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Italian Easter tart

"This is a traditional tart eaten in Naples at Easter," says Ingram. "The legend goes that a mermaid called Parthenope in the Gulf of Napoli would sing to celebrate the arrival of spring each year. One year, to say thank you, the Neapolitans offered her gifts of ricotta, flour, eggs, wheat, perfumed orange flowers and spices. She took them to her kingdom under the sea, where the gods made them into a cake. I love to add nibs of chocolate to Parthenope cake because I think it marries nicely with the candied orange and sultanas, but, really, do you need an excuse to add chocolate to anything?" Start this recipe a day ahead to prepare the pastry and soak the sultanas.

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Apple and cinnamon hot cross buns

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Australia's best take-away

We've hunted down some excellent eats-to-go to fuel your next picnic, lunch break or Tuesday night in...

Pea salad, curd, pine nuts, blossoms, white asparagus and carrot juice dressing


You'll need

8 spring onions, trimmed 1 tsp olive oil, plus extra for dressing 8 white asparagus spears, peeled, shaved into thin strips with a peeler 400 gm podded peas (about 1kg unpodded) 8 zucchini flowers, stamens removed, torn ½ cup (loosely packed) torn flat-leaf parsley 60 gm roasted pine nuts, finely chopped   Sheep’s milk curd 250 gm sheep’s milk yoghurt (see note) Juice of ½ small lemon 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil   Carrot juice dressing 200 ml carrot juice (about 2 carrots) ½ tsp cumin seeds 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  • 01
  • For sheep’s milk curd, combine yoghurt and ½ tsp sea salt flakes and mix well. Line a bowl with damp muslin, spoon mixture into muslin, gather edges and tie with string. Hang muslin in refrigerator over a bowl to drain (8 hours). Transfer curd to a bowl, add lemon juice and olive oil, season to taste and mix to combine. Refrigerate until required.
  • 02
  • Preheat a char-grill pan over high heat, brush spring onion with oil, char-grill, turning occasionally, until just tender (4-5 minutes).
  • 03
  • For carrot juice dressing, strain juice through a fine sieve into saucepan, bring to the boil over medium heat with cumin seeds, simmer until juice is reduced to 100ml (5-7 minutes). Remove from heat, whisk in oil, season with salt, strain through a fine sieve, set aside.
  • 04
  • Blanch asparagus and peas separately in batches (10-20 seconds for asparagus; 2-4 minutes for peas), drain, refresh and drain again.
  • 05
  • To serve, divide sheep’s milk curd among plates. Toss vegetables separately in a little olive oil, twist asparagus with a fork to make nests, place on curd with peas, top with spring onion, zucchini flowers, parsley and pine nuts and serve drizzled with carrot juice dressing.
Note Sheep’s milk yoghurt is available from health-food shops.

This recipe is from the November 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Martínsancho Verdejo, Rueda, Spain.

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