
  • Gingerroot, peeled and minced — 1 tablespoon
  • Chile pepper, minced — 2 to 3
  • Oil, butter or niter kibbeh — 3 tablespoons
  • Cardamom or nutmeg, ground (optional) — 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt and pepper — to taste


  1. Place the potatoes, carrots and green beans in a large saucepan, cover them with water and add 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are cooked through, 10 to 20 minutes. Drain, reserving the water, and set aside.
  2. Place the onion, garlic, ginger and chile pepper in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
  3. Heat the oil, butter or niter kibbeh in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion puree and sauté until the moisture evaporates and onions lose their rawness, 6 to 8 minutes. Do not let the onions brown.
  4. Add cooked vegetables, cardamom or nutmeg, salt, pepper and about 1/2 cup of the reserved water. Stir well and simmer on low heat for 15 to 30 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.


Is this a plus or minus? I have to eat this by myself!

Savory Saturday: Tuscany

Saturday’s are usually the day I attempt to create a new recipe. I have the day off, and a lot of time to mess things up, and start over. As part of a new Saturday post, I am going to try to create a new recipe from a different culture/region every week. Mmmm, let’s call it ‘Savory Saturday’.

Today, my mood is set on Tuscany. And what better site to be inspired by a great recipe as Tuscan Recipes.

Here’s my mmmmmeal:


Pizza, Florentine Style

In Florence, pizzerias make pizzas with thin crusts and bake them in wood burning ovens. Here is a basic recipe for the crust, plus the ingredients for making a simple Margerita Pizza. Pizzas are also generally individual size so the recipe below would be for one person.

Makes: 2 thin medium size crust pizzas


  • 2 ¼ teaspoons of dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups bread flour

For toppings:

  • 800 gr fresh tomatoes or canned
  • 4 medium sized fresh mozzarellas
  • salt
  • ground pepper
  • 12 leaves of fresh basil
  • good olive oil
  1. To prepare the dough: Mix the water with the sugar and yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes until dissolved and the yeast starts to bubble. Add the salt, olive oil and 1 cup of the flour and mix well. Add 2 more cups of flour, dough should be still a little sticky but should be able to form a ball. Turn out onto floured surface and start to knead, adding a little bit of flour as needed, until your dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form a fall, place into an oiled bowl and cover with a cloth napkin. Let dough rise for 45 minutes. Punch down and divide in half.
  2. To prepare pizza: Lightly oil your baking pizza pan. With your hands, press on the dough to spread it out over the size of your pan, to about 1/2 cm high (very thin). If using canned tomatoes, make sure they have been well drained and distribute over the dough. If using fresh tomatoes, cut into slices and spread them out on dough (for a different flavor, try my favorite tomato sauce as a base!). Cut the mozzarella into thin slices and spread over the top, then salt and pepper to taste, adding washed basil leaves last. Let the pizza rest for another 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, heat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Drizzle olive oil over the top of the pizza before placing into the oven and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the mozzarella has melted and the crust is golden.

Try your favorite toppings, such as mushrooms, olives, bell peppers and pepperoni (in the US it is called peperoni, here in Italy it is called salamino piccante)!

Buon appetito!

If you own a pizza stone, the pizza cooks faster, like in 8-15 minutes. The pizza stone cooks your pizza like a brick oven would. There is nothing like a pizza cooked on a pizza stone, the next best thing than eating at a pizzeria with a wood-burning brick oven!