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.


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. 

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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.

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O Tama Carey's fried eggs with seeni sambol, coconut and turmeric

"I first cooked a version of this dish - inspired by the excellent deep-fried egg dish at Billy Kwong - while working at a restaurant in Sri Lanka," says O Tama Carey. "The lattice-like eggs are doused in a creamy turmeric curry sauce and topped with seeni sambol, a sweet-spiced caramelised onion relish. This dish is equally perfect for an indulgent breakfast as it is served as part of a larger meal." The recipe for the seeni sambol makes more than you need, but to get the right balance of spices you need to make at least this much. It keeps refrigerated for up to three weeks; use as an onion relish. The curry sauce can be made a day or two ahead.

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.

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.

Four ways with olives

Pumpkin, fennel and olive ring loaf

Pumpkin, fennel and olive ring loaf

Olives add punch to any savoury dish, brightening the likes of braises, sauces and more.

Little flavour bombs and the source of the good oil, olives are a no-brainer for the pantry. They're great on their own, of course, or as part of an antipasti platter, and also lend savour, salt and acidity to everything from braises to salads.

Each variety has its own character - the anise notes of tiny Niçoise olives, for instance, or the vanilla-butteriness of Cerignola. The punch of Greek black olives adds another dimension to lamb, and we love a green olive tapenade made with fleshy green gordals.

There's much to be said for sourcing olives from delis so you can try them before you buy. With Kalamatas, for instance, it's wise to steer clear of jarred home brands, which often consist of pulpy, flavourless olives. Look for firmness and clean flavour, and avoid olives that are mushy or bruised.

And the colour? Olives all come from the same tree - green olives are simply the fruit picked before it's fully ripened. And while we consider them a pantry staple, they should, of course, be stored in the fridge, in the brine they're sold in.

Bake our pumpkin, fennel and olive ring loaf.

Trout and olives baked in a parcel
Serves 4

Place 4 large pieces of baking paper on 4 large pieces of foil. Divide 2 thinly sliced zucchini among each, top with 4 trout fillets (180gm each), 1 cup crushed pitted black olives such as baby Kalamatas, 1 cup torn basil leaves, 12 halved cherry grape tomatoes, drizzle with 60ml (¼ cup) olive oil, season to taste and wrap to enclose. Place parcels on a tray and bake at 210C until trout is cooked medium (20 minutes). Serve with lemon wedges, a crisp green salad and bread.

Beef with olives and fennel
Serves 4

Combine 1 fennel bulb, cut into wedges, 250ml red wine, 250ml vealstock, ¼ cup rosemary and 6 bruised garlic cloves in a roasting pan. Place 1kg piece of oyster blade on top. Drizzle with olive oil, season and roast at 200C, basting occasionally, for 40 minutes. Strain off and reserve liquid and roast beef until cooked medium (40 minutes). Set aside to rest for 10 minutes and simmer liquid in a saucepan until a thin sauce forms (20 minutes). Add 1 cup quartered pitted green olives, such as gordal. Serve beef sliced with boiled baby kipfler potatoes and sauce.

Rigatoni with olives, tomato and mascarpone
Serves 4

Boil 400gm wholemeal rigatoni in a large saucepan of salted water until al dente (12 minutes), then drain, reserving a little pasta water. Heat 60ml (¼ cup) olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add 3 finely chopped golden shallots and sauté until tender (8-10 minutes). Add 80gm bruised small pitted black olives, such as Taggiasca, 1 large crushed garlic clove and stir for 1 minute, then add 3 finely chopped small red chillies and 2 diced tomatoes and simmer until tomatoes have broken down (4-6 minutes). Add to pasta with 1 cup torn basil leaves and season to taste. Serve topped with grated parmesan and a dollop of mascarpone.

Asparagus with olives and poached egg
Serves 4

Toss 80gm crustless sourdough breadcrumbs (from about ¼ loaf) with 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil in a pan over medium heat until golden and crisp (5 minutes). Combine 1 cup coarsely chopped green pitted Sicilian olives with 60ml (¼ cup) mild-flavoured extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp finely chopped chives, 1 tbsp finely chopped tarragon, 1 tbsp aged white wine vinegar and 1 tsp olive brine in a bowl and season to taste. Peel the bases of 3 bunches of asparagus, then blanch asparagus in boiling water until tender (2 minutes). Drain, then divide among 4 plates and top each serving with a soft-poached egg and olive salsa and scatter with watercress and toasted breadcrumbs.

Hot tip

Olives that haven't been pitted retain better flavour. A quick way to pit them and release their flavour is to crush them with the heel of your hand to pop the pit out.


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