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.

Caponata


"There are as many ways to make caponata as there are cooks in Sicily," says Rogers. "The basis of caponata is the popular eggplant, and the dish evolves according to whichever other vegetables you wish to include. All caponatas have wine vinegar as part of the seasoning and most include capers, olives and pine nuts."

You'll need

1 large round eggplant (about 12cm in diameter) or 2 medium round eggplants 2 celery hearts with leaves For shallow-frying: olive oil 1 large Spanish onion, thinly sliced 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced 2 dried red chillies, crushed 2 Roma tomatoes, peeled and cored (or 3 drained canned Roma tomatoes), cut into 1cm dice 50 gm (3 tbsp) black Ligurian olives, pitted and kept whole 2 tbsp pine nuts 2 tbsp salted capers, rinsed, then soaked in 2 tbsp red wine vinegar ¼ cup (loosely packed) mint, coarsely chopped 6 slices sourdough bread For drizzling: extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  • 01
  • Cut eggplant into 1.5cm dice, then place in a colander, scatter with sea salt and leave to drain for 30 minutes. Wash off the salt, pat dry and set aside.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, chop celery into 2cm lengths, place in a saucepan, cover with water, add 1 tsp sea salt and bring to the boil. Cook until tender (3 minutes), then drain and set aside.
  • 03
  • Heat 3-4 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add eggplant in batches and fry, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, adding extra oil as needed (5 minutes). Remove eggplant with a slotted spoon and set aside on paper towels to drain.
  • 04
  • Wipe out pan with paper towels and return to medium heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden (10 minutes). Add garlic and celery and cook until flavours combine (5 minutes). Add chilli, season to taste with freshly ground black pepper, then add tomato and stir until warmed through (1-2 minutes). Add eggplant and cook until flavours combine (5 minutes). Season to taste, stir in olives, pine nuts and capers, including the vinegar they’ve been soaking in. Stir in mint and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
  • 05
  • Preheat grill to high heat. Grill bread, turning halfway, until toasted (2-4 minutes). Serve caponata warm or at room temperature on grilled bread.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Featured in

Mar 2015

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