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Come for lunch

Come for lunch
Illustration by Daniel New
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Ice the drinks, fling open the kitchen. Michelle Crawford invites the crew home for a long summer lunch of big flavours and share plates.

Sharing food with friends, hopefully outside on a warm summer day, is to me the epitome of home. And around here, we’re all about comfort food and big flavours that highlight the best of summer’s bounty. 

I’m lucky enough to cook not only for friends but also for lots of people gathered for workshops held regularly here at my home, The Bowmont, in the southern Tasmanian village of Franklin. I keep a copy of every handwritten menu with the date marked at the top as a reminder of a delicious day, and also of how I made use of the seasonal ingredients that grow here in the Huon Valley. In summer, it’s fragrant tomatoes, earthy waxy potatoes, armfuls of fresh green herbs, and lots of sweet strawberries and juicy nectarines.

For this home-themed issue of Galah, I pulled out my pile of summer menus and chose some of my favourite share dishes. Nothing says home like serving casual family style food. Pile warm focaccia slices on a board alongside the garlicky zukes to serve with an icy cold drink as everyone arrives. Then gather the crew and serve the remaining dishes on platters down the centre of the table. Most of these recipes serve 4–6 people. 

Two days before your lunch

• Make the focaccia dough and rest in the fridge for up to 48 hours. 

• Prepare a music playlist.

One day before your lunch

• Salt the chicken.

• Make the panna cotta. 

• Whip the feta. 

On the morning of your lunch

• Bake the focaccia. 

• Make the zucchini stew (although you could do this the day
before and simply bring to room temperature on the day).

Stewed garlicky zukes with ricotta 

Think meltingly soft zucchinis fragrant with olive oil and garlic, like a chunky dip. This is best served at room temperature with a pile of warm, sliced focaccia on the side.  

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