This recipe comes from King and Godfree—what started as an innovative grocery store in a historic 1870s building in Melbourne’s Little Italy neighborhood has blossomed into a vibrant destination with numerous eateries as well as other businesses. This recipe is pure simplicity but brings together flavorful ingredients. Bresaola is a luscious Italian cured meat made from beef rather than pork and is available at many stores selling charcuterie.
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar from Modena
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Pinch of coarse sea salt
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 head radicchio, cored and shredded
- 4 fresh figs, washed and quartered
- 8 ounces bresaola, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces gorgonzola dolce, cut into small cubes
In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and a pinch each of the salt and pepper until emulsified. Add the radicchio and toss to combine. Add the figs and toss again.
Arrange the bresaola slices on a large platter or 4 individual plates and top with the radicchio mixture, dividing the figs evenly between the plates. Top with the cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.
Macadamia nuts, indigenous to Australia, were an important food source for the Aboriginal people who originally inhabited the island continent. In the 1880s, seeds from these beautiful trees were introduced to Hawaii, where they became an important crop. Buy extras if you make these cookies. The nuts are great to snack on, especially when roasted with olive oil and salt.
- 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar, divided use
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, or more as needed
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup salted macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
- 6 ounces dark chocolate, melted
In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, olive oil, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and the vanilla and almond extracts. Beat with a stand mixer or hand-held mixer until combined. Add the egg and beat until smooth. (Do not overbeat.)
In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Whisk thoroughly. Add to the wet ingredients and beat on low speed (or stir by hand) until combined. Stir in the nuts. Cover and refrigerate the dough for several hours, or up to overnight.
When ready to bake, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Heat the oven to 350°F.
Pour the other 1/2 cup sugar into a shallow bowl.
Roll the dough into golf ball-size balls (add a small amount of additional flour if the dough is too sticky to handle), then roll in the sugar. Arrange the balls on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each ball. Gently press on the balls with the bottom of a glass to partially flatten.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges barely begin to brown. Halfway through the baking time, tap the baking sheet(s) lightly against the oven rack to deflate any domes that might be developing in the center of the cookies.
Let the cookies cool for 3 minutes on the baking sheets, then using a thin-bladed spatula, transfer in a single layer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Dip the tines of a dinner fork in the melted chocolate and drizzle over the tops of the cookies in a zig-zag pattern. Store the cookies in a single layer.
Makes 2 to 2 1/2 dozen cookies
Immigrants from Northern India have popularized dishes like this one in Australian cities. The Sanskrit word saag means “greens”—not just spinach (known as palak). Paneer is a firm cheese with a high melting point made from milk curdled with lemon juice or another acid. If you cannot find it, halloumi, feta, or queso fresco make good stand-ins.
- 1 pound baby spinach, cleaned of any sand or grit
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
- 8 ounces paneer, halloumi, feta (drained), or queso fresco
- 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
- 1 to 2 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon pure chili powder, or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Basmati rice and/or naan, for serving
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes. Drain the spinach, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Place the spinach and 2 or 3 tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid in the jar of a blender or the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture is coarsely pureed. Set aside.
Cut the cheese into 1-inch cubes. (If the cheese is damp, dry it on paper towels first.) Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil as well as the cheese cubes. Sauté the cheese in a single layer (work in batches, if necessary), until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to paper towels (again, in a single layer).
Add an additional tablespoon of olive oil to the oil that remains in the skillet. Add the onion and chile and sauté over medium heat until soft, about 3
minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and chili powder and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the reserved spinach mixture and the cheese and heat gently. Stir in the lemon juice and cream and add salt to taste. Serve warm with basmati rice and/or naan.
Serves 2 to 3 as a main course
Canned green curry paste, available in stores and online from Maesri, makes quick work of this dish. Feel free to add in other vegetables that you have on hand, sautéing them along with the onions and peppers. Serve over basmati or jasmine rice or rice noodles.
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
- 1 large onion, sliced thin
- 2 large bell peppers (any colors), seeded and cut into wide strips
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- One 4-ounce can green curry paste
- Two 13.5-ounce cans coconut milk
- Two and a half pounds shrimp, peeled
- One 8-ounce can water chestnuts
- Rice or Asian noodles, for serving
Heat a wok or a large, deep frying pan over high heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then the onions and about half the peppers, depending on what fits in your pan. Stir-fry until the onions are slightly brown but not yet completely soft, about 5 minutes; transfer to a large bowl. Add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the wok and stir-fry the rest of the peppers with the carrots, about 5 minutes. Return the cooked vegetables to the wok and cook over low heat for another 3 minutes; transfer all the veggies back to the bowl.
Add the final tablespoon of the oil to the wok and add the curry paste, whisking it into the oil to soften it. Add the coconut milk and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add back all the vegetables along with the shrimp and simmer 5 to 7 minutes, until the shrimp are pink, stirring occasionally. Stir in the water chestnuts, cover the wok, and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.