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Food-truck tribulations
29.03.2017

Chicken or pork? Kelly Eng takes on a food-truck challenge but fails to cement her millennial credentials.

Take me to the river
29.03.2017

For serial cruisers who have done the Danube and knocked off the Nile, less familiar waterways beckon.

Gourmet Institute is back for 2017
29.03.2017

Fire-up the stove, tie on your favourite apron and let’s get cooking, food fans. This year’s line-up is brimming with talent.

The Royal Mail Hotel is changing
28.03.2017

Executive chef Robin Wickens has a stronger influence at the Royal Mail Hotel's upcoming restaurant, slated to open later this year.

Adventuring along America's north-west rivers
28.03.2017

The rivers of America's north-west running through Washington state and Oregon form the arteries of epic landscapes and bold discovery routes. Emma Sloley follows in the wake of Lewis and Clark.

The World's Best sommeliers are coming to Australia
28.03.2017

For the first time, the world's top international sommeliers will take part in the World's 50 Best Awards too.

Seven Italian dishes that shaped fine dining in the 2000s
28.03.2017

Italian food in the restaurants of Australia blossomed into maturity in the new millennium, as the work of these trailblazers shows – dazzling and diverse, a successful balance between adaptation and tradition.

Steam ovens: a guide
27.03.2017

Billed as the faster, cleaner way to cook, are these on-trend ovens all they’re cracked up to be? We take a close look at their rising popularity, USP versus the traditional convection cooker and how each type rates in terms of form, function, and above all, flavour in this buyer’s guide.

Fast autumn dinners

Autumn weather signals the arrival of soups, broths, roasts and more hearty meals.

Flour and Stone Recipes

Baker extraordinaire Nadine Ingram of Sydney's Flour and Stone cooks up a sweet storm for Easter, including the much loved bakery's greatest hit.

Roasted cauliflower salad with yoghurt dressing and almonds

The cauliflower is roasted until it starts to caramelise, which adds extra depth of flavour to this winning salad. Serve it warm or at room temperature.

All Star Yum Cha

What happens the morning after the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards? We treat the chefs to a world-beating yum cha session, as Dani Valent discovers.

Lemon tart

It's really important to seal the pastry well to prevent any seepage during cooking, and to trim the pastry soon after cooking. Let the tart cool in the tin before removing it, or it will crack.

Melbournes finest meet Worlds Best

Leading chefs descend on Melbourne in April for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. We asked local hospitality folk who they’d abduct for the day and where they’d take them to show off their city. There may be coffee, there may be culture, but in the end it’s cocktails.

Spelt cashew and broccoli bowl with yoghurt dressing

This nicely textured salad transports well, making it ideal for picnics or to take to barbecues. The broccoli can be kept raw and shaved on a mandolin, too.

Bali's new wave of restaurants, hotels and bars

The restaurant and hotel scene on Australia's favourite holiday island has never been more exciting and Australian chefs, owners and restaurateurs are leading the charge, writes Samantha Coomber.

Quick meals with green lentils

Beetroot and soft-egg salad

Beetroot and soft-egg salad

When you're talking the tiny refined French variety of lentil, you've got a legume ready for prompt deployment.

Most dried legumes need to be soaked overnight, which rules them out for last-minute meals. Not so French-style green lentils, known as vertes du Puy in France after the region where they're grown (they're now also grown in Italy, North America and Australia).

These small, beautiful lentils have a slightly nutty flavour, don't need soaking and are quick to cook, so you can have them on the table in next to no time. They have a great texture, too; unlike red or brown lentils, they hold their shape and are less inclined to turn to mush.

Lentils take up flavours easily and benefit from simmering in a flavoursome stock. Green lentils are happy dressed in a vinaigrette and served warm or at room temperature, here with roast beetroot and soft egg. They also make excellent bedfellows for smoky bacon, confit duck or pork - and they're great for soaking up the juices of roast meats.

Beetroot and soft-egg salad with warm lentil vinaigrette
Serves 4
Preheat oven to 200C. Trim 2 bunches of baby beetroot, wrap each beetroot in foil and roast until tender (45-50 minutes). When cooled, peel and halve. Boil 6 room-temperature eggs until cooked to your liking (7 minutes for soft yolk), then refresh and peel. Boil 150gm small green lentils until just tender (20-25 minutes), drain and place in a bowl. Sauté 1 thinly sliced golden shallot and 1 finely chopped garlic clove in 90ml olive oil over medium-high heat until tender (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat, stir in 1½ tbsp red wine vinegar and finely grated rind and juice of ½ lemon, season to taste and stir in lentils. Break eggs in half and serve with beetroot and warm lentil vinaigrette, flat-leaf parsley and chopped chives.

Roast chicken with green lentils and lemon
Serves 4
Preheat oven to 200C. Scatter 200gm small green lentils, 1 each finely chopped golden shallot, carrot and garlic clove in a roasting pan, top with 1 butterflied chicken, skin side up, and squeeze over the juice of 1 lemon. Add 250ml chicken stock, drizzle chicken with olive oil and season the skin to taste. Tuck a few sprigs of thyme and tarragon under the chicken, cover with foil and roast for 30 minutes. Remove foil and roast until chicken is golden brown and lentils are tender (25-30 minutes), then serve with extra thyme and tarragon scattered over.

Lentil and garlic soup
Serves 4-6
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add 1 each finely chopped leek, carrot and celery stalk and 3 finely chopped garlic cloves and sauté until tender (8-10 minutes). Deglaze pan with 150ml dry white wine and simmer until almost evaporated, then add 1 litre chicken stock, 300gm small green lentils, 200 gm canned chopped tomatoes, 3 thyme sprigs and 1 fresh bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer until lentils are tender (25-30 minutes). Discard herbs, add 1 tbsp red wine vinegar (or to taste), then pulse with a hand-held blender to a coarse purée. Adjust thickness with water or extra stock, season to taste and keep warm. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add 120gm bacon lardons and fry until crisp (2-3 minutes). Stir in 1 finely chopped garlic clove and 2 tsp thyme. Top with lardons and some of the cooking oil and serve hot.

Braised lentils and sausages
Serves 4
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add 4 thick pork and red wine sausages and brown all over (3-4 minutes), then remove from pan. Add 2 finely chopped bacon rashers, 1 each finely chopped onion, carrot and celery stalk and 2 finely chopped garlic cloves and sauté until tender and translucent (6-7 minutes). Add 500ml chicken stock, 250gm small green lentils and 500ml water, bring to a simmer and cook until lentils are just tender (20-25 minutes), returning sausages to pan for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Stir in ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, 1 tbsp chopped sage, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard and 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, season to taste and serve.

Hot tip
+ Adding salt to the cooking water can lengthen the cooking time of lentils and other legumes. It's best to season the dish once the lentils are cooked to your liking.

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