Roasted pumpkin with fennel and thyme

Pumpkin is probably my most favourite vegetable, for its natural nutty sweetness and capacity to absorb flavour. I love it in soups, curries, as part of a traditional baked dinner slathered with gravy, and roasted with spices and garlic and herbs as in this recipe. In my part of the world there are a number…

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Charred eggplant with capers

“Gleaming skin; a plump elongated shape: the eggplant is a vegetable you’d want to caress with your eyes and fingers, even if you didn’t know its luscious flavor.” ~ Roger Verge I cannot praise the delights of beautifully cooked eggplant more highly. The flesh is creamy and soft, and slightly smoky in flavour. And in…

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Tomato salad with sumac

As a lover of tomatoes I am always looking for different ways to prepare and serve them that will enhance their already beautiful flavour. This recipe is based on one I read in an Ottolenghi cookbook – it used sumac as an ingredient – a spice I have been experimenting with for some time. Sumac…

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Chinese cabbage and crispy noodle salad, and messing with classic recipes

Mrs. Chang’s Chinese cabbage and crispy noodle salad is a staple at Australian bar-be-ques and family gatherings. It is a very simple salad – wombok, slivered almonds, shallots and crispy noodles – but it has a sweet and tangy dressing that makes it an absolute winner. So why mess with it by adding different ingredients?…

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Fennel and blood orange salad

A the beginning of winter this year I planted fennel in my vegetable garden for the first time. It’s been an astounding success and I am harvesting beautiful bulbs every few days. The aroma of the freshly cut young fennel is astonishing – so fresh and sharply aniseed, but also almost sweet in overtone. I…

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Carrots and beets and all the good things

It’s a lot harder to get people to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over beets and carrots than it is to get them to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over artichokes or asparagus, and I enjoy being able to take these humble, ‘lowbrow’ foodstuffs up a few notches and serve them with great exuberance. Charlie Trotter Hear, hear, Mr.…

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Warm potato salad with dill and almonds

It is always wise to make too much potato salad. Even if you are cooking for two, make enough for five. Potato salad improves with age – that is, if you are lucky enough to have any left over. Laurie Colwin My mother was  a proponent of the ‘you can’t have too much’ school of…

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Wilted greens on sourdough

I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a…

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Get stuffed: mushrooms, that is

I am a late comer to goat’s cheese, having been scarred by my first experience, which was an intensely smelly, fiercely flavoured french variety. However, I have been educating my palate to milder versions and now love a subtle, creamy, ash covered chevre. Mushrooms pair beautifully with it, as the cheese seems to enhance their…

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Holy guacamole, Batman!

A perennial favourite, everyone has their preferred recipe for guacamole. and this is mine – smooth and creamy avocado contrasting with tomatoes, chilli, onion and herbs. There’s a tang of lemon, and the earthy notes of coriander in the dukkah I sprinkle on top, as well as a good seasoning of salt and black pepper.…

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