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 and receive a free salt and pepper set - offer ends 26 March, 2017

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

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.

Savoury tarts

Will your next baking project be a flaky puff pastry with pumpkin, goat's curd and thyme, or a classic bacon and Stilton tart? As autumn settles in, we're ticking these off one by one.

New cruises 2017

Cue the Champagne.

1980s recipes

Australia saw some bold moves in the ’80s, and we’re not just talking hairstyles. Greater cultural references started peppering the menus of our restaurants, and home-grown ingredients won a new appreciation. The dining scene was coming of age and a new band of pioneers led the charge.

Apple desserts

Whether baked into a bubbling crumble, caramelised in a puff-pastry tart or served in an all-American pie, apples are a classic filling for fruity desserts. Here are the recipes we keep coming back to.

Roti canai

Here, we've made the dough in a food processor, but it's really quick and simple to do by hand as well. If the dough seems a little too wet just add a little more flour.

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.

Neil Perry pulls out of haute cuisine and closes Eleven Bridge

Sydney’s Eleven Bridge to close. For real this time. Sort of. Again.

How to grow radishes

Low-maintenance with a speedy turnaround, the radish is this season's hero for "instant" crop gratification, says Mat Pember.

With the onset of winter we find ourselves reaching for life's little comforts. A slow-cooked meal and glass of red are as welcome as a sleep-in. So, in these cool months reach for a vegetable that suits the chill of winter - the humble radish.

While radishes are hardy enough to grow year round, warm temperatures cause them to bolt to seed prematurely, so it's best to grow them in the cooler months. Furthermore, being fast and easy to grow, they're the ultimate gardening confidence booster. Speaking for a generation that often expects instant gratification, the radish may just be our champion.

To begin with, source seeds from a reputable supplier (ahem, like The Little Veggie Patch Co).

We like the Cherry Belle, a familiar heirloom variety with red skin, white flesh, a sharp peppery taste and the same name as that of our favourite Indonesian girl group. There is, however, a whole world of weird and wonderful radishes out there, so comb the planet for more obscure varieties.

Radish seeds are as hard as rock and benefit from a soak overnight before planting to expedite the germination process. Simply drop the seeds into a jar, fill it with water and leave overnight. Meanwhile, take the opportunity to prepare a location in your patch.

A rule of thumb for root vegetables is to plant them in free-draining soil, not in that gluggy bog where your mint does so well. If you're growing them in a pot, use good organic potting mix. While radishes tolerate partial shade, too little sunlight will shift the plants' focus onto growing foliage to chase the sun rather than developing roots.

Once the soil is ready, sow seeds directly into the patch. Use the tip of your finger to create furrows that are about a centimetre deep and five centimetres apart. Watering is key here, because root vegetables are notoriously thirsty, but also prone to rot. Water every morning so the plants can draw on it throughout the day when they need a drink most. The seeds should germinate within three days and the crop will be ready to harvest in a month or so.

Perhaps the most heartbreaking process when growing radishes is thinning the seedlings. After about two weeks, there will be densely packed growth - what a great gardener you are. While each and every one of these plants will feel like one of your babies, it's necessary to cull a few to give your little radishes some space to grow. Pull them out gently, to avoid disturbing neighbouring plants, so that those remaining are spaced about five centimetres apart.

Radishes grow so fast that they experience little trouble in the way of pests, which are most active at night and generally attracted to moisture. By maintaining a morning watering routine, your patch should be reasonably dry come night-time and far less inviting for nocturnal invaders such as snails and slugs. A good watering routine really is the best pest prevention.

We let our radishes grow until the roots are at least three centimetres in diameter. But ultimately, when to harvest is a matter of personal preference; after about a month pull a few out to taste and assess the size. Unlike many root vegetables, radishes can't be left in ground beyond their prime, as they become tough and pithy. A timely harvest will keep well when properly stored in the fridge.

So, with winter comfort food such as stews and roasts on the menu, use your radish harvest for a crisp, fresh counter-balance and no one need know how easy they are to grow.

Tip of the month: culling seedlings
No one likes to see something go to waste and, for any seed that has managed to grow into a seedling, cutting its life short so early is an unbearable thought. In fact, tell a gardener to pull a perfectly healthy seedling from their patch and they're likely to cry murder. But for the greater good, a cull of your overcrowded seedlings is necessary.

Room to grow is imperative for fledgling plants to thrive. Without space to move, seedlings will start competing with each other - fighting for water, nutrients and sunlight - and once the battle commences there can be no winners. The answer is to cull quickly and cull cleanly. As soon as your seedlings are large enough to handle, cull away.

Less is more doesn't always apply, but this is one of those instances when the rule rings true, because less healthy plants that are adequately spaced in your patch will always produce more than too many plants packed in together. So there is no time to get sentimental - for the greater good, it's a job that must be done.

WHAT TO PLANT
Cool/Mountainous
Asparagus - seedling
Beetroot - seed
Broad Beans - seed
Broccoli -seedling
Brussels Sprouts - seedling
Bok Choi/Pak Choi - seedling
Carrot - seed
Cabbage - seedling
Cauliflower - seedling
Celery - seedling
Coriander - seed
Fennel - seedling
Herbs (all except basil) - seedling
Kale -seedling
Lettuce - seedling
Peas - seed
Potatoes - seedling
Rhubarb - seedling
Rocket - seedling
Radish - seed
Silverbeet -seedling
Spinach - seedling
Spring onion - seedling
Strawberry - seedling

Temperate
Asparagus - seedling
Beetroot - seedling
Broad Beans - seed
Broccoli - seedling
Brussels Sprouts - seedling
Bok Choi/Pak Choi - seedling
Carrot - seed
Cabbage - seedling
Cauliflower - seedling
Celery - seedling
Coriander - seedling
Fennel - seedling
Herbs (all except Basil, Dill, Tarragon) - seedling
Kale - seedling
Lettuce - seedling
Peas - seed
Potatoes - seed
Rhubarb - seedling
Rocket - seedling
Radish - seed
Silverbeet - seedling
Spinach - seedling
Spring onion - seedling
Strawberry - only Alpine varieties - seedling

Sub-Tropical
Beetroot - seedling
Broad Beans - seed
Broccoli - seedling
Brussels Sprouts - seedling
Bok Choi/Pak Choi - seedling
Carrot - seed
Cabbage - seedling
Cauliflower - seedling
Celery - seedling
Coriander - seedling
Herbs except Basil - seedling
Kale - seedling
Lettuce - seedling
Rocket - seedling
Radish - seed
Peas - seed
Silverbeet - seedling
Spinach - seedling
Spring onion - seedling
Strawberry - seedling

Tropical
Beetroot - seedling
Bok Choi/Pak Choi - seedling
Carrot - seed
Capsicum - seedling
Celery - seedling
Chilli - seedling
Cucumber - seedling
Eggplant - seedling
Herbs - (All) seedling
Lettuce - seedling
Pumpkin - seedling
Rocket - seed
Radish - seed
Silverbeet - seedling
Spinach - seed
Spring onion - seedling
Squash - seedling
Strawberry - seedling
Zucchini - seedling

Newsletter

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

Latest news
Honey Fingers, Melbourne's inner-city beekeepers
22.03.2017
Seven recipes that shaped 1980s fine dining
21.03.2017
What is aquafaba?
20.03.2017
Eight recipes from Flour and Stone
20.03.2017
A homage to classic 1970s recipes
13.03.2017
What is teff and how should you use it?
13.03.2017
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...

Dee Nolan and Nolans Road

Nolans Road oil is acclaimed by top chefs and forms the life...

How to grow your own carrots

In the first outing of our new gardening column, Mat Pember ...

How to grow your own beetroot

Beetroot: it’s an agreeable grower, cures hangovers and boos...

How to plant cucumbers

Spring planting ups the anticipation of warmer weather, so s...

How to grow zucchini

The French say courgettes, we say zucchini – whatever you ca...

How to grow tomatoes

Rediscover the true taste of tomatoes – there’s no substitut...

How to grow capsicum

It’s officially summer and party season for us and our veget...

How to grow eggplant

They may look tough, but eggplants play nice, and with the r...

How to grow your own carrots

In the first outing of our new gardening column, Mat Pember ...

How to grow your own beetroot

Beetroot: it’s an agreeable grower, cures hangovers and boos...

How to plant cucumbers

Spring planting ups the anticipation of warmer weather, so s...

How to grow zucchini

The French say courgettes, we say zucchini – whatever you ca...

How to grow tomatoes

Rediscover the true taste of tomatoes – there’s no substitut...

How to grow capsicum

It’s officially summer and party season for us and our veget...

How to grow eggplant

They may look tough, but eggplants play nice, and with the r...

get the latest news

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

×