Continental Drift: The First Sydney Viand
Early autumn means tomatoes are cheap, cucumbers are sweet, and basil is plentiful so these beauties make repeat appearances tonight.
1. homemade butter bread Jim Lahey’s famous “no-knead” bread recipe with butter layered in.
2. fennel, cucumber, and onion with Pecora mozzarella I cribbed this from Panzano in Denver. every night they show off their mozzarella on a different salad. I pickle the onions overnight to take the heat out.
3. chestnut pesto pasta Pesto is traditionally made with pine nuts. One farm in the Southern Highlands has planted pine nut trees, so we should have Australian pine nuts in a few years. Although Australia does have a walnut industry, local stores sell Californian walnuts. In the mean time, it’s chestnut pesto. I worked in a bakery where the owner taught me to omit parmesan and garlic to emphasize the flavour of the basil. Fresh linguini from Pasta Emilia.
4. panzanella salad I first had this classic bread salad at one of my favorite restaurants, Emilio’s in Santa Barbara. Over the years I’ve found that the only essential ingredient is ripe tomatoes. I often omit the bread. I’ve retained their combination of basil and mint, added purslane, and replaced pistachios with Australian macadamias.
5. Moobi Valley Farm rump steak with tomato jam The important thing is to cook the tomatoes until they get a little brown.
6. roasted zucchini and corn with kaffir lime leaves and coconut Roasting with plenty of oil and salt makes vegetables taste like candy. I’ve recently replaced rosemary with kaffir lime leaves.
7. Eumundi smoked chicken on wild watercress
8. Pecora Blue with fig and Eumundi Smokehouse Russian salami with pear compote One of the owners of Pecora Dairy has been able to quit their day job… Pears from Kurrawong Organics.
9. cucumber sandwiches (with Eumundi hot salami) A tradition of the Viand is to pun on the food. In this case I’ve made a Cal-Aussie take on the British classic.
10. persimmon with Kakawa chocolate Champion’s Mountain Organics
Produce from Kemps Creek Farms. All produce, fruit, pasta, cheese, charcuterie, and meat from Eveleigh Carraigeworks Farmers Market.
Murray River inland Australian salt . Kialla organic white flour.
Organic Times Butter. Clarendon Farms Eggs. Simon Johnson balsamic vinegar.