Eating from farm to plate might be a touch unachievable for most of us urban folk, but if you’re in the mood to put in some elbow grease there is the satisfying reward of a home-cooked meal. Consider it skills-building for when you move to Tasmania to live off the grid.
In keeping with seasonality, here is a three course meal plan a la Matthew Evans to refresh your palate, using his best recipes from across the past five seasons of Gourmet Farmer.
Pizzaiola means ‘in the style of the pizza maker’ according to Evans, and it’s pretty much just 'pizzafying' anything you can find. Follow the simple rule of a tomato base and cheese topping and you’re laughing. A pan of pizzaiola and pile of Sardinian flatbread for dipping won’t be ignored as an easy dinner party entrée.
For the main event, a stunning pie filled with wilted greens, cheese and egg, and wrapped in flaky yoghurt pastry. A slice of this is sure to impress, but if everyone’s saving room for dessert, it makes excellent leftovers. Throw in a confit chicken leg for protein, or vegetable side salad.
The confit is delicious served with lots of roasted pumpkin and a chestnut and potato puree. Or you can strip the meat from the bone and toss through fresh pappardelle with roughly mashed roast pumpkin.
"Freekeh is a green wheat berry with a delicious nutty flavour. My local bakery sells a version of this salad and it always looks so delicious, piled high on a platter on the counter, that I was inspired to make my own version." Matthew Evans, For the Love of Meat
Finish the night on a light note with these rose geranium and raspberry jellies. It’s spring and the flowers are in full bloom, but if you don’t have any pelargonium graveolens in your garden, a dash of rosewater will suffice in place.
How hard can it be?
Matthew Evans is cooking up a storm in his brand-new series of Gourmet Farmer, 8pm Thursday nights from August 1 on SBS and SBS On Demand. Visit the Gourmet Farmer website for recipes, the episode guide and more.
You can use white polenta made from white corn, if you can find it, for a more subtle result. Use the polenta as an accompaniment to a ragu of some kind, or ossobuco. Italians have told me to only stir in one direction, but I’ve found that it has made no difference to the end result when I reverse the stirring to rest my arm.