HIDDEN HISTORIES: Medieval recipes for today with food historian Barbara Santich

Hidden HistoriesIn this second installment of Hidden Histories, we are traveling back in time to discover The Original Mediterranean Cuisine and delve into the recipes (and food culture) of medieval times.

Acclaimed culinary historian Barbara Santich tells the story of authentic medieval Mediterranean food, and brings to the table recipes translated and adapted for modern kitchens from fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Italian and Catalan manuscripts.

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New Release: Adelaide Central Market

Adelaide Central Market book

Wakefield Press’s new book, Adelaide Central Market: Stories, people & recipes, captures the memories and stories of the traders of the past and the current familiar faces that visit the Adelaide Central Market throughout the past 150 years. It shows how important the market is to Adelaide and how it brings together the community with delicious seasonal-driven recipes from stallholders’ families, producers and chefs around the state.Vending machines are great options as they provide the accessibility to the customers to quickly purchase the food and other products. If you are looking for Perths leading vending machine supplier, contact Royal Vending for a free vending machine service for your business or visit https://www.royalvending.com.au/vending-machines-perth/.

This book is filled with incredible stories, recipes and images that demonstrate the world-renowned culture and enlightenment the Adelaide Central Market brings to the city of Adelaide. Here you’ll find delicious seasonal-driven recipes from stallholders’ families, producers and chefs around the state.

Read on for a recipe for a surprisingly simple warm-weather meal from the Summer section of the book. Recipe by Karena Armstrong, Chef at the Salopian Inn, Mclaren Vale.

Garfish with tomato, eggplant and tamarind salad

Preparation time: 25 minutes • Cooking time: 5 minutes • Serves: 6


Garfish with tomato, eggplant, and tamarind saladINGREDIENTS  


  • 2 long eggplants, sliced into 1/2 cm rounds
  • 2 teaspoons salt flakes
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 punnets (500 g) ripe cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
  • 3 red shallots, finely sliced
  • 2 long red chillies, sliced
  • 1/2 bunch coriander, washed and leaves picked
  • 1/2 bunch Thai basil, washed and leaves picked
  • 1/2 bunch mint, washed and leaves picked
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) fried shallots


  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice (approx. 2 lemons)
  • 11/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil


  • 12 garfish fillets
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper


Firstly, place sliced eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with salt, tossing to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes, before rinsing well with water and patting dry with kitchen paper.

Heat oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add eggplant in batches, cooking until soft and golden. Place cooked eggplant on a plate covered in kitchen paper to drain before setting aside in a large mixing bowl.

Add the halved tomatoes, shallots and chillies to the cooked eggplant, tossing to combine. Combine herbs and fried shallots in a separate small mixing bowl.

For the dressing, mix all the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl. Pour dressing over the eggplant and tomatoes, tossing to combine.

For the garfish, heat a barbecue to high or place a chargrill pan or heavy-based frying pan over high heat. Brush garfish with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place fillets skin down on preheated barbecue and cook for 1–2 minutes. Carefully turn the fish and cook for 30 seconds, then remove immediately.

To serve, place cooked garfish on a platter. Add the fried shallots and herb mixture to the eggplant salad, tossing to combine, then pile salad onto the platter with the cooked garfish, drizzling any leftover dressing over the fish.

Adelaide Central Market

Adelaide Central Market: Stories, people & recipes also features trader profiles for every stall in the market, as well as hundreds more delicious seasonal recipes. Our publicist, Ayesha, also has her beautiful ceramics featured in the book. 

Perfect for a Christmas gift for yourself, or the foodie in your life, copies are available now and rushing out of the door. To purchase a copy, visit us in store in our Mile End bookshop, or find the book online. You can also read a larger extract of the book by clicking the link here.

Interested in other cooking titles new and old? Follow the link here to see the rest of our wonderful culinary titles.


Author Profiles – Christine V. Courtney

Christine V. Courtney’s first career was as a professional dancer, moving from Adelaide to Britain to dance with the Ballet Rambert and directing her own small ballet company before returning to Australia to work as a teacher and producer. She first visited Venice while leading fine arts tours to Europe in the 1980s. The city provided the inspiration for her first book, Venetian Voices.

What is your favourite memory from your time in dance?

My favourite memories are of the incredible camaraderie we shared under difficult conditions in the Ballet Rambert. We were on the road 42 weeks a year, in a different city each week, and travelled by train on Sunday between venues. Our six-week tour of the Middle East in 1963 opened my eyes to the world of Islamic sculpture, architecture and the history of that extraordinary area. We all coped with Dame Marie Rambert’s quixotic nature and those she did not break grew stronger. Fortunately I fell in the latter camp. The six years I spent with the company as a young artist (joining at age 19) were the most exhilarating of my life. I was doing what I believed I was born to do, and travelling, two of the four pillars of my life. I will leave you guessing as to the other two.

Would you ever move to Venice?

I would love to have the opportunity to move to Venice for a year simply to gather material for a second volume on the city. Ideally, I would move from district to district and island to island soaking up the atmosphere and local stories. To live in a Palazzo on the Grand Canal for a month would be a dream come true as I would be following in the footsteps of Richard Wagner and Marie Taglioni, the famous Italian ballerina, and many others.

What do you find to be the most difficult thing about writing poetry?

Distilling the essence of what I want to say, working as many drafts as needed, then being disciplined enough to put it aside to rest for some days. Coming back one sees the work with fresh eyes. Some poems came in one rush while others involved an arm wrestle to forge them into shape. When time and circumstances opened up in 2000 and I wrote my first poems I did not have a clue what I was doing except that some imaginary door opened and I stepped through it into the world of words. I’d found a pathway back into the exhilarating feeling of being creative and truly alive. It has been a struggle to find my ‘voice’, and I am still not sure I am there, wherever ‘there’ is. I’ve been plagued by self doubt, but upheld by a belief that I have something to say and needed to find a way to express myself.

What will you be working on next?

This is hard to predict. A new poem about Venice flew into my mind last week following an exchange with a friend relating an experience when he and his wife visited the city. Another local poem jumped out during the Wonder Walls event at Port Adelaide. Dr John Couper-Smartt wants me to again get involved in the reprint of Port Adelaide Tales from a ‘Commodious Harbour’ which we co-authored in 2003. For the time being I am enjoying reading other poets and keeping all my options open.

What is your favourite Italian food and why?

That’s simple: it is whatever I am eating at the time. I adore Italian food. The first orange gelatti I ever tasted was in Spoleto and had the ice-cream poured inside a whole hollowed out orange skin. It was the most beautiful refreshing juice I had ever tasted. One just squeezed the orange and sucked; a sensual experience. Likewise the Baccala Manecato provided at the launch of Venetian Voices was absolutely delicious and a food fit for the Gods. While reading Donna Leon’s books on Commissario Brunetti I become inspired to cook some of the dishes she describes.

What are your favourite Wakefield Press titles, aside from your own, and why?

As an admirer of C.J. Dennis’s work, I loved every aspect of An Unsentimental Bloke. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed the works by Dr Philip Jones such as Boomerang and Ochre and Rust. The monographs on artists like Robert Hannaford and Nora Heysen are always a pleasure to peruse. If I could read everything Wakefield produced it would be wonderful, but my life is now running short and I still have much to do, so it is a case of balance!

Dining Alone: Stories from the table for one

What involves Press* Food & Wine, Penny’s Hill Vineyard, the incredible Barbara Santich and a bunch of new and exciting stories?

The launch of Dining Alone next week, that’s what! Come along and get your weekend started early with a glass of good wine and a book with bundles of talent.

Dining Alone launch invitation