Healthy Eating

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

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller for your chance to win a $20,000 Flight Centre gift card! Offer ends 24 May 2017.

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

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. 

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.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Discovering Macedonia

Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.

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.

September

Like so many Melburnians, I have recently enjoyed a holiday in Far North Queensland, a week at Palm Cove, long enough to enjoy the warmth, the morning walks on the beach and many hours relaxing and reading. Of course there was eating too. Crab is one of my favourite foods and I had a delicious spanner crab salad at Reef House, and a challenging tussle with a stir-fried mud crab at Nu Nu. I also tasted Nu Nu's millionaire's salad, made from hearts of coconut palm mixed with ripe honeydew melon, all sharpened with a lime dressing. I was intrigued by the palm heart and my query brought a sample from the kitchen. I was shown a chunk of young coconut palm, its cross-section clearly showing the creamy heart. The palm has to be splintered to get to this prize. I was told there was at least one Queensland farm propagating young trees just to supply this delicacy. One hopes that the demand does not grow too large. At least the palms that fringe the beaches are safe!

Another exotic vegetable taste hit me back home. I was given a tiny yacon plant, and it just grew and grew. Alan Davidson in The Oxford Companion to Food says it belongs to the sunflower family and is indigenous to South America. Other authorities have suggested it is also known as jicama - Davidson distinguishes the two as different species. My plant grew to well over a metre in all directions with very handsome large heart-shaped leaves. The leaves started to wilt at the same time as it started to produce small yellow flowers (very similar to Jerusalem artichoke flowers, so I am convinced it is of the sunflower family). I decided to dig it up. To my surprise it had produced about 20 spindle-shaped tubers, each maybe 12cm in length (completely different in shape from the round jicama tubers). To my palate it is not very interesting raw (although Davidson writes that he has enjoyed the sliced tubers in salads) . But I stir-fried it sliced with plenty of ginger and a handful of my own snow peas and it was quite something.

I have loads of baby salad plants coming along, having shaken the fluffy seedhead of my favourite variety into the nursery bed under the lemon tree. The first sprouting broccolini-type plants have been generous bearers and there are still side-shoots coming along. My early broad bean pods are just starting to fill out and I have planted another dozen plants. And I have kept up the planting of beetroot and snow peas. The purple-podded peas with their glorious violet sweet pea flowers have been a talking point with several neighbours. The peas are small, sweet and the usual green.

I received several responses to my query in the July issue of GT regarding how to deal with my bergamot orange peel. I hesitate to mention a failure but it may reassure others that even very experienced cooks have bad days. I soaked the peel overnight, then the next day I rinsed it, covered it generously with lightly salted cold water and brought it very slowly to the boil. After an hour it was still hard so I turned the stove right down to its lowest point and of course forgot it - I went to the movies and came home to blackened fragments in a completely dry pan.

I'm going to try to grow another passionfruit vine. My first vine grew well but was a bit shaded. I planted another and it died - I suspect it didn't get enough water during the summer of our worst drought. This year, with far more generous rainfall, could be the successful year. I'll grow it against a north-facing sunny trellis and I'll be sure to include plenty of well-rotted poultry manure before planting it. I absolutely adore passionfruit and have such fond memories of a prolific vine that grew at my childhood home.

My daphne hedge is still flowering and fills the air with its scent. And all the poppies that I planted are flowering. I love their trembling papery petals and their pastel colours. And I think I can see the faintest fuzz of green on the grapevine. Spring is just a moment away.

PHOTGRAPHY ARMELLE HABIB

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

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

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

Latest news
What is rou jia mo?
28.04.2017
OzHarvest opens Australia’s first free supermarket for people in need
27.04.2017
Westmont Pickles, Belles Hot Chicken's pickle of choice
26.04.2017
Our Hot 100 issue is out now
24.04.2017
Does Newcastle have Australia’s best eclair?
21.04.2017
Seven Italian dishes that shaped fine dining in the 2000s
28.03.2017
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
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

You might also like...

Easter lunch recipes

With the cooler autumn weather, heartier flavours begin to e...

Cupcake recipes

Scaled down to little more than a mouthful, tiny cakes take ...

Thomas Keller's sandwich recipes

America's most famous chef takes the smarts and good taste t...

Grilling recipes

Dust off the tongs, fire up the barbecue, and get grilling w...

Neil Perry's Spice Temple recipes

At his new Spice Temple, Neil Perry calls on the more exotic...

Pickle and preserve recipes

When it comes to last-minute entertaining, a lovingly made p...

15 (shameless) chocolate recipes

Mousse, souffle, mud cake and more... welcome to the dark si...

Sexy salad recipes

A salad can be so good when it's done just right. Check out ...

Recipes from Australia's best chefs

Peter Gilmore's snow egg, Justin North's smoked duck egg wit...

Quick winter meals

Fire up the stovetop with these wintry dishes, ready for the...

Comfort food recipes

Take comfort in superb onion rings, juicy roasts, syrupy pud...

Braising recipes

Fire up the stovetop, it's time to braise. Our braising slid...

Comme Kitchen recipes

British-born chef Daniel Southern has made his mark in Melbo...

French alpine recipes

Bask in the warmth of French Alpine-inspired food. Ideal for...

French roast recipes

With books such as Pork & Sons and Ripailles, Parisian autho...

get the latest news

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

×