Baldjis whole green Greek figs

Few foods evoke as much culture and history as figs.

Prominent in the bible, eponymous throughout the Greek empire and still a fixture across the landscape of contemporary Greece, the fig manages at once to represent the lushness of the Mediterranean throughout the ages and the modern charm of Greek cuisine.

The Essential Ingredient is proud to stock Baldjis …

La Dalia Pimentón de la Vera: The authentic Spanish paprika

If meat is the body of your dish, then spices are the personality. Some give sweetness, a few are sour and others give your dish attitude. Paprika, the popular Spanish and Eastern European spice, brings mystery, warmth and that rich, unmistakable colour.

Pimentón, or paprika, was first produced in Spain where dried peppers were ground down, the differing combinations of fruit …

Cooking with black turtle beans

Food needs to be good for the tastebuds, the eyes and, of course, the body. Creating a visually spectacular feast with no nutritional value will win you no friends the day after your dinner party, just as a healthy yet dull and lifeless salad will impress few as it is heaped onto plates.

So how do you provide something full of …

The history of risotto

There are few dishes as popular or as versatile as risotto.

At its simplest, risotto is a hearty, warming rice dish, rich with the flavours of the stock used in its making, as well as saffron, parmesan, butter and any of the hundreds of ingredients that match so perfectly with it.

Risotto is not only versatile, but easy to make, and as …

Banyuls Traditional Wine Vinegar

It’s no secret to anybody interested in cooking that the quality of the ingredients you use plays a big part in the quality of the finished product.

It’s also true that the more you know about these ingredients, the more you’ll think of interesting and varied ways of using them.

Vinegar has a permanent place in most cuisines and in most kitchens, and as with the equally ubiquitous olive oil, to get …

Cooking with duck fat

Many chefs, including Jamie Oliver and Delia Smith, argue that if you’ve never tried potatoes fried or roasted in duck fat, then you’ve never really eaten a great potato.

The combination is as classic as it is perfect. But duck fat does more than make the world’s best potatoes.

Rendered duck fat, an essential ingredient in French cuisine, can be used …

Recipe: Joseph Vargetto’s Risotto alla Milanese

Risotto is as popular a restaurant dish as it is a home-cooking staple. This exciting recipe, given to us by Melbourne cooking icon and multiple award winner Joe Vargetto, will ensure your next risotto is remembered long after the gold leaf has disappeared.


320g Carnaroli risotto rice
60g butter
2 pieces bone marrow
40g grated parmesan
1tsp saffron threads
1tbl onion, very finely chopped
1 …