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Mango recipes

Nothing says summer like mangoes. Go beyond the criss-cross cuts - bake a mango-filled meringue loaf with lime mascarpone, start off the day with a sweet coconut quinoa pudding with sticky mango, or toss it through a spicy warm weather Thai salad.

Chilled recipes for summer

When the mercury is rising, step away from the oven. These recipes are either raw, chilled or frozen and will cool you down in a snap.

Shark Bay Wild Scampi Caviar

Bright blue scampi roe is popping up on menus across Australia. Here's why it's so special.

Taming the Wilderness

Heading to Canada’s far-flung places means a whole lot of adventure with life’s luxuries on the side.

Dark chocolate delice, salted-caramel ganache and chocolate sorbet

"The delice from Source Dining is a winner. May I have the recipe?" Rebecca Ward, Fitzroy, Vic 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.

Garlic recipes

This pungent yet essential little bulb sets the foundation for countless dishes across the globe. Slowly roast it alongside spatchcock or whole snapper, or grind it down to thick paste for a rich alioli. When it comes to garlic, the possibilities truly are endless.

Koh Loy Sriracha Sauce, David Thompson's favourite hot sauce

When the master of Thai food pinpoints anything as his favourite, we sit up and listen.

Cooking breakfast like a chef

Direct from our Fare Exchange column and recipe vault, we've picked the best breakfast recipes from chefs cooking around Australia. From croque-monsieur to Paris Brest, you won't find poached eggs on toast here. All of the dishes are the perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee.

Marrow margins

I love watching Italian grandmothers picking over vegetables at the supermarket. I can just hear them thinking, "You call this a tomato? Pah!" If you're in a hurry, though, you really don't want to get stuck behind a nonna when she's going through the zucchini - each and every one gets picked up and examined, and most rejected.

I'm fortunate to have a local grocer that's owned and run by an Italian family. The produce is excellent, and much of it comes from their own farm. This means that when it comes to zucchini they'll be firm and just the right size. By "the right size", I mean not very large. We tend to grow zucchini too big here in Australia. Twelve to 15 centimetres is all a dark-green zucchini needs to be. Any larger and they start to lose their delicate flavour and get mushy when they're cooked. It's a classic supermarket failing, the idea that bigger is better.

I remember in my early teenage years of vegetarianism I experimented with Sarah Brown's Vegetarian Cookbook and made giant zucchini stuffed with brown rice and grated cheddar cheese. Not one of my finest kitchen moments. Even if it's tempting to buy an enormous zucchini and gouge out the inside so that you can stuff it, it'll often be an experience you'll regret; the skin will be tough and coarse, the flesh a wet, bitter pulp.

That said, it can be hard to keep up with those zucchini plants out in the vegetable patch: they're nothing if not prolific. Just when you've run out of ideas for cooking with your right-sized zucchini, you could use the marginally longer ones (around 20cm-25cm) to make bread-and-butter pickles to go with your ham and cheddar sandwiches later in the year.

Zucchini have a sweet, subtle flavour and interesting texture - especially while they're still small and young. They lend themselves well to a number of different preparations. Sliced very thinly on a mandolin, they're lovely dressed raw as a salad or sautéed quickly with good olive oil, garlic and some torn basil - or zucchini's other favourite herb, fresh thyme. Either way they make a nice antipasto, a lovely accompaniment to a grill, and are good tossed through pasta, or scattered over pizza. They're also excellent in caponata, to go a little sweeter, and they take well to sousing as well as pickling.
 
Soft cheeses such as buffalo mozzarella, ricotta and goat's curd have a particular affinity with zucchini. A thin frittata with sautéed zucchini and dollops of ricotta, with just a touch of grated parmesan and basil, is a favourite quick lunch for me.

When I choose to grill zucchini, I find the best way to bring out the flavour is to dress and salt them while they're still hot. And to eat them soon after - they're not nearly so interesting after being cooked then put in the fridge until the next day.

I remember, many years ago in Mildura, Stefano de Pieri's excitement the day he managed to finally find a grower who would supply him with zucchini flowers. No one in the area had even heard of a use for these flowers at the time and they were considered quite the delicacy. We would stuff them with fresh goat's cheese and thyme, then lightly batter them and fry them in olive oil. Zucchini flowers can be filled with just about anything - a little bit of crab, say, or smoked eel mousse. A flavoured soft cheese is always good. I like to keep the filling simple and enjoy the subtle flavour and crunchy exterior. If deep-frying is one of those lines you won't cross in your kitchen at home, don't fret - zucchini flowers need not be deep-fried to be enjoyed. They make a colourful and lively addition to salads and summer minestrones, along with the chopped-up baby zucchini themselves, and they're also very good simply battered in egg and breadcrumbs and shallow-fried.

There are, of course, many different kinds of zucchini. "Italian Striped" from my grower of heritage vegetables out in Tooborac in central Victoria has been a favourite for me this season. It has a much sweeter flavour and firmer texture than the common dark-green variety. If you've got an interest in planting seeds, theitaliangardener.com.au is a great place to find excellent, full-flavoured varieties. You'll also find more interesting varieties at farmers' markets where the producers grow specifically for flavour and texture rather than shelf-life. Just make sure you get there before the nonnas.

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Explainer: wild scampi caviar
30.11.2016
GT's Christmas hamper
29.11.2016
David Thompson's favourite hot sauce
28.11.2016
Our 2016 Christmas issue is out now
28.11.2016
Bruce Pascoe’s crowd-funded Indigenous agriculture project
27.11.2016
Where to start with French beef cuts
18.11.2016
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