Healthy Eating

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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.

Ancient grain salad, goat’s curd, pomegranate, crisp fried shallots


"The idea here is hardly original," says Sibley. "The combination of ingredients is age-old. Grains, pulses, pistachio nuts, pomegranate and goat's curd are all quite Middle Eastern in origin. This is a delicious and nutritious dish to serve as either a shared starter or a side dish."

You'll need

200 gm red or white quinoa 150 gm (¾ cup) freekeh 100 gm (½ cup) wild rice 100 ml olive oil 400 gm canned chickpeas 240 gm canned green lentils 1 pomegranate ½ bunch dill fronds, roughly chopped 15 mint leaves, torn 60 gm pistachios, crushed 100 gm goat’s curd   Pomegranate dressing 40 ml pomegranate molasses (see note) 1½ tbsp lime juice 1½ tbsp tarragon vinegar 30 gm ginger, roughly chopped 2 tsp Dijon mustard 185 ml extra-virgin olive oil   Crisp fried shallots 3 shallots, peeled To coat: cornflour 500 ml (2 cups) canola oil

Method

  • 01
  • Wash the quinoa, freekeh and rice separately under cold running water, then drain. Put the wild rice in a saucepan, cover with plenty of water, bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and leave to simmer for 40 minutes or until cooked but firm. Drain and spread out on a tray to cool down.
  • 02
  • Heat olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the freekeh, mix to coat, and toast for several minutes. Pour in 400ml boiling water, ¾ tsp salt and some black pepper, bring to a gentle simmer, then cover and simmer over a low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Make sure the freekeh is al dente, then remove the lid to allow any remaining liquid to evaporate. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  • 03
  • Combine the quinoa and 500ml cold water with salt and pepper in a saucepan, bring to the boil over high heat and boil for 5 minutes. Turn down to low-medium heat and, stirring occasionally, cook for 10 minutes until the water has absorbed and the quinoa is al dente. Evenly spread the quinoa across a tray and allow to cool. When cool, add rice and freekeh and lightly mix with your fingertips to separate the grains.
  • 04
  • Rinse the chickpeas and lentils thoroughly under cold running water. Drain well, combine with the grains and mix evenly. Refrigerate.
  • 05
  • Score through the skin of the pomegranate in half (base to head), just enough to twist the fruit apart into two chunks. Detach the seeds from the pith by holding each half seed-side down in the palm of your hand and tapping around the skin with your knuckles or a spoon, letting the seeds fall away through your fingers into a bowl. Remove any white membrane.
  • 06
  • For pomegranate dressing, combine ingredients in a food processor, except the extra-virgin olive oil. With the food processor running, slowly pour in the oil until smooth and emulsified. Drain in a fine sieve and set aside.
  • 07
  • For crisp fried shallots, very thinly slice the shallots into rounds and separate into individual rings. Coat the shallots well with cornflour, then put them in a sieve and shake off the excess cornflour. Put the oil in a saucepan and when the temperature is 150C, or when the oil bubbles vigorously when the handle of a wooden spoon is inserted, add the shallots and shallow-fry until golden and crisp (be careful, hot oil will spit). Drain on absorbent paper and season immediately with salt.
  • 08
  • To serve, add the herbs, pistachios and pomegranate seeds to the grains and legumes. Mix in the pomegranate dressing and season. Garnish with dollops of goat’s curds and some crisp fried shallots.

Note Pomegranate molasses is available from select Middle Eastern grocers and delicatessens. This recipe is from New Classics ($49.95, hbk) by Philippa Sibley, published by Hardie Grant Books. It has been reproduced with minor GT style changes.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people

Featured in

Dec 2013

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