Chelsea Abraham from Bespoke Catering offers this scrumptious Turkish Lentil Soup, handed down from her grandmother. A vibrant orange from the red lentils, it can have added pizzazz with haloumi and/or fried onion. And, of course, traditional toasted Turkish bread makes it extra delicious!
Melanie Karagezian from Cafe Geo in Lane Cove, NSW, makes an incredible Middle Eastern-based Za'artar bread inspired by happy memories of her childhood. Melanie says this is a popular Armenian and Lebanese dish but the aromatic Za'artar spices add to many dishes from the Middle Eastern region. This vegetarian dish is very versatile as a breakfast, lunch or snack wrap.
As well as providing a bounty of bush tucker, this ancient species - the Podocarpus elatus or Illawarra Plum Pine - makes a fantastic screen. Although it is slow growing the end result is worth the wait. Podocarpus elatus is diocesous - which means it needs a pale and a female plant to produce fruit. This plant is high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Thanks to Sydney Wildflower Nursery and Narelle Happ.
This deliciously salty and smokey Northern Iranian dish is incredibly versatile. With eggplant as the star, it can be served during lunch, dinner, or as an entree. It can also be edited to be a vegetarian option. Thanks to Marjaneh Ghafari.
This sweet pastry is always a crowd-pleaser. Known for its multiple layers of fillo, chopped nuts and syrup, it is a popular treat in countries such as Lebanon and Turkey. Thanks to Saida and Culinary Tales.
This delicious dish from FoodFaith gardeners, Samaher Choukchouk and Mona Maarabani, features the star vegetable, molokhia, which is often referred to as Egyptian spinach. It has its roots in Middle Eastern, East African and North African countries and is a perfect hearty dish to start a family meal or can feature on its own on cold winter nights. The vegetable has a certain glutinous texture.
This fragrant recipe, from Neelima Paravastu, is special to the Hindu faith in India, and has been handed down over generations. It tastes delicious by itself, but can be eaten with pickles such as mango or lime or with fried potatoes.
Paella is often called Spain’s national dish. An Australian, Leno Lattarulo, from Melbourne, was recently awarded the world title of “Best Paella Outside Spain” at the prestigious Concurs International Paella Competition. Leno is chef and owner of Melbourne’s Simply Spanish restaurants and has let us in on some of the secrets of a winning paella. You can find the recipe here and the story behind its creation. Thanks to Concurs Internacional de Paella Valenciana for the recipe.
A recipe from Laura Hemmelgarn, the mother of our American intern, Jane Hemmelgarn. This simple recipe has been passed down from Laura's mother-in-law and involves very few ingredients and can be made in no time at all.
Pasulj or Serbian bean soup is a dish common to the Baltic region with several variations. It often features white, cranberry or pinto beans. It is a hearty winter recipe and is comforting to eat in the cooler months. Pasulj can feature different meats (often smoked) and baked beans can provide a vegetarian option. A perfect recipe for large gatherings! Thanks to Nenad Predic.
This recipe, from Carol Selva Raja, is a favourite in many South-East Asian countries. It has Chinese roots and Malaysian influences. It is double cooked and generally made with pork with many local touches. Tofu, shrimp paste and lime and sugar sauce are some of the flourishes that can add local flavour. Carol says this dish is known to her friends as her "lethal weapon". Her story behind the dish features with the recipe.
This delicious recipe from NITV presenter and Neighbour Day Ambassador Natalie Ahmet has many influences including Indigenous and Malaysian. It is equally delicious if other proteins are used, including vegetarian and vegan options.
Using leftovers in the kitchen is a great way of recycling ingredients and saving waste. In winter, nothing beats a soup or curry to use up odds and ends, but in summer, think stir fry, frittata, home made pizzas or this lovely recipe for Bubble and Squeak from Mandy Sinclair.