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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

O Tama Carey's fried eggs with seeni sambol, coconut and turmeric

"I first cooked a version of this dish - inspired by the excellent deep-fried egg dish at Billy Kwong - while working at a restaurant in Sri Lanka," says O Tama Carey. "The lattice-like eggs are doused in a creamy turmeric curry sauce and topped with seeni sambol, a sweet-spiced caramelised onion relish. This dish is equally perfect for an indulgent breakfast as it is served as part of a larger meal." The recipe for the seeni sambol makes more than you need, but to get the right balance of spices you need to make at least this much. It keeps refrigerated for up to three weeks; use as an onion relish. The curry sauce can be made a day or two ahead.

May: Celeriac soup


You'll need

2 large celeriac (about 900gm each), quartered 1 tbsp olive oil 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled 750 ml (3 cups) chicken stock 60 gm (¼ cup) crème fraîche or to taste To serve: finely chopped chives, toasted baguette and extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 200C. Combine celeriac, olive oil and garlic in a roasting pan. Season to taste and roast, turning occasionally, until golden and tender (35-45 minutes). Peel garlic and discard peel, then transfer with celeriac to a blender.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, bring chicken stock to the boil in a saucepan. Add to blender and blend until smooth. Add crème fraîche, season to taste, then serve topped with chopped chives and toasted baguette and drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil.
Note This recipe makes about 1.5 litres.

Lemons
Lemons grow pretty much everywhere in Australia. Our main varieties are the Lisbon, the eureka and the Meyer, which tastes quite different because it is a hybrid of an orange and a lemon. Lemons need a lot of sun and very little care; they make the perfect backyard tree (even if you don’t cook with them, you’ll have a year’s supply for gin and tonics). The fruit can be picked when they’re almost full-sized and still green, but are most flavourful when picked bright yellow and fully ripe. They can keep for up to several weeks if stored in the fridge.

I couldn’t do without lemons in my cooking. They invigorate food, add colour and make the most beautiful desserts such as lemon soufflé, lemon posset, or lemon and sugar crêpes. Combined with butter, eggs and cream, they make a wonderful lemon curd to plop in tarts or spread on toast.

Although lemons are available year-round, I appreciate their uplifting effect more during the colder months. A squeeze over roast lamb, a dab of preserved lemon in chicken stuffing or a saucy lemon pudding are the ideal antidotes to a rainy Sunday afternoon. Now is a good time to preserve lemons in salt so they’ll be ready when winter sets in; they’ll sit on your kitchen shelf like little jars of sunshine. I like to flavour my preserved lemons with fresh bay leaves and cinnamon quills.

Cauliflower
This is an understated vegetable but can be beautifully presented if cooked with a little imagination and a delicate hand. I have fond memories of warm cauliflower cheese served with lamb, and my mother’s salad of cauliflower, dressed with olive oil, vinegar, parsley and caraway seeds. I have seen some lovely baby cauliflowers in the markets now and also a green variety – the broccoflower – which tastes just like an ordinary cauliflower yet keeps its unusual colouring.

It’s pretty easy to choose a good cauliflower. Look for a tight white head with no blemishes and avoid cauliflowers with creamy or browned edges or ones that have a strong smell or a loose, floppy head. This usually indicates that they are not fresh enough or are too mature to be nice to eat. I prefer to break my cauliflower into large florets before cooking them in salted water – I find they cook more evenly that way. I think the key to cooking cauliflower well is not to overcook it, especially since the longer you do, the more it smells like boiled cabbage and takes on an unsavoury flavour.

Cauliflower makes a fine gratin, broken into florets and just cooked, then laid in a pan with a thin layer of béchamel sauce, flavoured with bay and nutmeg, a sprinkle of Gruyère and some dobs of butter; it’s a wonderful accompaniment to steak or roast chook.

Alternatively, top the gratin with garlicky parsley crumbs, lemon zest and pine nuts. I love to sauté cauliflower in butter with shallots, perhaps with potato, before blending it with a splash of cream into a soft, delicious purée. I have even thrown large florets of cauliflower, dressed with salt and olive oil, in with my roast chicken. They come up wonderfully crisp and golden.

Quince
I love to see a pile of quince sitting on the dining room table. They look so elegant and their old-world scent perfumes the room. Quince originated in the Mediterranean and the Middle East but they’re also successfully grown in cooler climes such as England. There are many different varieties grown in Australia, but they don’t seem to be marketed by their variety.

When buying quince, choose ones that are golden, scented and unblemished. Keep in mind that although they are a hard fruit, they still bruise surprisingly easily. I love cooking quince and watching them turn a deep, ruby shade of red. Quince are delicious in puddings and tarts or simply served with a homemade custard or with bircher muesli for breakfast. They make a divine conserve to have on toast, or a paste to enjoy with ch


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Additional Notes

ALSO IN SEASON

Fruit
Apples, bananas, cumquats, custard apples, grapes, kiwifruit, limes, mandarins, melons, nashi, pears, persimmons, rhubarb.

Vegetables
Asian greens, avocados, beetroot, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, carrots, celery, daikon, eggplants, fennel, garlic, ginger, horseradish, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, olives, onions, parsnips, peas, potatoes, pumpkins, shallots, silverbeet, spinach, squash, swedes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, witlof, zucchini.

Seafood
King George whiting, sand whiting, sea mullet, southern garfish, yellowfin bream.

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