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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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.

Barramundi en croûte


"This is a dish for a special occasion - it has quite a few elements and will take some planning," says Cooke. "To cook a whole fish in a salt crust seals in the flavour of the flesh and maintains the moisture. Have your fishmonger scale the fish and remove the fins."

You'll need

10 vine-ripened tomatoes, bases scored 200 ml olive oil small fennel bulbs, thinly sliced on a mandolin 150 gm (1 cup) Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped 2 Cone Bay barramundi fillets (about 550gm each) from 1 barramundi, pin-boned For brushing: eggwash 10 large kipfler potatoes (about 1.2kg), scrubbed 200 ml extra-virgin olive oil 1½ cups (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped To serve: radicchio, fennel and pear salad   Salt crust 1.4 kg plain flour 1 kg rock salt 2 cups thyme (about 8 bunches), coarsely chopped 2 cups rosemary (about 5 bunches), coarsely chopped 7 eggwhites, lightly beaten   Crêpes 125 gm plain flour, sieved 2 eggs, lightly beaten 400 ml milk 1 tbsp finely chopped chives For brushing: melted butter   Sauce vierge 250 ml (1 cup) extra-virgin olive oil 80 ml (1/3 cup) lemon juice 2 tsp coriander seeds, finely crushed with a mortar and pestle 1 cup (firmly packed) basil, cut into julienne

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 80C. Blanch tomatoes until skins split (20-30 seconds), refresh in iced water. Drain, peel, halve and remove seeds (discard skin and seeds). Place 8 tomato halves cut-side down in a baking dish to fit snugly, drizzle with 100ml olive oil, season to taste and roast until tender (1-1½ hours). Coarsely chop and set aside. Reserve remaining tomatoes for sauce vierge.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for salt crust, combine dry ingredients and herbs in a large bowl, then turn out onto a work surface and make a well in the centre, add eggwhite and 600ml water then, gradually working the wet ingredients into the dry without breaking the well, knead to form a dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (1 hour).
  • 03
  • For crêpes, sieve flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre, gradually add eggs and milk to well, and whisk until a smooth batter forms. Add chives, season to taste and refrigerate to rest (1 hour). Heat a 24cm non-stick frying pan or crêpe pan over medium-high heat, brush pan with a little butter, pour in a ¼ cup of batter and cook, turning once, until golden (30 seconds to 1 minute). Place on a plate and repeat with remaining batter.
  • 04
  • Heat remaining olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat, add fennel and stir occasionally to sear and crisp (30 seconds-1 minute). Remove from heat, then add olives and confit tomatoes to fennel, toss to combine, season to taste, set aside.
  • 05
  • Increase oven heat to 200C. Cut salt crust dough in half and roll a half between 2 sheets of baking paper to a 28cm x 46cm rectangle. Remove top sheet of baking paper and place dough on a large tray. Repeat with remaining dough and set aside.
  • 06
  • Place 3-4 crêpes overlapping along one dough sheet and place one barramundi fillet skin-side down on top. Drain excess liquid from fennel mixture, spoon over barramundi, then top with remaining fillet skin-side up and head to tail with base fillet. Top with another 3-4 crêpes (you may have crêpes left over), then place remaining salt-crust dough over, seal and trim edges, brush all over with eggwash and roast until crust is golden and fish is cooked (1 hour).
  • 07
  • Cook potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender (15-25 minutes), drain, peel and set aside. Heat extra-virgin olive oil and parsley in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add potatoes and crush with a fork until combined, season to taste and keep warm.
  • 08
  • For sauce vierge, combine extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, coriander seeds and basil in a small saucepan, season to taste and stir gently over low heat to warm through (1-2 minutes). Dice remaining tomatoes, add to oil mixture and set aside.
  • 09
  • To serve, remove crust from fish (discard) then divide fish among plates, drizzle with sauce vierge and serve with crushed potatoes and a radicchio, fennel and pear salad to the side.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people

Drink Suggestion

2008 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet, Clavoillon 1er Cru.

Featured in

Oct 2014

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