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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Spatzle with wild mushrooms and truffle

The world’s largest white truffle found in Italy and weighing 1.89 kilograms sold at auction for more than $70,000 in 2014.

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Spatzle with wild mushrooms and truffle


Serves 2 -3

75g butter (into beurre noisette)
250g soft flour
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
125g milk
salt, pepper and nutmeg

Sift the flour into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the rest of the ingredients. Beat until you have smooth dough. Cover with cling wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 1 hour. Boil a pot of lightly salted water then spread the spatzle mix onto a chopping board or tray. Scrape into the boiling water using a palette knife. Allow to boil for 2 minutes, then drain well and refresh in ice cold water. Add some olive oil to stop the noodles from sticking together. Sauté in foaming butter.

Mushroom sauce

200g assorted wild mushrooms (fresh if possible)
3 cloves garlic
fresh thyme
salt and black pepper
100 g fresh cream
½ lemon
fresh grated parmesan cheese
loads and loads of shaved black truffle

Recipe courtesy of Shane Osborn, head chef at St Betty in Hong Kong

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Potato gnocchi

The humble potato has gotten a bad rap over the years, but it’s time we start giving nutritious spuds the respect they deserve with this tasty gnocchi recipe.

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Potato gnocchi


4 large royal blue potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 – 1½ cups plain flour
Salt and pepper
¼ cup parmesan, finely grated
plain flour, to dust

Boil the potatoes until cooked. Drain really well and mash. Turn the potato onto a surface and leave to cool for a while. Whisk the egg and pour on top. Add the flour, seasoning and cheese. Combine gently. Once the mixture is combined put to the side. Clean down the bench; flour it and take small bits of the mixture at a time. Roll the gnocchi gently into long sausage shapes and cut into pieces.

Recipe courtesy of Sophie Budd, Taste Budds Cooking Studio

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Fig salad

The rolling Adelong hills in southern New South Wales are a long way from the Mediterranean, the native home of the fig. But tucked away in a deep valley you’ll find 4,000 fig trees, which make up the largest fig orchard in the Riverina.

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Fig salad


bunch of rocket leaves
ripe figs
goat’s cheese
cherry tomatoes (optional)
olive oil
mint leaves
lemon juice

Combine the washed rocket, figs and goat’s cheese on a platter. Add the tomatoes (if using). Pour over the olive oil and sprinkle with mint. Add a good squeeze of lemon.

Recipe courtesy of Marg Salmon

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Smoked salmon and avocado wraps

Whether you like to eat avocado the good old Aussie way with Vegemite, or prefer it with prawns and salmon over summer, it’s good to know the fruit has come straight from the tree. The special thing about an avocado is that it doesn’t mature until you harvest it. This recipe makes a delicious light lunch or enjoy as finger food with drinks.

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Smoked salmon and avocado wraps


100 grams smoked salmon, chopped
2 avocados, diced
2 cups baby spinach, sliced
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 bunch coriander, chopped
2 tbsp capers
cracked pepper
lime juice to moisten
roti bread or lettuce leaves

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, except the roti bread. Warm the roti and cut into quarters. Place spoonfuls of avocado mixture into the pockets of bread, or wrap up and serve in the lettuce leaves.

Recipe courtesy of Shirley Ipsen

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Steamed ginger and soy crab

This recipe is courtesy of Brian Harland, from Alyangula on Groote Eylandt, the largest island in the Gulf of Carpentaria in northeastern Australia.

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Steamed ginger and soy crab


2 mud crabs
5 cm piece fresh ginger, finely grated
3 tbsp (50 ml) soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
rice wine, to taste

Place the crabs in the freezer until they go to sleep, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. This is the most humane method. Heat water in a good-sized wok and bring to the boil. Place a bamboo or metal steamer on top. Meanwhile, mix ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil and rice wine together in a small bowl. Remove the crabs from the freezer and crack the claws. Apply the mixture to the crab and allow it to soak in. Place the crab in the steamer for 15 to 20 minutes – longer if the crabs are large. Don’t pack the steamer too tightly or the crabs won’t cook thoroughly. Serve hot or cold and season with salt.

Recipe courtesy of Brian Harland

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Ringwould goat blanc & Manjimup truffles on toast with Torbay asparagus

Ringwould Dairy is a family business, located near Albany in Western Australia’s extraordinary South West region. Producing their products without chemicals and where possible by hand, Ringwould Dairy’s philosophy is to give their goats the best, so they produce the best milk and cheese.

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Ringwould goat blanc & Manjimup truffles on toast with Torbay asparagus


4 slices rustic bread
150 grams Ringwould goat blanc
8 Torbay asparagus spears
10 grams Manjimup black truffle
sea salt
1 garlic clove
extra virgin olive oil
organic grape syrup or vincotto

Beat the goat blanc in a mixer for 30 to 45 seconds to loosen and lighten. Grate in Manjimup truffle, stir well to combine and reserve. Peel the bases of the asparagus and trim off 1 centimetre. Boil the asparagus for 2 minutes in salted water, remove and season. Drizzle with olive oil and keep warm. Wipe the bread with the cut side of the garlic clove and brush with olive oil. Barbecue or toast until golden and place onto serving plates. Place asparagus on top, then a quenelle of the “truffled” goat blanc. Drizzle with olive oil and organic grape syrup.

Recipe courtesy of Chef/Owner of Must Winebar, Russell Blaikie
Produce supplied by Augusta Saunders from Ringwould Dairy, Redmond

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Slow-roast Arkady lamb leg with baharat & giant tabouli

Margaret River chef, Russell Blaikie, treated us to the tantalising recipe on the From Paddock to Plate stage at Gourmet Escape 2012. It was devoured in an instant!

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Slow-roast Arkady lamb leg with baharat & giant tabouli

Serves 4-6

Marinade for 1 bone in Arkady lamb leg

1 heaped tablespoon baharat
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
60ml extra virgin olive oil
1 heaped tablespoon sea salt

Marinate the lamb the day before. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Place lamb leg in bowl and rub with marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Heat oven to 200 degrees. Place lamb leg on rack above deep oven tray. Pour enough water into tray to cover the base. Cover lamb leg with foil and seal around the edges of the tray. Bake for 1 and 1/2 hours, and then reduce the oven temperature down to 110 degrees for another 4 hours. Check that the water has not boiled dry in the tray. Replenish it as necessary, keeping the foil tightly sealed. Check the lamb is tender. It should be falling off the bone. Increase oven temperature to 180 degrees and remove foil so that lamb browns and crisps for 20 minutes.

Serve with fresh bread and giant tabouli salad.

Ingredients for giant tabouli

1 cup pearl couscous
1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
½ cup mint leaves
2 spring onions (sliced finely)
6-8 truss cherry tomatoes cut in half
¼ Lebanese cucumber (diced)


1 teaspoon preserved lemon flesh (diced finely)
juice of ½ lemon
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt and a few twists freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add couscous and cook for 10 minutes. Remove, cool and drain into colander under running water for 1 minute. Drain completely and place in a bowl. Mix together dressing ingredients and pour over the couscous. Allow to cool to room temperature. Add the rest of the salad ingredients and toss lightly.

Serve with Greek yoghurt or tzatziki and Turkish red pepper flakes (pul biber).

Recipe courtesy of Chef/Owner of Must Winebar, Russell Blaikie
Produce supplied by Matt Gilray, The Farm House in Margaret River & Witchcliffe organic pig and sheep farmer, David Hohen

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