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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. 

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.

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.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.

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.

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.

Discovering Macedonia

Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.

Garlicky white bean purée with fried pepperoni


Whether you eat this as a snack or light meal, chances are you'll be coming back for more of this moreish creamy-spicy combo. Begin this recipe a day ahead to soak the white beans.

You'll need

300 gm dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight in cold water, drained 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock 3 garlic heads, individually wrapped in foil Juice of 1½ lemons, or to taste 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil 150 gm pepperoni, thickly sliced ¼ cup (loosely packed) oregano 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, or to taste To serve: thick slices of char-grilled sourdough

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 220C. Combine beans, chicken stock and 500ml cold water in a large saucepan, bring to the boil over medium-high heat and cook until beans are tender and liquid is almost evaporated (45-50 minutes), drain, reserving cooking liquid.
  • 02
  • Roast garlic on an oven tray until very tender (40-45 minutes). When cool enough to handle, squeeze cloves from skins into a bowl (discard skins).
  • 03
  • Reserve ½ cup of beans to serve and process the rest with garlic, lemon juice and 50ml extra-virgin olive oil in a food processor until smooth, season generously to taste. Thin slightly with a little reserved cooking liquid if too thick. Transfer to a saucepan.
  • 04
  • Heat remaining olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add pepperoni and stir occasionally, until it starts to crisp at the edges (2-3 minutes). Remove pan from heat, add oregano and vinegar (be careful, hot oil will spit), stir to combine and season to taste.
  • 05
  • Warm white bean purée gently over low heat, stirring continuously. Spread onto char-grilled slices of sourdough, scatter reserved beans over, top with fried pepperoni and serve hot.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Savoury red sangiovese.

Featured in

Jun 2014

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