Fresh, flavoursome ingredients shine on the plate in their natural state
IN ITS PUREST FORM, UNTOUCHED BY FLAME, A FRESH INGREDIENT CAN TRULY SHINE ON THE PLATE. COMPLEMENTED BY PERFECTLY HARMONISED FLAVOURS, ITS NATURAL VIRTUES ARE REVEALED. THESE STRIPPED-BACK DISHES PROVE THAT SOME THINGS REQUIRE LITTLE EMBELLISHMENT, ALL THE BETTER TO BARE THEIR UNSUNG, RAW BEAUTY.
pickled turnip and snapper salad with puffed rice, wakame and toasted sesame
4 bunches baby blush and white turnips+ ¼ cup puffed brown rice
2 tablespoons dried chopped wakame 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds 400g sashimi-grade snapper, thinly sliced 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives extra virgin olive oil, to serve green chilli pickling liquid
½ cup (125ml) rice wine vinegar
1 long green chilli, thinly sliced
¼ cup (55g) white (granulated) sugar 2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sea salt flakes
To make the green chilli pickling liquid, place the vinegar, chilli, sugar, water and salt in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Strain, discarding the chilli, and place the liquid in a large bowl. Add the turnips and refrigerate for 30 minutes to pickle.
Place the puffed rice, wakame and sesame seeds in a small food processor and process until finely chopped. Set aside.
Divide the snapper between 4 plates. Remove the turnips from the pickling liquid, reserving the liquid, and divide between plates. Top with the puffed rice mixture and chives. Drizzle with a little of the pickling liquid and oil to serve.
+ If you can’t find baby blush turnips, you can use thinly sliced baby white turnips instead. SERVES 4.
THINLY SLICED AND LIBERALLY SEASONED, THE INIMITABLE FLAVOUR OF FRESHLY CAUGHT SNAPPER IS CLEVERLY BALANCED BY THE SHARP SWEETNESS OF GENTLY PICKLED VEGETABLES.
spicy tuna and mushroom tartare
½ teaspoon ground chilli flakes
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon fish sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon rice flour
400g sashimi-grade tuna, chopped
4 fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced watercress, to serve
4 small egg yolks (optional) sea salt and cracked black pepper mushroom dressing
8 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 teaspoons Chinese cooking wine (shaoxing) 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 cup (250ml) water
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
To make the mushroom dressing, place the mushrooms, cooking wine, oyster sauce, water and vinegar in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5–6 minutes. Place in the refrigerator until cold. Strain, discarding the mushroom.
Place the chilli, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, sesame oil, vinegar and flour in a medium bowl and mix to combine. Add the tuna and gently toss to coat. Divide the dressing between the bowls. Add the tuna, mushroom and watercress. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve with egg yolks, if using. SERVES 4.
oysters topped three ways
36 oysters tomato and vodka granita
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon celery salt
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
½ teaspoon sumac
1 tablespoon vodka finely grated horseradish, to serve micro (baby) watercress and cracked black pepper, to serve black radish, soy and chive topping
2 teaspoons black vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese cooking wine (shaoxing)
1 teaspoon sesame oil micro (baby) chives, to serve
2 black radishes, thinly sliced+ black sesame seeds and black sea salt
flakes, to serve campari, mandarin and mint topping
1 tablespoon Campari
1 teaspoon finely grated mandarin rind
2 tablespoons mandarin juice
1 teaspoon aged red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes micro (baby) mint leaves and finger lime
flesh (optional), to serve
To make the tomato and vodka granita, place the tomato paste, tomato, celery salt, vinegar, sumac and vodka in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain through a sieve, discarding the solids, and pour into a shallow tray. Freeze for 4 hours or until set. Rake the granita with a fork and spoon over 12 of the oysters. Top with horseradish and watercress and sprinkle with pepper to serve.
To make the black radish, soy and chive topping, place the vinegar, soy, cooking wine and oil in a small bowl and mix to combine. Spoon over 12 of the oysters and top with chives, radish, sesame seeds and salt flakes to serve.
To make the Campari, mandarin and mint topping, place the Campari, mandarin rind, juice, vinegar and salt in a small bowl and mix to combine. Spoon over
12 of the oysters and top with mint and finger lime flesh, if using, to serve. SERVES 6.
+ Black radishes are sold in bunches of mixed heirloom radishes. If you can’t find black radishes, you can use regular radishes.
AN INTERMINGLING OF SPICES AND AN UMAMI-RICH DRESSING INFUSE TUNA AND SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS TO FORM ONE SUCCULENT DISH.
salmon, yuzu and nashi with sesame mayo on tempura shiso leaves
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
4 large shiso leaves+
1 eggwhite, whisked until foamy
½ cup (70g) tapioca flour
1 tablespoon yuzu juice
½ tablespoon mirin (Japanese rice wine)
1 teaspoon dashi powder
½ teaspoon sesame oil
¼ cup (75g) Japanese-style mayonnaise
½ teaspoon sesame oil, extra
1 nashi pear, peeled and thinly sliced on a mandoline 400g sashimi-grade salmon, thinly sliced micro (baby) purple shiso leaves, to serve shichimi togarashi, to serve
Fill a medium saucepan two-thirds full with vegetable oil and place over medium heat until it reaches 180°C (350°F) on a deep-frying thermometer.
Brush the large shiso leaves with eggwhite and dust in the flour. Cook the leaves, in batches, for 30 seconds each side or until crisp. Remove and set aside to drain on paper towel.
Place the yuzu juice, mirin, dashi powder and sesame oil in a small bowl and mix to combine. Place the mayonnaise and extra sesame oil in a small bowl and mix to combine.
Place the shiso leaves on 4 plates. Top with the sesame mayonnaise, nashi and salmon. Drizzle with dressing and top with shiso and togarashi to serve. SERVES 4.
+ Shiso leaves are available from selected greengrocers and Asian supermarkets.
whipped lemon taramasalata with salmon roe and pickled zucchini flowers
1 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon water vegetable oil, for shallow-frying
8 small rice paper rounds
½ cup (100g) white taramasalata
½ cup (125g) mascarpone
¼ cup (125ml) single (pouring) cream
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
12 zucchini (courgette) flowers, trimmed salmon roe, micro (baby) mustard cress and cracked black pepper, to serve
Place the fennel seeds, vinegar, honey and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, set aside to cool slightly and refrigerate until cold.
Heat 5cm oil in a medium frying pan over high heat. Add the rice paper rounds, 1 at a time, and cook for 30 seconds or until crisp. Set aside on paper towel to drain.
Place the taramasalata, mascarpone, cream, lemon rind and salt in the bowl of stand mixer and beat for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Spoon onto a large plate.
Place the zucchini flowers in a medium bowl. Strain the fennel seeds from the vinegar mixture and pour over the zucchini flowers. Top the taramasalata with the pickled zucchini flowers, salmon roe and mustard cress. Sprinkle with black pepper and serve with crispy rice paper rounds. SERVES 4–6.
AN ARTFUL BOUQUET OF ZUCCHINI FLOWERS BLOOMS BRIGHTLY ON A BED OF LEMON-SPIKED TARAMASALATA, ADORNED WITH VIVID BEADS OF SALMON ROE AND CRISPY RICE PAPER ROUNDS FOR CRUNCH.
cucumber salad with gin dressing, black sea salt and juniper
3 large cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced 1 tablespoon sea salt flakes
2 teaspoons caster (superfine) sugar nasturtium leaves, to serve black sea salt flakes, to serve
¼ teaspoon juniper berries, finely chopped gin, tarragon and cucumber dressing
2 Lebanese cucumbers, chopped
6 sprigs tarragon
2 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
¼ cup (60ml) lime juice
2 tablespoons gin sea salt and cracked black pepper
To make the dressing, place the cucumber, tarragon, sugar, lime juice, gin, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain through a sieve and discard the solids. Refrigerate the dressing until needed.
Place the sliced cucumber in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and sugar and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Remove, rinse and pat dry. Divide the cucumber between 4 plates. Pour over the dressing and top with nasturtium leaves, salt flakes and juniper berry. SERVES 4.
beetroot and radish salad with rosehip dressing and pomegranate seeds
2 rosehip tea bags
¹⁄³ cup (80ml) water
2 tablespoons vino cotto
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed
1 bunch (300g) heirloom radishes, trimmed+ 1 bunch (300g) mixed heirloom beetroot, trimmed 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice sea salt and cracked black pepper
¹⁄³ cup (70g) pomegranate seeds
1 tablespoon slivered pistachios, finely chopped 1 punnet edible flowers++
Place the rosehip tea bags, water, vino cotto and coriander seeds in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and refrigerate until cold.
Thinly slice the radishes and beetroot on a mandoline and set aside. Remove the dressing from the fridge and strain, discarding the coriander seeds. Add the pomegranate juice, salt and pepper and mix to combine.
Divide the vegetables between 4 plates. Spoon over the dressing and top with pomegranate seeds, pistachio and flowers. SERVES 4.
+ We used a mixture of watermelon radishes and black radishes, but you can use any radish variety you like.
++ Edible flowers are available from many greengrocers.
IN A NOD TO THE VEGETABLE GARDEN, CRISP CUCUMBER, LUSH NASTURTIUM LEAVES, BITTERSWEET TARRAGON AND LIME JUICE BRING THE OUTDOORS IN, WHILE JUNIPER BERRIES AND GIN ENRICH THIS PARED-BACK GREEN SALAD.