Karen Martini

Karen Martini

Food editor

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Karen Martini is a Melbourne-based chef, restaurateur, author and television presenter. karenmartini.com

Green olive, artichoke and kale tapenade

Kale, olive and artichoke dip.

A handful of blanched kale adds real depth and character to tapenade while also boosting its bright green vibrancy. Great on toast or crostini just as it is, or add some ricotta or goat's curd.

Cook | Karen Martini | Mon Sep 28 13:11:18 EST 2015

Arroz negro

Arroz negro

Arroz negro is a traditional rice dish - essentially paella, though not called such - typical to Valencia and Catalonia on Spain's Mediterranean coast.

Cook | Karen Martini | Wed Sep 23 18:55:45 EST 2015

Portuguese tarts

Karen Martini's Portuguese custard tarts.

These little custard tarts originate from Lisbon, and, apparently, were originally one way for monasteries to use up surplus egg yolks left over after using the whites as a starching agent for...

Cook | Karen Martini | Wed Sep 16 09:34:28 EST 2015

Singapore noodles

Singapore noodles

This dish is said to have been devised by Chinese cooks in homage to the cultural diversity of Singapore, borrowing from a couple of cuisines to get the end result - hence the curry powder.

Cook | Karen Martini | Tue Sep 08 11:50:32 EST 2015

Green bean, cauliflower and fresh fenugreek salad

Cauliflower, green bean and fenugreek salad

This is a great side for a lamb, fish or chicken curry but it's also delicious with roast chicken, grilled lamb chops or pan-fried fish.

Cook | Karen Martini | Mon Aug 31 12:39:25 EST 2015

Smoked ham hock and lentil soup with parsley and poached eggs

This version of ham hock and split pea soup switches the legumes to lentils, which are such a harmonious match with smoked hock meat, and I've also added some poached eggs, which I love with braised...

Cook | Karen Martini | Wed Aug 26 08:42:51 EST 2015

Lamb shoulder curry with ginger, warm spices and cauliflower

Great for leftovers ... Lamb shoulder curry with ginger and cauliflower.

This is a generous and rounded lamb curry, laced with plenty of ginger and warm spices. The lamb shoulder really brings this together, with the connective tissue breaking down and adding ...

Cook | Karen Martini | Wed Aug 19 18:14:00 EST 2015

Banana, rhubarb and yoghurt cake with pistachios and halva

Banana, rhubarb and yoghurt cake with pistachios and halva.

This is my idea of a teacake – not that I seem to make a lot of time for tea and cake these days. I really love the sesame flavour of the halva with the banana, pistachios and subtle scent of...

Cook | Karen Martini | Tue Aug 11 08:46:45 EST 2015

Red lentil dhal with curry leaves, mint and haloumi

Lentil dhal with mint, haloumi and okra.

This is based on an Indian dhal recipe, but it takes a pretty big detour from the traditional. Lighter and less heavily spiced, it relies on the earthy intensity of fresh turmeric and the fragrance...

Cook | Karen Martini | Wed Aug 05 09:48:49 EST 2015

Pork hocks with cider, honey, star anise and Sichuan pepper

Pork hocks braised with cider, honey and Sichuan pepper.

Pork loves soy, chilli and Asian spices. The richness of the meat and the fat stand up so well to the strong flavours and they in turn really help to balance their intensity.

Cook | Karen Martini | Mon Jul 27 12:59:47 EST 2015

Chicken biryani with almonds, saffron and rosewater

Chicken biryani with almonds, saffron and rosewater.

Biryani is a classic rice dish cooked across India. Various proteins are used, including mutton, goat, fish, egg and lentils, although chicken is probably the most common – at least outside India.

Cook | Karen Martini | Wed Jul 22 07:26:40 EST 2015

Congee with spinach leaves and cooked chicken

There is something very nourishing and comforting about congee, and it is often "prescribed" much in the same way that chicken soup is.

Cook | Karen Martini | Mon Jul 13 16:40:43 EST 2015

Salted pork with lentils in broth

Salted pork and lentils (petit sale aux lentilles).

Petit sale aux lentilles is a traditional and popular French dish of salted pork and lentils cooked in broth with aromatic vegetables and a generous bouquet garni of fresh herbs.

Cook | Karen Martini | Wed Jul 08 10:20:18 EST 2015

Smoked eggplant and potato soup with kefalograviera

The subtle smokiness of this rich and velvety soup is a quite unexpected flavour, but such a great companion to the eggplant, potato and salty cheese.

Cook | Karen Martini | Wed Jul 01 17:01:35 EST 2015

Roasted pumpkin and walnut dip

Pumpkin is probably most commonly associated with sweets in Turkey, but its sweet richness coupled with tahini, walnuts and the tang of lemon juice and pomegranate molasses makes a delicious savoury...

Cook | Karen Martini | Wed Jun 24 11:37:06 EST 2015

Japanese-style curry with scotch fillet and daikon

Japanese curries are built on a gently spiced roux that flavours and thickens the sauce. Making a roux yourself is far from difficult and you can spice it any way you like – you'll also skip any of...

Cook | Karen Martini | Mon Jun 15 14:24:56 EST 2015

Spiced cauliflower and feta omelette with chorizo and almond dressing

Spiced cauliflower and feta omelette with chorizo and almond dressing.

This is great breakfast fare, but it would also make a tasty and very quick midweek dinner. Having leftover roasted cauliflower on hand is a surprisingly common thing in my house.

Cook | Karen Martini | Mon Jun 08 12:20:48 EST 2015

Veal and pork polpette with cabbage, taleggio and truffled pecorino

Veal and pork polpette with cabbage and taleggio.

Inspired by a classic northern Italian pasta dish made with buckwheat noodles, cabbage, pork sausage and cheese, this is true cold-weather comfort food.

Cook | Karen Martini | Mon Jun 01 12:18:14 EST 2015

Maltese-style baked rice

This dish, based on the classic Maltese dish ross il-forn, is a versatile mix of gently spiced rice, mince, egg and tomato that can be made ahead of time.

Cook | Karen Martini | Tue May 26 14:07:49 EST 2015

Roasted rhubarb and ginger clafoutis

Put a spin on this traditional French cherry dessert by using rhubarb. It's great for the cooling weather, but also very delicate and quite fresh.

Cook | Karen Martini | Tue May 19 16:18:32 EST 2015