A Delicious Dish with Chef Paul Lillakas

Growing up watching and helping his grandmother in her garden, Paul Lillakas gained an understanding of what it takes to grow food! When Paul returned from Estonia in the summer of 2019 he wanted to share a recipe that people could prepare and enjoy at home.

Paul Lillakas baking at a Canola Eat Well event
Paul Lillakas baking at a Canola Eat Well event.

Nordic cuisine is rooted in a history of long, cold winters and includes ingredients like fermented black bread, dill, raw garlic. These ingredients lend themselves to the classic flavours of the region. These are the ingredients that Paul grew up eating, his grandmother grew in her garden and prepared.

It’s important to share stories of our diverse cultures. Paul, a recipe developer, media personality, and on-air expert for Cityline, Your Morning, and CP24, is excited to bring us a classic Estonian dish.

Paul chooses canola as the oil in this classically fried recipe.  The bread soaks up the oil and the garlic and they crisp up in the oven just like in the fryer. The accompanying sauce is rich in fresh dill and sharp garlic flavour.

Estonian Garlic Bread | Küüslauguleivad

Hands-on time:  20 minutes
Total Time:  20 minutes
Makes 4 servings

Tip: Look for a European grocery store or market to find quality, firm, sour rye bread, the darker the better!


1/4 cup canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
8 slices dark rye bread, cut into batons

Dill Garlic Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp finely chopped dill
1 clove garlic, minced
Black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together canola oil, garlic and salt. Arrange bread strips onto one pan; drizzle with oil mixture. Toss carefully.
  3. Arrange strips between both baking sheets. Bake until crisp, flipping halfway through, about 12-14 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Meanwhile, in another small bowl, combine mayonnaise, milk, dill and garlic and black pepper. Serve warm garlic bread with sauce on the side for dipping.

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