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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.

Roast carrot soup with carrot-top pesto


This carrot-top pesto has an earthy flavour and makes perfect sense served on the soup.

You'll need

1.5 kg carrots, coarsely chopped Finely grated rind and juice of 1½ lemons, or to taste 110 ml olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 tsp dried red chilli flakes 1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock 2 thyme sprigs 1 bunch Dutch carrots, trimmed, tops reserved for pesto   Carrot-top pesto ¾ cup (firmly packed) carrot tops (as above) ½ cup (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley 50 gm pistachios 50 gm parmesan, finely grated 2 garlic cloves Finely grated rind of 1 lemon, juice of ½ 120 ml extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Combine carrots, two-thirds of the lemon rind and 50ml oil in large bowl, season to taste and stir to coat. Spread in a single layer on baking trays lined with baking paper and roast, swapping trays halfway through cooking, until tender and browned on edges (1¼-1½ hours). Set aside.
  • 02
  • For carrot-top pesto, process ingredients except juice and oil in a food processor until coarsely chopped then, with motor running, add oil in a steady stream and process to a fine purée. Season to taste and set aside. Just before serving stir in lemon juice to taste.
  • 03
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion, garlic and chilli and sauté until tender (4-5 minutes). Add stock, thyme, roast carrots and 50ml water, bring to the simmer and cook until carrots are well flavoured and very tender (15-20 minutes), then discard thyme. Purée with a hand-held blender until smooth, add lemon juice to taste and keep warm.
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, combine Dutch carrots in a bowl with remaining lemon rind and remaining oil, season to taste and stir to coat. Spread on an oven tray lined with baking paper and roast until browned and tender (20-25 minutes). Serve piled on top of soup and drizzled with carrot-top pesto.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Pale cortado Sherry.

Featured in

Apr 2015

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