Ostro: Good Food. Hand Made
|Author:||Julia Busuttil Nishimura|
Occasionally I treat myself to a new cookbook. There are many I would like to have on the shelves in the kitchen, but we don't have the room for all the gorgeous cookbooks that arrive at VOLUME. So, for a book to make the cut, it has to be extra-tempting. Ostro from Melbourne foodie Julia Busuttil Nishimura made the cut. I was immediately attracted to the book (by its cover!). Usually, I don’t like cookbooks with a picture of the chef front and centre - even though I understand the marketing reasons for doing so. Anyway, here is Julia, relaxed, sated looking - a pose that says food is a delight and should be enjoyed - the look that you may have on your face when you’ve tasted something delicious or about to indulge. The subtitle, The pleasure that comes from slowing down and cooking with simple ingredients, is so apt for her Italian/ Mediterranean influenced food and her philosophy about food and lifestyle: Slow down and enjoy. The recipes are divided into several categories, including Bread & Pizza, Vegetables, Pasta & Grain, Seafood & Meat, and Desserts - as well as cakes! There are everyday recipes, food for families, and special occasion dishes. The food style suits our climate and coastal location, where we ?enjoy the benefits of wonderful?,? fresh local produce. I can’t wait to make and eat 'Soft Polenta with Bitter Greens and Walnuts' (just right for this time of year), 'Roasted Broccoli with Lemon, Garlic and Anchovy Crumbs', and 'Whole Orange Cake with Candied Fennel Seeds' (and many others: the gnocchi, the pizzas…. the roasted peach tart). Cookbooks not only have to have sumptuous recipes (ones that you will cook), they also have to look good to entice me to open and explore them. And this is a beautiful book.
'My approach to food favours intuition over strict rules and is about using your hands, rushing a little less and savouring the details. It is food that slowly weaves its way into the fabric of your daily life - food for living and sharing.' Julia Busuttil Nishimura has gained a strong and loyal following for her generous, uncomplicated, seasonal food. Her interpretations of dishes from Italy and the Mediterranean feel both timelessly familiar and altogether fresh and new. This is modern Australian eating with respect for the past.Julia guides us through the uniquely satisfying experience of making pasta or pizza dough from scratch, with recipes such as ricotta tortelloni with butter, sage and hazelnuts or taleggio and potato pizza. She also shares plenty of flavourful salads and simple meals for days when time is scarce, such as roasted cauliflower and wheat salad or tray-roasted chicken with grapes, olives and walnuts. Baking and desserts, too, needn't be overly complicated. As Julia shows us, some of the best recipes are those that have been passed down the generations and streamlined to perfection along the way, such as the perfect lemon olive oil cake. But we also need the odd show-stopper like a chocolate layer cake with espresso frosting on standby for special occasions!This is simple food that is comforting and generous in spirit. Slow down, take your time and enjoy it.
Julia Busuttil Nishimura is a Melbourne-based Italian teacher and food writer, and the creator of Ostro - an online space where she shares her recipes, images and stories. Since launching Ostro in 2014, Julia has gained a strong and loyal following for her generous, uncomplicated, seasonal food. Julia is a regular contributor to Australian and international publications, such as The Design Files, Design Sponge (USA), Assemble Papers and Yen Mag, teaches sell-out biannual cake workshops at Tamsin's Table and is regularly commissioned to create cakes for stylists and makers, such as Megan Morton and Maryanne Moodie. She lives in Melbourne with her husband Nori and son Haruki. julia-ostro.com @juliaostro