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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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.

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. 

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.

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.

2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

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.

Chorizo recipes

Where would Spanish cuisine be without the chorizo? This versatile smallgood lends its big flavours to South American stews, soups, and salads, not to mention the ultimate hot dog. Let the sizzling begin.

Italian cherry cake


Vin santo, polenta and mascarpone... true Italian flavours feature in this lush cake. Make the cake the day before, if desired, but make the frosting and candied cherries on the day of serving.

You'll need

250 gm (1 1/3 cups) semolina 200 gm polenta ½ tsp baking powder 6 eggs 330 gm (1½ cups) caster sugar 1 tsp finely grated lemon rind 1 tsp vanilla extract 400 ml olive oil 125 ml (½ cup) Vin Santo (see note)   Candied cherries 250 gm caster sugar 1 tbsp liquid glucose 300 gm cherries, stems attached   Mascarpone frosting 60 gm pure icing sugar, sifted 600 gm mascarpone cheese 1 tsp finely grated lemon rind 80 ml (1/3 cup) Vin Santo (see note)

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 150C. Combine semolina, polenta, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a bowl, stir to combine and set aside.
  • 02
  • Using an electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar, lemon rind and vanilla extract for 5 minutes or until thick and pale. With motor running, gradually add semolina mixture in a slow, steady stream until incorporated. With mixer on high speed, add olive oil and Vin Santo in a steady stream and beat well until incorporated. Pour mixture into a greased and baking paper-lined 27cm-diameter cake pan and bake in centre of oven for 1½ hours or until a skewer inserted withdraws clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack to room temperature, then carefully invert onto a serving plate and set aside.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, for candied cherries, combine sugar, glucose and ¼ cup water in a heavy-based saucepan, bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar, then brush down sides of pan using a clean, wet pastry brush. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until light caramel, then dip base of pan in cold water to stop caramel cooking. Working quickly, with one cherry at a time, dip cherry into caramel, coating completely, place onto a baking paper-lined tray and repeat with remaining cherries and caramel. (If caramel becomes too thick, gently reheat, stirring continuously, over low heat until caramel melts.) Set cherries aside.
  • 04
  • For mascarpone frosting, beat all ingredients using an electric mixer for 10 seconds or until firm peaks form. Using a spatula, spread frosting evenly over cake. Scatter candied cherries over and serve.

Note Vin Santo is a traditional Tuscan dessert wine made from trebbiano and/or malvasia grapes. If unavailable, substitute with Sauternes, Samos or another sweet white dessert wine.


At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people

Featured in

Nov 2007

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