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Fast autumn dinners

Autumn weather signals the arrival of soups, broths, roasts and more hearty meals.

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Baker extraordinaire Nadine Ingram of Sydney's Flour and Stone cooks up a sweet storm for Easter, including the much loved bakery's greatest hit.

Roasted cauliflower salad with yoghurt dressing and almonds

The cauliflower is roasted until it starts to caramelise, which adds extra depth of flavour to this winning salad. Serve it warm or at room temperature.

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Nelly Robinson of Sydney's Nel restaurant talks us through his favourite roasting joints, tips for crisp roast potatoes and why, when it comes to pork, slow and steady always wins the race.

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Lemon tart

It's really important to seal the pastry well to prevent any seepage during cooking, and to trim the pastry soon after cooking. Let the tart cool in the tin before removing it, or it will crack.

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The restaurant and hotel scene on Australia's favourite holiday island has never been more exciting and Australian chefs, owners and restaurateurs are leading the charge, writes Samantha Coomber.

Pear, thyme and hazelnut tart

Thyme adds an intriguing savoury note to this burnt-butter tart, and poaching the pears in wine adds a further savoury element. Start this tart a day ahead to rest the pastry, and serve it with a dollop or two of creme fraiche.

Perfect match: focaccia with nero d’Avola


You'll need

10 gm dried yeast 450 gm “00” flour 70 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing and drizzling 1 Desiree potato 1½ tbsp rosemary leaves 100 gm rocket, to serve 20 thin mortadella slices, to serve

Method

  • 01
  • Combine yeast, 1 tbsp flour and 250ml lukewarm water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, set aside in a warm place until foamy (5-7 minutes). Add remaining flour, 30ml oil and 1 tsp salt and mix until a smooth and elastic dough forms (8-10 minutes). Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in size (1 hour).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200C. Knock back dough, then roll into a 22cm x 30cm rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a lightly oiled 22cm x 30cm shallow metal tray and stand until dough rises to the top edge (30 minutes).
  • 03
  • Thinly slice potato on a mandolin into a bowl, toss with rosemary, remaining oil and season to taste. Lightly press dough with fingertips to create a dimple effect, then top with potato slices, overlapping them slightly, and season to taste. Bake until golden and cooked through (25-30 minutes). Cool in tray (5 minutes), then carefully turn out and cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Halve focaccia horizontally, layer bottom half with rocket and mortadella, drizzle with extra oil, season to taste and sandwich with top half. Cut into portions and serve.

When you think of Italian reds, you probably think of the classics: wines such as Barolo and Chianti, made from familiar grapes such as nebbiolo and sangiovese. Unless you're Italian, of course, in which case you probably think of the red wine made in your family's hometown. There are dozens of wine regions, and hundreds of different red grapes grown across Italy - both subtle local variations of well-known grapes (sangiovese, for example, is known variously as brunello, prugnolo and morellino, depending on where it's grown), and varieties restricted to one spot. Nero d'Avola, for example, is Sicily's great grape variety and produces generously flavoured, robust red wine with plenty of dark fruit, shiraz-like spice and a firm but supple finish - exactly the kind of rustic, warm-hearted drop you need to wash down this focaccia. Incidentally, the grape's success in Sicily's hot climate has encouraged some Australian winemakers to grow it here. It's early days, but there are indications it could have a bright future Down Under.


At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Featured in

May 2010

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