Take a Virtual Foodie Trip to Tasmania With Australian Chef and Author Analiese Gregory
Analiese Gregory chats with us about her new Tasmania inspired cookbook 'How Wild Things Are' and offers up one of her favourite recipes from the new book, a cold salad with a salty bottarga (fish roe) vinaigrette and homemade ricotta (pictured above). Photo: Adam Gibson
Take your taste buds on a virtual foodie trip to Tasmania with Australian chef Analiese Gregory. She’s just launched her new cookbook, How Wild Things Are: Cooking, Fishing and Hunting at the Bottom of the World.
Chock full of her experiences in Tasmania and her time spent cooking in kitchens around the world, the book also includes Gregory’s back-to-the-land instructions on all sorts of culinary creations, like how to poach a rooster, how to create your own fruit-based shrubs (drinking vinegars), and a vegan-friendly cashew miso cream (she tops young, raw veggies with this dressing).
We asked chef Gregory to give us a list of her favourite things to do in Tasmania or, as she calls it, Tassie.
“Moving to Tasmania (four years ago), I mastered some of the fears that had been holding me back in my life,” says Gregory. Now she dives and hunts and hikes. One of her favourite destinations is Freycinet National Park. “Diving for abalone and crayfish about 20 minutes from my farmhouse, then coming home and cooking it with seaweed and butter for dinner. Because Tasmania is beautiful and pristine, you can dive for luxury ingredients like abalone, wakame or sea urchin,” she adds.
Some of Gergory’s favourite Tassie activities include:
- foraging for wild mushrooms and windfall apples, spearing fish, standing waist-high in water with a spear and flashlight
- exploring beautiful Bruny Island and its secret coves, and diving for sea urchin
- eating outdoors, cooking dishes at a campsite or a rocky shoreline
- buying directly from farmers; between her neighbours, she has access to milk, honey, vegetables, cider apples and English pigs. Her friends next door are French wine importers who grow their own grapes
- gathering her favourite ingredients including abalone, wallaby, sea urchin, pepperberries, mekabu, saltbush and leatherwood honey
- adventures around Tasmania, like camping in stunning world heritage areas with no electricity, swimming in lakes to wash and, cooking over campfires and hiking
Favourite Places to Eat in Tasmania
Tom McHugo’s Hobart Hotel “You can take someone there that just wants to have a pint and a parmy [chicken parmigiana] or a $10 steak, but then you can also take all your natural wine-loving friends who want to eat roasted delicata squash with house-made cheese,” she says.
“The Agrarian Kitchen is the ultimate farm produce driven restaurant. They really go above and beyond to find producers in their local area and the Derwent Valley and they grow a lot of the stuff themselves.
“I love the walk-in wine room at Dier Makr, and Lucinda, their small wine bar.”
“For delicious bagels, bread – Pigeon Whole Bakers in Hobart.”
Here, chef Gregory shares her recipe for the perfect spring salad.
Fresh Ricotta with Bottarga, Peas, Broad Beans and Asparagus
These are all young, green spring vegetables brought together in a cold salad with a salty bottarga (fish roe) vinaigrette and some homemade ricotta. After long, cold winters in Tassie, I like to celebrate spring and its plethora of vegetables as much as possible.
80 g (2¾ oz) fresh podded peas
100 g (3½ oz) podded broad beans
70 g (2½ oz) sugar-snap peas
1 bunch asparagus
1 bunch broad bean leaves
bottarga (salted, cured mullet roe), to serve
1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cups) milk
125 ml (4 fl oz) cream
1 teaspoon salt
40 ml (1¼ fl oz) white vinegar
50 ml (1¾ fl oz) olive oil
1 tablespoon brown rice mirin
½ tablespoon colatura* or good-quality fish sauce
juice of 1 lemon
15 g (½ oz) bottarga
For the ricotta, add the milk, cream and salt to a saucepan, stir to combine and bring up to 90°C (190°F) over a low heat. Add the vinegar, stir and leave to sit for 1 hour. Scoop into an 8 cm (31/4 in) cheese mould and leave to drain.
For the vinaigrette, combine all the liquids in a bowl and whisk, then microplane in the bottarga.
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and blanch the vegetables, one at a time, for 30 seconds to 1 minute, refreshing them in ice water immediately afterwards. Drain the vegetables. Cut the asparagus into rondelles (flat rounds), leaving the tips whole. Test the broad beans to see if they need to be double podded. Otherwise, leave the shells on.
Toss the vegetables with the vinaigrette and the broad bean leaves and serve alongside the ricotta turned out of the mould. Grate some more bottarga over the top to serve.
*colatura is an amber-coloured fish sauce made from anchovies.
Recipe excerpted with permission from How Wild Things Are by Analiese Gregory, published by Hardie Grant Books February 2021. Photography, Adam Gibson