May 2009

Fans of bitter leaves will go for Selah’s wintry witlof salad with orange, hazelnuts, baby beetroot, goat’s curd and sherry vinaigrette. The fennel season continues, its aniseed flavour always a winner with fish. Fine Fish at Neutral Bay uses it in a salad with beetroot and grapefruit and serves it with pan-fried John Dory.

Autumn is chestnuts time, so The Smokehouse is combining them with scallops and prawns, rolling the mixture in betel leaves, grilling and serving them dressed with a reduction of palm sugar and sesame oil, sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. Chef Stephen de Launay is mixing this season's beetroot with vodka to cure salmon for gravlax and serving the dish with avocado and seeded mustard mash and good rye bread from Cyril’s deli in Haymarket.

Eggplant is great right now and you’ll find it grilled at Liverpool’s Cucina 105 as part of the penne melanzane with napoletana sauce. And, of course, pureed in the baba ganoush everywhere but notably at Jasmins in Lakemba, where it’s part of the mixed platter with homous, tabouleh, falafel and skewered meats.

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