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Written on 22nd December 2016
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These two dishes tick all the boxes and the salad is especially versatile. Preserved tuna can be found at gourmet grocers such as Simon Johnson, as well as good Italian and Spanish delicatessens.You can substitute the tuna with chicken, prawns, scallops, anchovies, barbecue quail or roast beef leftovers. The choice is yours. For vegetarians, omit the tuna and serve with some delicious garlicy bruschetta.

The cherries at this time of year are wonderful. Eat them fresh or cooked and at every opportunity.

Serves: 4


425g preserved tuna, packed in olive oil, drained and broken into chunks
400g tin of borlotti beans drained and rinsed
½ small Spanish onion, finely sliced
1 cup celery heart (the inner, more tender sticks of celery), finely sliced on an angle
60ml extra virgin olive oil (plus extra to serve)
finely grated zest of 1 lemon juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp red-vein sorrel and parsley microherbs (available at some supermarkets and greengrocers; alternatively, you can use fl at-leaf parsley)
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

Place all the ingredients except microherbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss and then divide between 4 plates.

Give a little extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt and a grind of fresh pepper and serve with a scattering of microherbs.


Serves: 4


150g caster sugar
2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
zest of 1 orange
1 stick cinnamon
1 star anise
1 cup full-bodied red wine 500g washed cherries (either unpitted or pitted, up to readers’ own taste)
200ml double cream

Place the sugar, redcurrant jelly, orange zest, cinnamon, star anise and wine in a pot over medium-high heat. As soon as it begins to simmer, reduce heat to medium, add cherries, and simmer for 4 minutes until just starting to soften. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

Let the cherries cool in their syrup and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Remove the cinnamon stick and star anise and spoon the cherries into 4 bowls. Drizzle with syrup and place a dollop of cream on each. Serve.


Fox Creek Vixen sparkling red NV, McLaren Vale, SA $27

This quintessentially Australian-style wine is rich and soft in texture with a silky palate that oozes raspberries and black cherries. It fi nishes with a touch of spicy oak, gingerbread and almonds. Perfect for Christmas lunch.


Photography by William Meppem and Jennifer Soo. Styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.