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. 

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.

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.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

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.

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.

Handmade busiate with pesto Trapanese


Pesto comes in many guises, from the bright-green basil version to this tomato-and-almond number hailing from the coast of Sicily. We've opted for handmade pasta, which is a bit of extra work, but has a beautiful texture and is especially impressive if you're cooking for friends. If you prefer, you could use shop-bought busiate or another similar-shaped dried pasta such as strozzapreti. A scattering of fresh mint adds an extra burst of summer flavour.

You'll need

80 gm blanched almonds 6 ripe Roma tomatoes, a cross scored on the bases 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped Handful of basil, torn 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil To serve: mint and finely grated parmesan   Pasta dough 450 gm (3 cups) “00” flour 3 eggs 2 egg yolks 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  • 01
  • For pasta dough, combine flour in a bowl with a large pinch of fine sea salt, make a well in the centre, then add eggs and yolks. Whisk oil into eggs with a fork until combined, then start mixing in the flour, adding a little water if necessary to form a firm dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface to form a dough, cover and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
  • 02
  • Pinch off a pea-sized piece of dough (keep remaining dough covered to prevent it drying out) and roll on a work surface to form a cylinder about 2mm thick. Place a wooden skewer or very thin piece of wooden dowel lengthways across one end of the cylinder and roll so pasta wraps around the skewer to form a long spiral. Slip pasta off skewer and place on a floured tray, then repeat with remaining pasta dough. You can cook the pasta straight away or stand until dried and store in an airtight container for up to a couple of days.
  • 03
  • For the pesto, preheat oven to 180C, spread almonds on an oven tray and roast until golden (5-6 minutes), then set aside. Meanwhile, blanch tomatoes until skins split (1 minute), plunge in a bowl of iced water, then drain and peel. Halve tomatoes, scoop out seeds, coarsely chop flesh and set aside. Pound garlic, basil and 2 tbsp oil with a mortar and pestle until a coarse paste forms. Add almonds and pound to a medium-fine texture. Add tomatoes in batches, coarsely crush, then add remaining oil and pound to combine. Season to taste.
  • 04
  • Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (5-6 minutes), then transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl (a little of the pasta water is also fine because it helps to form a sauce). Add pesto and toss to coat, scatter with mint and serve warm or at room temperature with grated parmesan.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Bold nero d’Avola.

Featured in

Mar 2015

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