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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.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

Brae

Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.

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.

Discovering Macedonia

Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.

Baby beetroot in cartoccio with ricotta and walnut salad


You'll need

2 baby fennel bulbs, trimmed, cut into 6 wedges 8 small red shallots 8 thyme sprigs 3 fresh bay leaves 1 rosemary sprig 50 ml olive oil 100 gm (1 cup) walnut pieces 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil 30 ml sherry vinegar 2 radicchio di Treviso, outer leaves discarded, inner leaves washed and dried 2 cups (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley (about 1 bunch) 200 gm ricotta   Baby beetroot in cartoccio 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 2 lemons, finely grated rind and juice only ½ bunch lemon thyme, leaves picked To season: freshly ground white pepper 12 baby beetroot, trimmed and scrubbed

Method

  • 01
  • For baby beetroot in cartoccio, preheat oven to 160C. Place a 30cm-square piece of foil on a work surface, brush with 1 tsp olive oil, scatter with garlic, lemon rind and thyme leaves, season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground white pepper. Place beetroot on top, wrap to enclose and seal well, then place on a baking tray and bake until tender (50 minutes-1 hour). Remove from oven, open bag and drizzle with lemon juice and remaining olive oil, seal bag again and set aside.
  • 02
  • Increase oven to 180C. Place fennel and shallots on a baking tray, scatter with herbs and drizzle with 50ml olive oil, season to taste and roast until just tender (15-20 minutes), transfer vegetables and cooking juices to a bowl.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, scatter walnuts in a single layer on a baking tray and roast until lightly coloured and skins start to loosen (8-10 minutes). Place in a tea towel and rub walnuts with a tea towel to remove skins. Coarsely crumble and set aside.
  • 04
  • Combine remaining extra-virgin olive oil and sherry vinegar in a small bowl, season to taste and set aside.
  • 05
  • Coarsely tear radicchio, add to shallot mixture with beetroot mixture, walnuts and parsley. Drizzle with a little sherry vinaigrette, toss gently to combine and divide among plates. Crumble over ricotta, season to taste, serve immediately.

“This salad is perfect in autumn. I first had beetroot cooked this way at a little Moroccan restaurant on the island of Lipari (strange but true), and I love how the juices of the roasting all stay in the ‘bag’. I’ve served these beetroot with grilled snapper as well. The creaminess of the fresh ricotta and the walnuts complement the sweet lemon-infused roasted beetroots, which, along with the fennel, radicchio and roast shallots, produce the strong autumn flavours that I adore.”

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

Light tart red such as dolcetto.

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