Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

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Farro recipes

Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.

Aløft

There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet. 

Secret Tuscany

A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.

Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.

O Tama Carey's fried eggs with seeni sambol, coconut and turmeric

"I first cooked a version of this dish - inspired by the excellent deep-fried egg dish at Billy Kwong - while working at a restaurant in Sri Lanka," says O Tama Carey. "The lattice-like eggs are doused in a creamy turmeric curry sauce and topped with seeni sambol, a sweet-spiced caramelised onion relish. This dish is equally perfect for an indulgent breakfast as it is served as part of a larger meal." The recipe for the seeni sambol makes more than you need, but to get the right balance of spices you need to make at least this much. It keeps refrigerated for up to three weeks; use as an onion relish. The curry sauce can be made a day or two ahead.

Kisume, Melbourne

Chris Lucas has flown in talent from all over the world, including Eleven Madison Park, for his bold new venture. Here’s what to expect from Kisume.

Brae

Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.

Melbourne Tomato Festival 2015 recap

If ever there was any doubt that the humble tomato is an ingredient that inspires love and devotion (and a willingness to queue), Sunday's inaugural Melbourne Tomato Festival emphatically put paid to that.

Held at the beautiful Farm Vigano on Melbourne's northern fringe, the festival attracted a sell-out crowd of around 2400 people who came to buy, eat, cook, observe, listen and talk all things tomato.

Melbourne food writer Rita Erlich, who helped open the festival, said the tomato was a metaphor for a healthy society.

"It grows in clusters," she said. "It comes in all sizes, shapes and colours. It goes with everything and it encourages sociability and community."

There was certainly plenty of opportunity for sociability and community as people queued good-naturedly to enter the Mint Inc marquee. Inside the sizeable tent with its stage and video screens, cooking demonstrations by Karen Martini, Rosa Mitchell, Frank Camorra, Melbourne Tomato Festival founder and organiser Guy Grossi, Thermomix guru Dani Valent and famed Sicilian food preservationist Fabrizia Lanza covered dishes from spaghetti alla checca to chilli tomato sorbet and gazpacho.

Elsewhere on the grounds a cluster of tents featured food from the likes of 400 Gradi (pizza), Enoteca Sileno (pasta) and Cavallini (cannoli), while the Grossi family's latest venture, a gelati van dubbed Gelato Tino, had its first workout. An Italian brass band played on as customers tried to choose between salted caramel, raspberry and rosemary, and Ligurian honey flavours.

A farmers market sold a staggering variety of tomatoes, and workshops in passata making demonstrated what could be done with the bounty. There were also lessons in growing tomatoes and a discussion about the future of food in Australia.

The mix of the practical, the philosophical and the sociable ensured a successful day, as did the presence of many members of the Grossi family (decked out in covetable red Melbourne Tomato Festival t-shirts) making sure everything ran smoothly.

And so it did, well enough that many in the crowd will no doubt be marking the date in their diary for the return bout next year. As will Guy Grossi.

"I was so happy to see so many people come together to celebrate the tomato harvest and the earth," he says. "To see such a wonderful sense of community around is inspiring."

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