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.

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.

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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.

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.

Kampot pepper ice-cream with strawberries


"I love contrasting flavours and textures, such as fruit with salt and chilli, which is very South East Asian," says Anchovy chef Thi Le. "The pepper ice-cream offers this contrast of heat and sweetness. The roasty flavour of peppercorns with fresh fruit like strawberries or watermelon makes a great match. I'd been toying with the idea of a pepper ice-cream for a few years but it was not till I discovered kampot red peppercorns that the dessert really came to life."

You'll need

500 gm (2 punnets) strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced 2 tbsp Grand Marnier 1 tsp caster sugar   Kampot pepper ice-cream 2-3 tsp kampot peppercorns, to taste 660 ml (2⅔ cups) milk 110 ml thickened cream 155 gm caster sugar 4 egg yolks

Method

  • 01
  • For kampot pepper ice-cream, dry-roast peppercorns in a saucepan over medium-high heat until fragrant (1½-2 minutes; see cook’s notes p200). Remove from pan, cool for 5 minutes, then finely grind in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a saucepan, add milk and cream and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, whisk sugar and egg yolks in a bowl until pale (30 seconds to 1 minute), then, whisking continuously, gradually add milk mixture. Return to pan over low heat and stir continuously until mixture reaches 82C on a sugar thermometer and just coats the spoon (10-15 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl placed over iced water and stir occasionally until chilled (1-1½ hours). Churn in an ice-cream machine and freeze until required. This is best served on the day it’s made.
  • 02
  • Combine strawberries, Grand Marnier and sugar in a bowl, and stand for strawberries to macerate and release juices (15-20 minutes). Serve strawberries with a scoop of kampot pepper ice-cream.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Additional Notes

Kampot peppercorns are available from Herbie’s Spices (herbies.com.au) and select Asian supermarkets.

Drink Suggestion

Wine suggestion Liquid Rock ’n’ Roll “Sweet Soul” Gewürztraminer Ice Wine 2014, King Valley – this ice wine-styled sticky has mountains of complexity, and classic Gewürz-like spice, plus a balance of ripe fruit intensity and underlying acidity

Featured in

Sep 2016

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