The Paris issue

Our October issue is on sale - the Paris special. Grab your copy for all-things Parisian, plus ultimate French baking recipes and more.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before October 24, 2016 and receive 3 BONUS ISSUES - save 46%.

Gourmet on your iPad

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad.

Seven ways to do dumplings

Dumplings may be bite-sized, but they pack a flavourful punch. Here are seven mouth-watering recipes, from Korean mandu to classic Chinese-style steamed dumplings.

Recipes with zucchini

Whether served raw with olive oil, grated with fresh herbs, or pan-fried in a pancake - zucchini is a must-have ingredient when it comes to spring cooking.

Cornersmith Annandale opens

Marrickville favourite Cornersmith opens a combined cafe-corner store with an alfresco sensibility.

First look: Cirrus, Sydney

Ahead of opening Cirrus at Barangaroo, Brent Savage and Nick Hildebrandt talk us through their design inspirations and some of their favourite dishes.

Shirni Parwana's masala carrot cake

"I'd love to make Shirni Parwana's masala carrot cake for our next birthday party. Would you ask for the recipe?" Emily Glass, Glynde, SA REQUEST A RECIPE To request a recipe, email fareexchange@bauer-media.com.au or send us a message via  Facebook . Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.

Melbourne's best late-night bars

As the shutters come down in other Australian capitals, Melbourne's vibrant nightlife is just hitting it's stride. Michael Harden burns the midnight oil at the city's best late-night bars and diners.

Best feta recipes

Feta's tang livens up all sorts of dishes, from beef shin rigatoni or blistered kale ribs to Greek-style roast lamb neck.

Twelve-hour Indian-spiced lamb shoulder with saffron pilaf

As the name indicates, this dish requires planning ahead. That said, the long cooking time is offset by simple preparation, with melt-in-the-mouth textures and deep flavours the pay-offs. Start this recipe two days ahead to marinate and roast the lamb.

August

Winter is a challenge for the vegetable gardener in the colder states. I find it a challenge to keep up the salad supply. Radicchio seems to thrive in the cold, as do the frilly-edged oak leaf salad varieties. I still have brave cos lettuce plants growing, but slowly. Together with a few small spinach leaves and some rocket pickings, though, my salad bowl is still a treat each evening. I just have to remember to encourage all the green things by giving them a tonic drink of diluted seaweed solution.

And while mentioning plant tonics, this is the time to spray all deciduous fruit trees with Bordeaux mixture, ensuring that the spray is directed at the bark as well as the branches. The spraying of this fungicide should be repeated two weeks later and it must all be completed before the first leaf buds burst. And a spray of white oil on the citrus will help prevent attacks by sap suckers such as aphids.

Here in Melbourne we are enjoying a respectable amount of rain, thank goodness, often during the night. Don't forget to lay non-toxic snail baits and do have a bit of a hunt for snails in the morning.

I am keeping up the beetroot planting, both red and golden and the striped Chioggia variety. The first small beetroot were delicious steamed and made into a salad with the superb burrata cheese from La Latteria in Elgin Street, Carlton. It's made daily along with equally outstanding mozzarella, the freshest ever ricotta, and cream that's a trip down memory lane for me, so closely does it resemble the cream that came from the milk of our Jersey cow when I was a child.

As long as you leave the central leaves intact it's possible to pick a few of the beetroot leaves while the bulbs are still growing. I sauté them with olive oil and mix them into the salad. I don't enjoy uncooked beetroot leaves in a salad, finding them too tough to mix well with my tender salad plants. Other gardeners disagree. The leaf spinach is a delight - soft and silky - and takes less than a minute to cook in a covered pan with no more than the water clinging to the leaves.

I have hilled up the young leeks with a mulch of pea straw, hoping to encourage a maximum of white shank. The broad beans are flowering and the dwarf climbing snow peas and sugarsnaps are yielding several handfuls every couple of days. And I will plant out some more carrots this weekend, mixing the super-fine carrot seed with some fine sand so that the seedlings are not too close together. Thinning will still be essential but you can let the seedlings grow a bit before needing to separate them. The thinnings are always the gardener's treat.

There is an early promise of spring as the freesias push through the front lawn and the narcissus are already in bloom. Every year I mean to relocate my freesia bulbs so that mowing the small patch of grass will not be such an obstacle course, and every year I forget. Maybe I forget intentionally as the front garden looks dreamy once they flower, scattered higgledy-piggledy across the grassy patch. The freesias are all the old-fashioned variety: the colour of cream with here and there a deep butter-yellow throat. Hyacinth bulbs have appeared in the back window box where the tarragon has disappeared for the winter. The basil bushes have shrivelled and blackened while I have been travelling around the country visiting some of the schools in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program.

Often I visit nearby schools but the program is now national and it was a timely reminder of the different growing conditions around the country when I visited the demonstration school in the Northern Territory, Alawa Primary. What a contrast to chilly Melbourne. Under a clear blue sky with the temperature in the high twenties, the garden at the school was exotic and luxuriant to a visitor from the south. I admired hanging bunches of bananas and dangling pawpaw and jackfruit, examined patches of sweet potato and noticed the flashes of scarlet from the prolific birdseye chilli bushes. I was introduced to the rabbits, Chocolate Chip, Licorice and Pepper. In the kitchen the students were preparing a feast for the invited guests.

On the menu were honey-seared crocodile with a red pawpaw and avocado salad; green pawpaw salad; banana flower salad with grated cucumber; rice paper rolls with sliced omelette made from the school's gathered eggs; and roast pumpkin and basil salad with sunflower seeds. It was all incredibly delicious and a perfect example of what we always hope to see: organically grown seasonal food accurately reflecting its environment. These cooks were aged between eight and 10 years old.

It was a shock to return home to a freezing evening. I had to dig out my bedsocks.

Until next time.

For information on Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Foundation and schools program, visit www.kitchengardenfoundation.org.au.

PHOTOGRAPHY JULIE CRESPEL STYLING CLAIRE DELMAR

This article is from the August 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
The second Gourmet Traveller Chinese-language edition is here
27.09.2016
Recipes by Stanbuli
27.09.2016
Recipes by Yama Kitchen & Bar
20.09.2016
Cutting edge: Sydney’s new Chef’s Armoury store
16.09.2016
What is migas?
15.09.2016
Richard Cornish’s year without meat
12.09.2016
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Twenty
things to do this autumn

Whether it's foraging for wild mushrooms in a picturesque Victorian forest or watching a film by moonlight in Darwin, we've got you covered with 20 exciting autumn experiences from around Australia.

Read More
Gourmet TV

Check out our YouTube channel for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

You might also like...

Summer seafood recipes

Turn festive seafood into something special with flavourful ...

Summer salad recipes

It’s time to turn over a new leaf: these crisp and fresh sal...

Quick summer recipes

Perfect for midweek summer nights, these meals are ready in ...

Christmas classic recipes

’Tis the season for turkey, ham and pudding. Whether you’re ...

Adriano Zumbo's Christmas recipes

So you think you know trifle? Think again. Adriano Zumbo tur...

Holiday entertaining recipes

Dare to think outside the box this season with an elegant lu...

David Thompson's Thai recipes

Scholarship and street food come together in David Thompson’...

Strawberry recipes

Sweet, juicy and bursting with flavour, strawberries add a b...

Longrain recipes

It’s been 10 years since Longrain introduced us to big Thai ...

Barbecue recipes

Grab the tongs and novelty apron and fire up your imaginatio...

Fast spring recipes

Fast and fresh food can be ready in just 30 minutes with the...

Chorizo recipes

Where would Spanish cuisine be without the chorizo? This ver...

Recipes inspired by Julia Child

So you can't wait to watch Julie & Julia and don't have a co...

Spanish dessert recipes

The Spanish know exactly how to sweeten the post-prandial de...

Recipes from Spain's Catalonia region

Who better to extol the virtues of this rich Spanish cuisine...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×