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.

Where to stay, eat and drink in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Beyond Kuala Lumpur's shopping malls, Lara Dunston finds a flourishing third-wave coffee scene, tailored food tours and charming neighbourhoods.

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.

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.

Archie Rose's Horisumi-Winter gin

Talking boutique gin and symbolism with Kian Forreal, acclaimed Japanese-tattoo artist and Archie Rose collaborator.

Daily bread

I spent my summer on the beautiful sleepy coast of northwest Tasmania, and despite the fact that we were on the island that happens to grow some of the best produce in Australia, in the heart of rich farming country, I had a hard time finding good food. In fact, I was surprised I couldn't even find a decent loaf of bread. I searched everywhere for a bakery that might have sourdough, but the only bread I could locate was soft white sliced or buns.

It seems natural to assume that when you go to the country there'll be good local ingredients available. Unfortunately, in Australia often the opposite is true: in some rural areas we seem to be least connected with good food.

So, ironically, in this picturesque agrarian setting, I spent a week contemplating the sad lack of quality local produce and desperately missing good bread. It highlighted just how much I take for granted living in a city like Melbourne, where we can get excellent produce and great bread from artisan bakeries all over the city.

It's not that I travel with the expectation of finding restaurants in every corner of the nation as fancy or varied as you find in the city, of course. But one good baker, a good store where decent olive oil and fresh produce are available, and a butcher that sells local beef, pork and lamb seem like fundamentals.

At its best, country life can be a celebration of what people are growing from and making of the land they inhabit. How can people find joy and nourishment in their food if there is nothing more than takeaway shops and chains selling processed food that's sugary and over-refined or fried and fatty?

But back to my bread. It wasn't just sourdough toast and jam for breakfast I was missing, it was beautiful bread with my lunch that I couldn't go without. A favourite afternoon snack of grilled ciabatta drowned in extra-virgin olive oil. The crisp baguette smeared with French butter to have while I prepare dinner. Good bread is an intrinsic part of our daily life, and it's a wonderful ingredient in the kitchen too. A creamy celeriac soup or a braise of beef with onions and red wine are twice as good with well-made bread to mop them up. Buttery fried croûtons make salads into meals, adding texture as well as flavour. Think of a smoked trout salad with watercress, fennel, croûtons and crème fraîche for example. One of my favourite simple pasta dishes is spaghetti with fried crumbs: breadcrumbs fried in extra-virgin olive oil, garlic and anchovies, with a little chopped parsley - delicious with grated pecorino.

Homemade breadcrumbs are a world apart from anything shop-bought. A humble schnitzel can be elevated to something to savour with the simple addition of sourdough crumbs, parmesan and sage. I sometimes serve as an entrée steamed mussels that have been topped with crumbs flavoured with garlic, parmesan and parsley, then grilled - they're equally good hot or cold.

Around this time of year while tomatoes are still their best I love to make panzanella, the Italian salad of stale bread with the ripest of tomatoes, basil leaves and lots of fruity extra-virgin olive oil. I like to pair it with fresh buffalo mozzarella or baked ricotta and slices of prosciutto; its success relies on ingredients of the highest quality. I also think the best panzanella is made with day-old ciabatta; fresh bread doesn't have the right texture to carry it and the flavour of sourdough tends to be overpowering. After toasting the torn bread lightly in the oven, I sprinkle it with a little water then combine it with the tomatoes, salt, olive oil and vinegar, allow the lot to sit for 10 minutes, then add a little more oil and vinegar after the bread has soaked up the juices.

I never throw away good bread because it has so many uses. Softened in warm milk with a little browned onion, herbs, egg and parmesan cheese, stale bread makes a wonderful stuffing for roast chicken. Mix it with minced beef and you've got polpette, or meatballs, ready to be baked in the oven with tomato sugo. Stale bread is also excellent cut into crostini. Thinly sliced and drizzled with olive oil then baked to a rich golden brown, it can carry anything from a bit of cheese or a slice of terrine to a rich chicken liver ragù.

And if there are any keen young bakers out there looking for an idyllic lifestyle in one of the most beautiful parts of Australia, north-west Tasmania is surely a great opportunity.

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