Quince paste

Bright yellow with a characteristically heady aroma, the quince is an Old World Persian fruit that was frequently grown in backyards and farm gardens in days gone by because of its hardiness. Some words of warning, though: it can’t be eaten raw, unless you’re very determined! Enjoy your gourmet quince paste with fine cheese and biscuits, as well as an appropriate wine!

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Quince paste


1 kg quinces (approximately 12)
peeled 1 kg sugar

Slowly oven-cook the quinces until soft and pink or boil enough quinces to produce 1 kilogram of flesh. Purée the flesh including some of the pips and cores. Add the purée to a heavy-based large pan and add sugar (an equal amount of sugar to purée). Cook and stir constantly until the purée thickens and turns a dark red colour, approximately 11?2 hours. Beware of spitting, lava hot quince paste and tired arms! When a spoon is drawn through the paste it should leave a distinctive trail on the bottom of the pan. Spoon or pour paste into greaseproof-lined trays or plastic tubs. Dry this in a warm place for a couple of days until it becomes more solid. Cut, wrap and pack into airtight containers.

Recipes courtesy of Denise Kretschmer

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Anzac biscuits with macadamia nuts

The national biscuit of Australia that means so much to each and every one of us. Made even more delicious thanks to the inclusion of our native macadamia nuts.

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Anzac biscuits with macadamia nuts


Makes approximately 35

2 tbsp golden syrup
125 grams butter
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped
1 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 150°C. Melt golden syrup and butter together. Mix oats, macadamia nuts, flour, sugar and coconut together. Mix bicarbonate of soda with boiling water and add to melted butter and syrup. Add to the dry ingredients. Mix well. Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls and place on greased tray, allowing room for spreading. Bake for 20 minutes. Loosen while the biscuits are still warm and then cool on trays. Enjoy with a glass of fresh milk or lemonade.

Recipe courtesy of Margaret Carr

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Cardamom honey ring

This recipe is thanks to Western Australian apiarists Dave and Leilani Leyland, who feature in our national From Paddock to Plate Schools Program.

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Cardamom honey ring


2 cups self raising flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
125g butter, chopped
2/3 cup raw sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup milk
¼ cup honey

Preheat oven to moderate 180 degrees. Brush 20cm ring tin with melted butter or oil. Line base with paper. Place flour, cardamom and cinnamon in food processor bowl; add butter and sugar. Using pulse action, process 20 seconds or until mixture is fine and crumbly. Combine eggs, milk and honey; then add flour mixture to bowl, mix until smooth. Spoon mixture into prepared tin; smooth surface. Bake for 35 minutes or until skewer comes out clean when inserted in centre of cake. Leave cake in tin 5 minutes before turning onto wire rack to cool.

Honey buttercream icing

60g butter
½ cup icing sugar
2-3 teaspoons honey

Beat all together.

Recipe courtesy of Leilani Leyland, Bees Neez Apiaries

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Fettuccini dello Stretto di Messina

Jonathon Trewartha and his family lease caper plants to farmers. He planted the first Australian caper farm in 2004 to provide local farmers with the opportunity to use land that may be unsuitable for other crops. This recipe is courtesy of Jonathon.

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Fettuccini dello Stretto di Messina


1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
500 grams tomatoes, skins removed
500 grams fettuccini
salt and pepper
50 grams black olives, pitted
50 grams almonds
50 grams pine nuts
50 grams salted capers, washed and drained
1 teaspoon oregano
handful of fresh basil leaves
50 grams pecorino cheese, grated

Sauté the garlic in a sauté pan for 1–2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook the sauce for 20 minutes over a medium heat. Meanwhile, boil the water for the fettuccini. Finely chop the olives, almonds, pine nuts and capers by hand or in a food processor to make a pesto. Roughly chop the basil. Add to the sauce, along with the oregano. Cook the fettuccini until al dente, according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and transfer to a serving dish. Spoon the sauce over the fettuccini, add the prepared pesto and the grated pecorino. Serve immediately.

Wine suggestion

A juicy, full-bodied red, Cabernet Sauvignon or a Cabernet blend.

Recipe courtesy of Jonathon Trewartha

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Cucumber ribbon salad with olive and caper dressing

The caper buds are treated as a delicate herb, being taken from the field to the table in only a few steps. Caper grower Jonathon Trewartha says this maximizes the retention of natural flavours by minimising oxidation from the air and exposure to heat.

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Cucumber ribbon salad with olive and caper dressing


2 red capsicums, roasted
1 tablespoon black olives, pitted
2 tablespoons capers in brine, washed and drained
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
½ lemon (juice only)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
½ cucumber, cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler

Place all the ingredients except the cucumber in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Place the cucumber ribbons into a bowl and drizzle over the dressing. Toss and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Jonathon Trewartha

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Panzanella salad with black chia

Chia has been hailed as nature’s complete ‘superfood’ because it offers amazing nutritional benefits. Much of our modern diet lacks omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fibre, protein and antioxidants — chia contains the richest combined source of these nutrients and therefore makes an extremely positive contribution to a healthy global community.

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Panzanella salad with black chia


Serves 4

3 thick slices sourdough bread or gluten-free bread, roughly cut into 2-cm cubes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 small red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
2 red capsicums, roasted, peeled and sliced
10 large marinated green olives, quartered
¼ cup fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon black chia seeds
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon chia oil (optional)

Place the bread cubes in a bowl and toss in the olive oil. Heat a grill pan or heavy skillet and grill/fry the bread on all sides until golden. Remove from pan. Combine chia oil (if using), grilled bread cubes, tomatoes, onion, roasted capsicums, basil, chia seeds, olives, vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Top with a few extra basil leaves and an extra sprinkle of chia seeds. Serve immediately.

Wine suggestion

A fruity Rose

Recipe courtesy of wheat farmer John Foss and the Chia Company

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Thai Venison Salad

‘Venison is a very tender meat and quite similar to kangaroo in texture and taste. And because it’s a farmed product, it hasn’t got that gamey flavour,’ says Graham Morrison, one of the owners of Margaret River Venison.

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Thai Venison Salad


500 grams venison strip loin
30ml peanut oil
100 grams spring onions, finely sliced
1 continental cucumber, finely sliced
1 carrot, finely chopped
½ bunch mint, finely chopped
½ bunch coriander, finely chopped
1 bunch basil, chopped


100ml balsamic vinegar
100 grams shaved palm sugar
15ml sesame oil
50ml soy sauce
6 Thai chillis
25 grams green ginger, grated
3 sticks lemon grass, soft inner part only
2 tbs lime juice

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Put tray and resting rack into oven. Roll the prepared venison through the peanut oil, quickly sear on all sides and put it on the rack in the oven. Cook for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover with a cloth and allow to cool to room temperature. Slice the venison thinly. Meanwhile to make the dressing, place vinegar, sugar, oil and soy into the saucepan and stir over high heat until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Add the remaining ingredients to the liquid. Chill until ready to serve. To assemble the salad, toss all of the salad ingredients together and then pour over half the dressing. Put half of the salad onto the plate, cover with the venison and scatter the remaining salad over the top. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the top and serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Margaret River venison producer Kylie Kennaugh

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Pear, cabbage and walnut salad

Nearly 90 per cent of Australia’s pears, which are predominately used for canning, come from Victoria’s Goulburn Valley and are sourced from more than 200 growers. Harvest is from January to February when pears are picked green and ripened by a controlled process.

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Pear, cabbage and walnut salad


Serves 4

½ cup walnuts
1 tbs icing sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne pepper
½ small red cabbage, shredded
½ small savoy cabbage, shredded
150 grams snow peas, shredded
4 green onions, thinly sliced
3 pears, halved, cored, thinly sliced
¼ cup small mint leaves


2 tbs cider vinegar
2 tbs pear juice
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs grated palm sugar or brown sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to serve

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Spread the walnuts on a baking tray. Sprinkle with a little water. Sift the icing sugar, cinnamon and cayenne over the nuts and toss to coat. Or you could just toast them as is! Bake for 5-8 minutes or until toasted. Set aside to cool. Combine cabbage, snow peas, green onions, pears and mint in a large bowl. Toss gently to combine. For the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake until well combined. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss gently, add walnuts.

Recipe courtesy of Janelle Bloom

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Marron, mushroom, walnut, truffle & pine

Chef Aaron Carr first introduced this recipe to the From Paddock to Plate audience at the 2013 Truffle Kerfuffle held in Manjimup in the South West of Western Australia.

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Marron, mushroom, walnut, truffle & pine


4 marron (1 per person)
200g assorted fresh mushrooms
50g smoked butter
25g dried mushrooms
1 pickled walnut
25ml Sherry vinegar
grapeseed oil
sea salt
50g walnuts (roasted, skins removed)
1 Manjimup truffle
freshly picked pine fronds
freshly picked sorrel
extra virgin olive oil or pine oil

Bring a pot of water to the boil and blanch the marron for one minute. Refresh in iced water. Remove the tail and cut along the back of the tail. Carefully remove the meat and reserve until required. For the mushroom vinaigrette, place the dried mushrooms and sherry vinegar in a container to let the mushrooms re-hydrate for one hour. In a blender add the mushrooms, vinegar, pickled walnut, a few generous shavings of the truffle and 100ml of grapeseed oil. Puree until fine, season with salt and reserve. Prepare each mushroom variety according to your preference. When ready to serve place two sauté pans on the stove. Add the smoked butter to one pan and sauté the mushrooms until they are just cooked. Season and reserve keeping warm. In the other pan add a little grapeseed oil and sauté the marron for one minute. To serve, place a teaspoon of the mushroom vinaigrette on the plate and drag a spoon through it. Place some of the sautéed mushrooms along this. Sprinkle with some of the toasted walnuts, top with the marron, some of the fresh pine fronds and sorrel. Shave some fresh truffle over the top and drizzle with a little oil.

Serve to your guests and pat yourself on the back!

Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef at Vasse Felix, Aaron Carr

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Marron & Chips

Marron are the largest freshwater crayfish in Western Australia – and the third largest in the world. They are endemic to south-west WA and fishing for them has long been a WA tradition.

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Marron & Chips


6 marron, anaesthetized with an ice-slurry/in freezer

For the chips

4 potatoes (Sebago or a local alternative of similar waxiness) washed, scrubbed, cut into chunky chips
1 litre of sunflower or peanut oil
6 garlic cloves
truffle salt (can be pre-purchased, but making it yourself is far more satisfying)

For the aioli

1 egg yolk
grapeseed oil
juice of ½ a lemon
Dijon mustard
salt flakes

To make the chips

Place the chipped-up potatoes and oil into a saucepan, bring oil to a rolling boil (medium heat), stir occasionally, monitoring the heat for 15-20 minutes. As soon as you see the potatoes turning golden, whack in whole unpeeled garlic cloves and leave together for an extra couple of minutes. When the chips are ready, drain onto paper towel and toss liberally with a generous amount of truffle salt.

To prepare the marron

Bring a large pot of water to the boil with a bamboo steamer on top. To prepare the marron, spear through the central ridge on the head with a sharp knife, then twist the tails away from the head and steam the tails in the bamboo steamer for approximately 4-5 minutes, or until the shell has turned crimson in colour. Remove the marron from the bamboo steamer, allow to cool slightly, then press firmly on the top of the tail (this should crack the exoskeleton). Remove the digestive tract (poo-tube) and the remainder of the exoskeleton. Reserve until the rest of the recipe is ready.

To make the aioli

Create a well with a tea-towel and insert a clean bowl into it (this will help to keep the bowl from moving around while you whisk!) Add a squeeze of lemon juice, a teaspoon of warm water, a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and an egg yolk into the bowl. Whisk together until everything turns a creamy yellow colour. Add a drizzle of grapeseed oil and whisk in. Keep adding little drizzles of grapeseed until the mixture thickens up to your liking (the more oil you add, the thicker the mix will be). Take the deep fried garlic (from the chips) and squeeze the flesh into the mayonnaise, rendering it an aioli. Season with salt.

Handy hints

If the mayo splits, add a dash of hot water and whisk swiftly – this will help it all come together again.
Making truffle salt or any kind of flavoured salt is as easy as blitzing coarse salt with another ingredient. You can get pretty crazy with it.
If you don’t have marron handy, this can be recreated using any sort of shellfish (just watch the colour of its shell turn for an indicator).

Recipe courtesy of Alice Zaslavsky

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