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Wet polenta

Soft, creamy 'wet’ polenta is the ultimate winter comfort dish that can be topped with many delicious things, or simply just some cheese. Chef David Lovett shares his recipe with us from his new book, Big & Little.

Prep 5 mins

Cook 5-10 mins

Serves 4

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Savoury pancakes with pesto

Lucio’s has closed its doors after nearly forty years as one of Sydney’s most loved eateries. For us, this pancake-like pasta will always evoke memories of the family atmosphere that made Lucio Galletto’s restaurant so special.

Prep 40 mins

Cook 5 mins

Serves 6

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Apple and jam cake

Eating a cake straight out of the oven is one of life’s simple pleasures. Nonna would agree.

Prep 20 mins (plus cooling)

Cook 1 hr

Serves 8

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Cenci

These fried pastries are flaky and gorgeously sweet - serve them to friends with coffee, or just keep them all to yourself.

Prep time 20 mins (plus resting)

Cook 10 mins

Makes about 25

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Roasted carrots with spices and labne

Turn a roasted vegetable dish into a show-stopping side using spices and creamy labne.

Prep 15 mins

Cook 30 mins

Serves 4 as a side

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Labne

Making labne at home is so simple that after you've made it once, you’ll want to make it to serve with everything.

Prep 5 mins (plus hanging time ½ - 2 days)

-

Makes about 1 cup

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Asparagus with burnt butter

Even the simplest of vegetable dishes is transformed by the nutty, fatty goodness of burnt butter.

Prep 20 mins

Cook 10 mins

Serves 6

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Green curry paste

There’s nothing better than curry paste made by hand. Trust us, you’ll never use the jarred variety again.

Prep 20 mins

Cook -

Makes about 1 cup

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Coconut milk

Making fresh coconut milk from scratch is easier than it seems, with the help of a few simple tips.

Prep 1 hr

Cook -

Makes 2 cups

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Whole roasted cauliflower with harissa and yoghurt

For vegetarian roast inspiration, this whole roasted cauliflower with harrissa and yoghurt is the showstopper you’ve been searching for.

Prep 10 mins

Cook 1 ¾ hrs

Serve 6-8 as a side

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Harissa

Tunisia’s spicy condiment is even better when made from scratch, so get ready to dollop it on everything.

Prep 15 mins

Cook 5 mins

Makes about ½ cup

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Annette’s tomatoes and peaches with honey vinegar and burrata curds

There’s tomato salad, and then there’s tomato salad to the power of ten. Analiese Gregory’s version is exponentially more tomato-tasting than any you’ve grown up with. Bonus: ripe peaches and creamy curds!

Prep 30 mins

Cook 5 mins (plus setting, marinating)

Serves 4

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Smoky eggplant for everything

With a stash of charred eggplant in the refrigerator, you can whip up a luxe meal at a moment’s notice – it enhances almost anything made with pulses, grains, lamb, beef, seafood or tomatoes.

Prep 5 mins

Cook 25 mins

Serves 4-6

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Smoky eggplant with tahini and yoghurt

Vegetables have star billing on our tables these days, and this dish is a great example – it’s so flavoursome that you could serve some barbecued lamb as a side rather than the other way around.

Prep 5 mins

Cook 25 mins

Serves 4-6

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Pickled honeydew

A simple pickle elevates whatever you serve it with, whether that’s a whole barbecued duck or a platter of cured meats. This honeydew version, though, is so gorgeous that it just might steal the whole show.

Prep 15 mins

Cook 15 mins

Makes 1 litre

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Tadka Dal

Dal is synonymous with India, but its appeal is universal. If you’re looking for a comforting dish to nourish your body, ease your mind and soothe your soul, look no further than this perfectly seasoned version.

Prep 25 mins

Cook 1 hr

Serves 6

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Watermelon and apple cucumber salad with Thai basil

Beat the heat with salad this summer. Watermelon and cucumber – crisp, thirst-quenching and refreshing – are natural allies in the fight to stay cool, and a Vietnamese-style dressing rounds out the collaboration.

Prep 10 mins

Cook 1 min

Serves 6 as a side

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Heirloom tomato salad with sumac-spiced pickled shallots

Tomatoes are available all year round, but only summer tomatoes are truly worthy of the name – fragrant, juicy, popping with acidity and sweetness. This salad, accented with quick pickled shallots, highlights their seasonal perfection.

Prep 10 mins

Cook 20 mins

Serves 4 as a side

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Strawberry and fennel seed trifle with almond-vanilla sponge

If your Christmas crew demands trifle because ‘it’s tradition’, wow them with this strawberries-and-cream version, which elevates sponge, berries and cream to a whole new level. Fresh, juicy, boozy fun – it’s a party in your mouth!

Prep 15 mins

Cook 5 mins

Serves 8

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Tarte tropézienne

Travelling to France for Christmas is out, so bring a little of France to your festive table in the form of this beautiful brioche sweet, filled with creamy orange-blossom and vanilla custard.

Prep 20 mins (plus chilling, proving)

Cook 25 mins

Serves 8-10

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Cured ocean trout

The vibrant colour and prep-ahead features of home-cured ocean trout make for easy festive entertaining. Garnish it with something bright and beautiful to set the scene for Christmas lunch – redcurrants perhaps, or a jumble of edible flowers. This recipe is from Eatable's food and drinks director, Lisa Featherby.

Prep 10 mins

3 days curing

Serves 10

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Cannellini beans, mint, feta and blistered tomatoes

Sure, legume-based salads are a thing of virtue, packed with protein. But that’s not why we love them. Think of the cannellini beans in this recipe as a creamy blank canvas for daubs of big, big flavour.

Prep 20 mins (plus overnight soaking)

Cook 40 mins

Serves 4 as a light meal or side

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Braised scapes and asparagus

This recipe is based on the classic reduction method: most of the stock evaporates during cooking, leaving behind tender garlic scapes and asparagus in a deeply flavoured buttery glaze.

Prep 5 mins

Cook 10 mins

Serves 4-6 as a side

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Baba ghanoush with roasted spring onions, beetroot and green olive

Take your next barbecue to the next level with this easy platter. Danielle Alvarez’s colourful jumble of vegetables, flatbreads, and eggplant dip “kissed by smoke” makes a relaxed starter for vegans and meat-eaters alike.

Prep 20 mins (plus draining, cooling)

Cook 1 hr

Serves 6

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Freekah and charred broccoli salad with tahini-yoghurt

Who said anything about health benefits? The superfood factor might be one reason to love this salad of grains and greens, but we’d make it again and again for its snappy flavours and textures.

Prep 20 mins

Cook 45 mins

Serves 4

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Mulberry and apple cider vinegar jam

In southern Australia, late spring sees mulberries ripening to purple-black perfection. Celebrate their season by making them into a gorgeous runny jam. This recipe from Lillie O’Brien of London Borough of Jam captures their flavour and colour intact.

Prep 15 mins (plus cooling, setting)

Cooking 25 mins

Makes 4 x 220g jars 

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Egg yolk and ricotta ravioli with sage butter

There’s something both comforting and sophisticated about egg yolk ravioli. This recipe elevates a few simple ingredients into a starter that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

Prep 40 mins (plus resting the dough)

Cook 5 mins

Serves 8 as a starter

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Maritozzi

Rome’s cult-status cream buns are sold on the streets in their home city, but now you can make maritozzi at home, thanks to Marta’s Flavio Carnevale.

Prep 25 mins (plus proving)

Cook 20 mins

Makes 8

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Green beans with black bean sauce

This easy recipe from Hetty McKinnon’s To Asia, With Love punches well above its weight in flavour terms. Stir-fry a few handfuls of green beans, add the sauce mix and you’re done. Mmm, umami.

Prep 20 mins

Cook 10 mins

Serves 4

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Sago pudding with passionfruit caramel

Sago pudding based on coconut cream makes an easy midweek dessert with a tropical twist. In her book To Asia, With Love, Hetty McKinnon describes the accompanying passionfruit caramel as “dazzling” and “a revelation”. Encore!

Prep 20 mins

Cook 20 mins

Serves 4