Take Three: Nicky Riemer with rab­bit, radic­chio and pears.

The Weekend Australian - Life - - FOOD & WINE - ju­dithat­takethree@gmail.com JU­DITH ELEN

Dark bur­nished-pink radic­chio, with its stark white ribs, is a red-cab­bage looka­like with an un­cab­bage-like per­son­al­ity. Its mildly bit­ter flavour brings Ital­ian-style so­phis­ti­ca­tion to sal­ads. From the chicory fam­ily, it’s a peren­nial but its ro­bust colour has a spe­cial affin­ity with au­tumn.

Pears are pure au­tumn. Aus­tralia has eight au­tumn va­ri­eties bear­ing into win­ter, each with its own qual­i­ties: sweet, dusty-brown beurre bosc, which caramelises beau­ti­fully in but­ter and sugar; rich-tast­ing Josephine de Malines, great eaten fresh; white-fleshed green Pack­ham’s Tri­umph (from May), good poached; ver­sa­tile, yel­low Wil­liams’ Bon Chre­tien (ends May); Win­ter Nelis (Honey Pear), good for bot­tling; bur­gundy-red, salad-friendly Red Sen­sa­tion (ends May); Red An­jou (now un­til Novem­ber); and small, de­li­cious Corella Forelle (now, to end Oc­to­ber). To­day’s chef pick­les them, for a crunchy, sweet-spiced side.

Western Victoria is a good source of wild rab­bit (sold at Robin­son Meats, Glenorchy, Tas­ma­nia). Tas­ma­nian farms in­clude Glen­croft Farm (Tas­ma­nian Fresh Farmed Rab­bits, Pen­guin), or try Ver­mey’s Meats (Sandy Bay) and Le­nah Game Meats. To­day’s dish trans­forms rab­bit meat into lus­cious, rus­tic ril­lettes.

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