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Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom! Farmers’ markets and home gardens are overflowing with the fresh summer bounty of the harvest. Eggplant, bell peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, plus a variety of aromatic fresh herbs – so many scrumptious choices!

Farmers’ markets are the perfect place to find a super selection of ripe, flavour-packed, locally grown produce. You’re sure to find wonderful inspiration to create simple summer dishes to share with family and friends. Best of all, the recipes below are ideal for vegans as well as those who eat a gluten-free diet.


This is my late mother’s recipe for her ratatouille. It’s totally addictive! Enjoy it either hot or cold. It tastes terrific when reheated. Don’t be deterred by the long list of ingredients – they’re mostly herbs and spices.

2 onions, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 small eggplant (about 3/4 lb/340 g), cut in chunks

1 green pepper and 2 red peppers, cut in strips

1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (optional)

2 medium zucchini, sliced

2 large ripe tomatoes, cut in chunks

8 oz can (237 ml) tomato sauce

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

pinch of chili flakes

1/8 tsp each chili powder, oregano and mixed Italian seasoning

1/8 tsp cumin, optional

1 tsp sugar

2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)

  1. Saute onions in oil on medium heat in a Dutch oven or deep skillet for 3 or 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute briefly. Add eggplant and saute 5 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add peppers and zucchini; saute for 5 minutes.
  3. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 25 minutes longer, until veggies are tender.

Makes 6 to 8 servings. Keeps 7 to 10 days in the refrigerator. Freezes well.



Although the basic recipe calls for baking potatoes, you can use small miniature potatoes instead. No need to peel them or cut them up first!

4 large baking potatoes, cut into 8ths (peeled if desired)

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed (or 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, minced)

1 tsp sweet paprika

3 to 4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 Tbsp olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray a 2-quart ovenproof casserole with nonstick spray. Sprinkle potatoes with seasonings, garlic, and olive oil. Rub mixture over potatoes to coat evenly. Cover casserole with foil.
  2. Bake at 400 F for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove foil and roast uncovered 30 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Potatoes should be fork-tender, yet golden and crispy.

Makes 4 generous servings. Do not freeze.


I’ve reduced the fat content considerably for this marvelous Mediterranean salad, but not the flavour! It’s perfect for Shabbat. For a meat meal, just omit the feta cheese or make the dairy-free variation below. Double or triple the recipe for a large crowd since it disappears very quickly!

4 firm, ripe tomatoes

3 green peppers (or 1 green, 1 red and 1 yellow)

1 English cucumber, peeled

1/2 a red or Spanish onion (about 1 cup)

1/4 to 1/2 cup pitted black olives

1/2 cup feta cheese, finely diced or grated (optional)

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

juice of a lemon (3 to 4 Tbsp juice)

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp each dried basil and oregano (or 1 Tbsp each for fresh)

  1. Cut tomatoes, peppers, cucumber and onion into 1-inch chunks. Slice olives or cut them in half.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to mix. (Can be prepared several hours in advance and refrigerated.)

Makes 6 servings. Leftovers keep 1 or 2 days in the refrigerator.

  • Dairy-Free Variation: Substitute extra-firm tofu for the feta cheese. Slice tofu and place slices between two layers of paper towels. Cover with a baking sheet and top with several cans to press out excess liquid. Let stand 20 minutes. Dice tofu and add to salad. Toss gently to mix.

Norene Gilletz is the leading author of kosher cookbooks in Canada. She is the author of 12 cookbooks and divides her time between work as a food writer, food manufacturer, consultant, spokesperson, cooking instructor, lecturer, and cookbook editor. Norene lives in Toronto and her motto is “Food that’s good for you should taste good!” For more information, visit her website at or email her at [email protected].