Healthy Eating

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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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

2017 Australian Hotel Awards: The Finalists

This year's finalists across 11 different categories include established and new hotels, all with particular areas of excellence. Stay tuned to find out which hotels will take the top spots when they're announced at a ceremony at QT Melbourne on Wednesday 24 May, and published in our 2017 Australian Hotel Guide, on sale Thursday 25 May.

Sicilian calamari salad


You'll need

80 ml (1/3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil 1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced 3 tsp raw sugar 50 ml red wine vinegar 60 gm raisins ¼ loaf ciabatta, crusts removed 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 1 kg calamari, cleaned, heads thinly sliced and tentacles reserved 3 vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into 2cm pieces 2 tbsp salted baby capers, soaked and drained ½ cup pine nuts, toasted 1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Method

  • 01
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan, add onion and cook over low-medium heat, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes or until softened. Sprinkle with sugar, add vinegar and raisins and simmer for 1 minute until reduced by half. Remove from heat and set aside until required.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Coarsely tear bread and combine in a large bowl with 2 tsp olive oil and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spread bread over an oven tray and cook for 10 minutes or until golden, then cool.
  • 03
  • Heat remaining olive oil in a large frying pan, add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, add calamari and reserved tentacles and cook over high heat for 3 minutes or until just cooked. Season to taste.

Short-order ideas
For a prawn, pea and bean salad, blanch podded peas, snowpeas and baby beans in a saucepan of salted boiling water, drain and refresh in iced water, then drain again. Peel cooked prawns and combine with peas and beans, picked mint leaves and thinly sliced green onion. Whisk together, lemon juice, finely chopped preserved lemon rind, Dijon mustard and extra-virgin olive oil until well combined, pour over salad and toss to combine.


For a blue-eye trevalla and chervil salad, poach fish gently in a mixture of salted water, lemon wedges, chopped onion and black peppercorns until just cooked. Cool, then flake fish and combine with shaved red onion, chervil leaves, rinsed salted capers and quartered soft boiled eggs. Season to taste and serve drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice.


Seafood salads
The flavours and textures of seafood meld seamlessly with most salad ingredients, allowing prawns to be swapped for scallops or lobster to be substituted for crab. Citrus, as you would expect, makes the perfect partner for seafood, whether segmented and incorporated into the salad or squeezed into the dressing. Thai cooks even use the leaves of kaffir lime to give their salads an extra citrus dimension.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

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