Gary Mehigan

Gary Mehigan

Hi my Fellow Food Obsessed,
I have finally done it! A website which brings all my projects together in one neat little package. My website will hopefully be a place you will visit regularly for ideas, advise, recipes, tips and information about what I am doing throughout the year. From Masterchef to my books, my restaurants and the wonderful brands I represent including Ariston, Citibank, Masterfoods & Brita Water Filters, and my favourite recipes to cook, places to eat, and anything else I think you might like to hear about.  So sign up to my newsletter, and we will send you updates when there are new things/stuff/food to share. So tell your family & friends, and join my food obsession. Happy Eating. Gary.

Serves 6
PREP 15mins
COOK 50mins 

6 large vine-ripened truss tomatoes
1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sumac
100g freekeh (roasted green wheat)
350ml chicken stock
1/3 cup (50g) currants
finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon, or chopped rind of 1 preserved lemon
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley, plus extra leaves to serve
2 tbsp chopped dill, plus extra to serve
1/4 cup (35g) shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
2 tbsp raspberry wine vinegar
2 tbsp honey


Tip- Freekeh is wheat that’s harvested when green, then roasted. It’s available from health food shops and large supermarkets, or substitute burghul, couscous or quinoa.

 Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Cut tops from tomatoes and reserve. Using a melon baller or teaspoon, scoop pulp and seeds from tomatoes, leaving a thick shell. Discard pulp and seeds.

 Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large pan on medium. Cook onion and garlic for 3-4 mins, until soft. Add cumin and sumac and cook, stirring, for 1 min, until fragrant. Add freekeh and stock and season well. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 mins, until almost cooked. Uncover. Cook for 5 mins, until freekeh is tender and stock is absorbed.

 Add currants, lemon rind and juice, parsley, dill, pistachio and pine nuts, then mix well (B). Divide filling between tomato shells. Cover with reserved tops and place on prepared tray. 5 Drizzle remaining oil, vinegar and honey over tomatoes. Season well. Bake for 15 mins, until tomatoes are hot and softened slightly. Scatter over extra parsley and dill and serve.



 Gary's secrets

• For maximum flavour, choose vine-ripened tomatoes that smell sweet and yield slightly to the touch.

• Make sure the tomatoes are roughly the same size so that they cook evenly and are ready at the same time.

• If you don’t want to waste the tomato pulp and seeds, finely chop or blend them and add to freekeh with the stock.

• This recipe is extremely versatile. You can substitute red capsicum, zucchini or eggplant for the tomatoes, and experiment with different dried fruits and nuts in the filling.

Serves 10
PREP 20mins  plus freezing
COOK 50mins 


11/2 cups (330g) caster sugar
grated rind of 1 orange, plus juice of 3 oranges
300g small dates
1/3 cup (35g) walnuts sweet pastry
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp pure icing sugar, sifted
240g plain flour
1 egg, plus 1 extra, lightly beaten

vanilla custard
5 egg yolks
400ml thickened cream
1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways, seeds scraped 

 Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan. Grease a 23cm loose-based tart pan.

To make sweet pastry, use an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to beat butter and icing sugar until creamy. Add flour and a pinch of salt, and beat for 30 secs. Add 1 egg and beat for 2 mins, until dough comes together into a ball. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 3mm thick. Fold pastry over rolling pin and unfold over pan. Using fingertips, gently press pastry into sides of pan without stretching (C). Remove any excess pastry by pressing over edge of pan with your thumb. Prick base of pastry with a fork. Place in freezer for 30 mins.

Line pastry case with baking paper and fill with baking weights, rice or dried beans. Blind bake for 15 mins, until pastry starts to colour. Remove paper and weights. Bake for 10-15 mins, until pastry is golden and firm. Reduce oven to 150C or 130C fan.

 To make vanilla custard, whisk together egg yolks, cream, sugar and vanilla seeds in a large jug until just combined. Brush pastry shell with beaten egg. Pour in custard and bake for 25 mins, until almost set. When you tap side of pan it should wobble only once. Cool completely. Chill for 1 hr.

Meanwhile, combine 1 cup of caster sugar, 1 cup water, and orange rind and juice in a medium saucepan on high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 mins, until reduced by half. Reduce heat to low, add dates and cook for 3-5 mins, until puffed. Remove from heat.

Dust tart with remaining caster sugar and cover pastry with foil. Using a blowtorch, melt sugar until dark golden and caramelised.

7 Drizzle custard tart with orange syrup and top with poached dates and walnuts. Cut into wedges and serve.


Tip- Use a meat thermometer to check when the lamb is done to your liking. Test the thickest part of the meat. As a guide, it’ll read 60C for rare, 65C for medium-rare, 70C for medium and 75C for well done.



 Gary's secrets

• I’ve used dates cooked in orange syrup to make this dessert even more irresistible, but it would be equally good served with a dollop of cream.

• Don’t be afraid to blind bake the pastry case until it is golden brown. It might look dark, but once the custard goes in and the oven temperature is reduced, it won’t go much darker.

• To make individual custard tarts, use 10 x 8.5cm loose-based tart pans and cut the cooking time by half.

Serves 6
PREP 30mins 
COOK 1hr 25mins


1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic bulb
1.5kg easy-carve lamb leg
2 rosemary sprigs, broken small sprigs
12 eschalots, peeled
1 bunch asparagus, peeled, trimmed
2 golden delicious apples
100g baby spinach
1/2 bunch dill, fronds only
1 bunch tarragon, leaves only
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves only
1/4 cup (35g) shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
1/4 cup (40g) blanched almonds, roasted, roughly chopped

mustard dressing
grated rind of 1/2 lemon, plus 1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp honey
2 tbsp olive oil


 Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan. Toast cumin seeds in a small frying pan on medium heat for 1-2 mins, until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and roughly grind. Stir in olive oil and a pinch of salt. Season with freshly ground pepper. Set aside.

2 Separate garlic cloves. Peel two cloves and thickly slice. Make small incisions in skin of lamb and insert rosemary and garlic slices. Place lamb in a roasting pan and brush with cumin mixture. Roast for 35 mins, then add eschalots and remaining garlic cloves to pan. Roast for another 45 mins for medium, or until lamb is cooked to your liking.

Meanwhile, to make dressing, mix together lemon rind and juice, mustard and honey. Whisk in oil and season to taste. Set aside.

Cut asparagus diagonally into 5cm lengths. Bring a small saucepan of water to boil on high heat. Add a pinch of salt and asparagus, and cook for 2 mins, until tender crisp. Drain and refresh under cold water. Drain on paper towel.

Core apple and cut into 2cm pieces. Place in a large bowl. Add asparagus, baby spinach, dill, tarragon, parsley, pistachios and almonds. Drizzle over dressing. Gently toss to combine. Serve with roast lamb, eschalots and garlic.


Tip- Use a meat thermometer to check when the lamb is done to your liking. Test the thickest part of the meat. As a guide, it’ll read 60C for rare, 65C for medium-rare, 70C for medium and 75C for well done.



 Gary's secrets

•  Easy-carve lamb is a leg with the chump end removed. It is rolled and tied into a uniform shape, so it cooks evenly and is easy to carve into individual portions. Easy-carve lamb legs are available from butchers or use lamb shoulder, on or off the bone.

•  Roasting the lamb at a slightly lower temperature will reduce the amount of moisture lost during cooking. I reckon the flavour is better, too.

•  Experiment with different combinations of herbs and spices – sumac, coriander, oregano and thyme are all lovely with roast lamb.

•  To vary the colour and flavour of the salad, try using different leaves, such as witlof, radicchio and frisée. Hazelnuts and sliced fennel would also work well in this dish. 

How to stay connected with Gary Mehigan


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