Yotam Ottolenghi’s 10 recipes for an Australian winter | Australian food and drink

zaphfrans

Also known as rutabaga, Australian swedes are at their best in early winter. This gnocchi is an inventive use for the root vegetable that “is so delicious, it is well worth the effort involved”, writes Yotam Ottolenghi. He adds: “I use a piping bag to get the gnocchi into the […]

Also known as rutabaga, Australian swedes are at their best in early winter. This gnocchi is an inventive use for the root vegetable that “is so delicious, it is well worth the effort involved”, writes Yotam Ottolenghi. He adds: “I use a piping bag to get the gnocchi into the boiling water, because that saves on time and effort in shaping them.”

Yotam Ottolenghi Roasted brussel sprouts with pomelo and star anise
This salad stars a favourite winter veg and a citrus worth celebrating. Photograph: Colin Campbell

In April, Australian pomelos celebrated a big victory as the whole country was declared citrus canker free. These huge citruses are available year-round, and while they’re at their best in late summer, any victory over disease is worth celebrating in 2021.

This salad recipe sees them paired with a winter favourite: brussels sprouts. “[It’s] an unusual combination, but it works,” writes Ottolenghi. “The citrussy syrup, with hints of spice, takes the edge off the natural bitterness of the brussels. If you can’t get pomelo, use grapefruit segments instead, and not as much lemon juice.”

Yotam Ottolenghi’s rough squash mash with miso, chilli and cinnamon.
‘The cinnamon makes this a great side dish for all sorts of festive fare.’ Photograph: Louise Hagger for the Guardian. Food styling: Emily Kydd. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay

This dish will give a sophisticated twist to any Christmas in July celebration as “the cinnamon makes this a great side dish for all sorts of festive fare”, writes Ottolenghi. Made with that ubiquitous winter veg, the butternut pumpkin, it only requires 35 minutes of cooking in a ripping-hot oven.

Choy sum with oyster sauce, garlic and peanuts.
‘It’s all about the crunch and colour of the greens.’ Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian

Australian-grown choy sum really comes into its own in June, readily available at affordable prices. “I’d quite happily have just this and a bowl of rice for dinner any day,” writes Ottolenghi of this simple, quick-to-cook recipe. “It’s all about the crunch and colour of the greens – you want them fresh and vibrant – so take care not to overcook them.”

Yotam Ottolenghi’s roast poussins stuffed with chestnut, pancetta and pear
Roast poussin stuffed with chestnuts, which bring a sweet but earthy flavour to the recipe. Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian

Australian-grown chestnuts come into season in autumn, and are available throughout the winter months. This recipe calls for chestnuts that are peeled, precooked and vacuum packed, which are widely available online from several Australian producers.

As for the poussin, in Australia, these little chooks are more commonly sold as spatchcock. Ottolenghi writes: “I like to serve each portion of stuffing with one little chicken, but it works just as well in a regular-sized chicken.”

Cooking this dish requires a bit of preplanning, with the chickens ideally sitting in their warming spice rub overnight.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s scallops with Chinese sausage
The sweet-savoury taste of this dish is enhanced with winter peas and Chinese sausage. Photograph: Colin Campbell

Scallops are in season throughout the winter months in Australia, with the Good Fish Guide recommending dive-caught queen scallops from South Australia and dive-caught commercial scallops from Port Phillip Bay in Victoria as sustainable choices.

Here, their sweet-savoury taste is enhanced with winter peas and Chinese sausage, which is available in many Australian supermarkets, online and from Asian grocers. The sausage “is sweet, rich and enticingly smoky”, writes Ottolenghi. “I add it to steamed rice with strips of omelette and a few baby veg stir-fried with soy. Here, it adds zest to mellow, creamy scallops.”

Yotam Ottolenghi arepas with feta, cascabel and smashed avocado
Venezuelan-inspired arepas are the perfect pair for mashed Hass avocado. Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian. Food styling: Emily Kydd. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay. Food styling assistant: Susanna Unsworth.

May marks the return of Australia’s most smashable avocado variety – the Hass. This Venezuelan-inspired dish is a perfect showcase for the creamy avocado.

This recipe calls for white corn masarepa flour, which is most easily obtained online in Australia. “Don’t confuse it with masa harina,” warns Ottolenghi. Masa harina “is corn treated with lime to remove the germ and outer lining before being ground”, which gives it “an altogether different flavour and texture”.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s buttery roasted kohlrabi with lots of garlic and tomatoes.
‘Kohlrabi goes brilliantly with the tomatoes, chilli and garlic in this dish.’ Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian

“If you’re wary of the idea of cooked kohlrabi, this is the recipe to win you over,” says Ottolenghi. “When roasted, kohlrabi becomes a wonderfully sweet and caramelised version of itself, and goes brilliantly with the tomatoes, chilli and garlic in this dish.”

Yotam Ottolenghi Mackeral with Jerusalem artichoke, pistachio and cardamon.
Spanish mackerel on a bed of Jerusalem artichokes. Photograph: Colin Campbell

Wild-caught Spanish mackerel is considered a “better choice” by the Good Fish Guide. Here, the fish is served with seasonal Jerusalem artichokes, which Ottolenghi says “have a great affinity with nuts. I love them with chopped walnuts or almonds, lemon juice, garlic, herbs and plenty of olive oil.”

Yotam Ottolenghi’s strawberry and basil tart.
Pistachios sprinkled over a strawberry and basil tart. Photograph: Louise Hagger for the Guardian. Food styling: Emily Kydd. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay

Thanks to Queensland’s warm climate, strawberries, considered a summer fruit in the rest of the world, are available and affordable well into winter in Australia.

Of this pretty tart, Ottolenghi writes: “You can make the cream a day ahead and keep in the fridge, but don’t get ahead with the strawberries: they’ll go too soft if left to sit around for more than three hours.”

Next Post

Three refreshing, non-alcoholic drinks to try this summer

Black coffee soda from Bat, bat Soda We’re enjoying the unusual sparkling sodas showing up on shelves these days. Here’s one from a local maker, Danielle Glasky of Bat, bat Soda. In 2019, she created this coffee soda using flash-brewed iced coffee and adding carbonation, plus a bit of sugar […]