The February issue

Our clean eating issue is out now, packed with super lunch bowls, gluten-free desserts and more - including our cruising special, covering all luxury on the seas.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller and receive a free Gourmet Menus book - offer ends 26 February 2017.

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Australia's best rieslings

We’re spoilt for variety – and value – in Australia when it comes to good riesling. Max Allen picks the top 20 from a fine crop.

Fig recipes

Figs. We can't get enough of them. Here are a few sweet and savoury ways to add them to your summer spread.

Curtis Stone's strawberry, elderflower and brioche summer puddings

"Think of this dessert as a deconstructed version of a summer pudding, with thinly sliced strawberries macerated in elderflower liqueur and layered between slices of brioche," says Stone. "A dollop of whipped cream on top is a cooling counterpoint to the floral flavours."

Most popular recipes summer 2017

Counting down from 20, here are this summer's most-loved recipes.

Top Australian chefs to follow on Instagram in 2017

A lot has changed since we first published our pick of the best chefs to follow on Instagram (way back in the dark ages of 2013). Here’s who we’re double-tapping on the photo-sharing app right now.

Chorizo hotdogs with chimichurri and smoky red relish

A hotdog is all about the condiments. Here, choose between a smoky red capsicum relish or the bright flavours of chimichurri, or go for a bit of both.

Christine Manfield recipes

As the '90s dawned, darling chefs were pushing the boundaries of cooking in this country. A young Christine Manfield, just starting out at this heady time, soon became part of the generation that redefined modern Australian cuisine. She shares some of her timeless signatures from the era.

Mascarpone

July

This month it is truly deep, dark winter and as there's plenty of Tuscan kale in the garden, I've made a big pot of minestrone.No other brassica gives the same blue-black colour, and the leaves retain some texture even after shredding and long slow cooking.

My friend Ann, who lived in Tuscany for many years, gave me her recipe for ribollita, which is a bit more complex than my standard minestrone. She cooks her beans separately, purées some of them and reserves the cooking liquid. After finishing her basic minestrone, she prepares the masterpiece - a ribollita to sing songs about! In the morning of the day she wishes to serve it, she ladles some soup into a deep pot. Next, some olive oil, then a layer of minestrone, then chunks of dry sourdough, then soup, then bread, then soup. She adds a little of the reserved bean liquid if there's not enough liquid for the bread to absorb. And then just before dinner, she reheats it all very, very slowly, stirring from time to time. The bread will break down to a porridge and the finished dish is creamy in texture, thick with vegetables and wonderful with a good drizzle of olive oil, grated parmesan and plenty of seasoning. Ann also recommends a bottle of sangiovese.

I find I can get a pretty good result by following her advice on the layering, soaking and slow reheating using my standard minestrone recipe, which is published in The Cook's Companion.

Growth is very slow this month. The salad leaves that have been so bountiful all through the autumn are finishing. The trees are all bare, the roses are about to be pruned, and the front border has mostly shut down for the winter. In the vegetable patch the broad beans are flowering, the beetroot and carrots are growing slowly, and the stalwart silverbeet and rainbow silverbeet are providing the only fresh greens.

Winter is the time for citrus. The lemon tree is laden again, so surprising after its serious cutback. And I have made a third batch of cumquat marmalade. The tangelo tree has many more fruit than last year now that it's been moved to a sunnier spot. It is a dismal year for my finger lime.

The garlic plants have just started to grow through. Both broccoli and cauliflower are growing slowly. As always, my problem is lack of space. The leeks are too precious to move and too small to pick yet, and I left the capsicum probably too long in the vain hope that they would ripen. A few did. The consequence was nowhere to create an open planting space for my broccoli and cauliflower seedlings. I have dug over a fairly unpromising patch of ground underneath the clothes line, which will receive only patchy sun, and have planted them out. We shall see.

Over the last six weeks I've been doing a great deal of travelling, visiting most states, promoting my memoir A Cook's Life. There have been plenty of questions about why I wanted to expose my private life and emotional responses to all and sundry, but far and away the most frequent questions related to the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation. The awareness nationwide of our program was very exciting and very encouraging. I spoke with the parents of many children who attend participating schools, and to parents who would like their school to be able to introduce a similar program. I was able to say that we are working hard on ways to make the program grow and to become more accessible, especially to schools with a high percentage of students who are disadvantaged in some way. Keep an eye on kitchengardenfoundation.org.au over the next few months as we unveil our plans.

As part of Tasting Australia I participated in a special lunch at Rymill winery in Coonawarra, South Australia, cooked by Simon Bowen of Pipers of Penola. Simon and I collaborated via email and phone. He sent lists of ingredients and I sent pictures of suggestions. Between us we achieved a great menu celebrating some good things from the region, including a salad of organic beetroot with crisp fried ginger, a sausage of local mullet studded with rock lobster, a saltbush-crusted rack of lamb and a quince tart. I also visited historic Penola and was charmed by the cottages in Petticoat Lane, built in the 1850s, and spent a pleasant half an hour watching the bees in the community garden, a riot of herbs and vegetables there for the picking.

Until next time.

PHOTOGRAPHY ARMELLE HABIB.

This article is from the July 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Newsletter

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

Latest news
Sydney’s heatwaves are affecting your croissants
22.02.2017
Recipes by Christine Manfield
21.02.2017
How to grow rocket
20.02.2017
On the Pass: Danielle Rensonnet
16.02.2017
Four ways with furikake
13.02.2017
The trailer for Chef's Table season three is here
10.02.2017
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...

Chef's spaghetti Bolognese recipes: L to Z

We quizzed the best kitchen talents on their secrets to the ...

Chef's spaghetti Bolognese recipes: B to K

We quizzed the best kitchen talents on their secrets to the ...

Mother's Day recipes

Mum deserves nothing but the best, so why don't you make her...

Easter recipes

Hot cross buns, a whole lot of lamb, some chocolate treats (...

Classic Italian recipes

From spaghetti Bolognese to lasagne and tiramisu to panna co...

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...

get the latest news

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

×