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. 

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Farro recipes

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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.

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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.

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"This cake is the new religion at Flour and Stone, and never fails to send those worshipping it into a dream of billowy clouds," says Ingram. "It has come to many parties, including one where its name was changed to reflect the euphoric place it transports you to."

Patouda


You'll need

80 gm honey 55 gm (¼ cup) white sugar 60 gm (½ cup) sesame seeds 125 gm each walnuts and almonds, coarsely crushed 125 gm pitted fresh dates, thinly sliced ½ tsp each ground cinnamon and ground cloves Pinch of finely grated nutmeg To serve: pure icing sugar, sieved   Patouda pastry ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda 150 ml olive oil 60 ml (¼ cup) milk 55 gm (¼ cup) caster sugar 40 ml raki (see note) ½ lightly beaten egg 450 gm (3 cups) plain flour

Method

  • 01
  • For patouda pastry, combine bicarbonate of soda and 30ml lukewarm water in a large bowl, stir to dissolve, then add oil, milk, sugar, raki and egg and mix to combine. Gradually add flour, mix to form a smooth and soft but not sticky dough, cover and rest for 1 hour.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 170C. Stir honey, sugar and 125ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil and cook until a syrup forms (6-8 minutes). Dry-roast sesame seeds in a frying pan until golden (1-2 minutes), coarsely grind in a mortar and pestle, transfer to a bowl, add nuts, dates and spices, pour hot syrup over, stir to combine and set aside to cool.
  • 03
  • Roll walnut-sized balls of pastry on a lightly floured surface to 3mm-thick rounds. Place 1 tbsp of nut mixture on one side of each round, fold over pastry to enclose and form a crescent shape, then press edges with a fork to seal. Trim edges with a 7.5cm-diameter cutter, place on oven trays lined with baking paper and bake until golden (20-25 minutes). Cool, then dust with icing sugar and serve. Patouda will keep stored in an airtight container for 3 weeks.

Note Raki, sometimes called tsikoudia is a strong spirit distilled from grape pomace, it's available from select bottle shops.


"It's traditional to use the wood ash from a fire to tenderise the pastry in these sweets. We've substituted bicarbonate of soda for a similar effect," says John Rerakis. "If you want to be true to tradition and use ash, you'll need to dissolve 2 tablespoons of ash in 30ml of boiling water, then strain the liquid through a muslin-lined sieve. Omit the bicarbonate of soda if you're doing this. The dates would have introduced by neighbouring countries such as Egypt, and they sweeten the mixture considerably. You can make the patouda with or without dates and you can change the walnuts and almonds to pistachios or hazelnuts for a slightly different flavour."


At A Glance

  • Serves 24 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 24 people

Featured in

Oct 2011

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