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Zanahorias · Argentinian Roasted carrots with maple syrup and coriander pesto


A new month means a new Tasty Tuesday, and this month we’re in new territory, with an Argentinian menu care of the good folks at The Independent, Gembrook!

The Independent is a joint venture, combining the considerable talents of Argentinian chef Mauro Callegari, and the Gordon family of Robert Gordon Australia. The Gordon family have been in Gembrook for five generations, and as a result own a few properties throughout the town. With strong connections to the Melbourne hospitality industry through their supply of bespoke crockery for various local restaurants, the Gordons came to know Mauro. They soon formed a partnership based on their mutual love of food, family and Gembrook. Together, they own and run The Independent.

This month Mauro will share five traditional Argentinian dishes that he serves at the restaurant. By the end of the month you’ll have five recipes to make your own Argentinian feast at home!

1st March, 2016
Mauro Callegari of The Independent
Tuesday 1st March 2016

I grew up in Argentina, where I developed my love of cooking under the watchful eye of my mother in our family restaurant in the Buenos Aires suburb of La Paternal. I then turned by childhood obsession into a profession, and cooking became my career. I served some long apprenticeships in five-star Argentinean hotels and restaurants, before moving to London to be part of the team to open Conran’s Orrery-Almeida in 2001.

In 2003 I moved to Melbourne and continued to hone my skills and work for Marcus Moore at the Sofitel and Raymond Capaldi at Fenix, before finally deciding to settle in Gembrook. It was in Gembrook that I met the Gordon family, and we connected over our love of food, and the idea to open The Independent, a restaurant serving traditional Argentinian food in the heart of Gembrook was born.

The Gordon family has been in Gembrook for five generations, running their family business making pottery, and supplying it to the hospitality industry for three of those generations. They owned a vacant property in Gembrook and had the vision to turn it into their very own restaurant and find a chef to collaborate with. We opened the restaurant in September 2014, and formed a partnership that is based on the love of food, family and Gembrook.

This month we will be sharing some of our favourite traditional Argentinian dishes that we serve at the restaurant. These dishes are all designed to be shared with friends and family, and by the end of the month you’ll have five recipes to make your own Argentinian feast at home.

First up, we have some maple roasted carrots served with a coriander pesto. Carrots are usually prepared in a boring way, in Argentina they are eaten grated in salads or roasted. For this recipe I decided to spice them up and make a fun dish.

Ingredients (Serves 4 as side dish)

  • 24 baby carrots
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt flakes
  • 50ml of honey or smoked maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of toasted coriander seeds
  • 100g of salted roasted peanuts
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 bunch of coriander (blitz with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt to make a pesto)


Pre-heat oven to 210 degrees celsius.

Roast carrots with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt flakes until soft, usually about 40 minutes to an hour, depending on your oven.

When the carrots are ready, drizzle with honey or smoked maple syrup.

Toast your coriander seeds and peanuts in a dry fry pan. Set aside when ready.

Make your coriander pesto by blending together half a bunch of coriander with the juice of 1 lemon, a pinch of sea salt and generous gulp of extra virgin olive oil. Add extra seasoning depending on your taste preferences.

Arrange the carrots in a large bowl, drizzle coriander pesto on top and sprinkle with toasted coriander seeds and peanuts.

The Independent
79 Main Street
Gembrook. VIC

The team behind The Independent in Gembrook, including Head Chef Mauro Callegari alongside some of the Gordon family, including brothers Sam Gordon and Bobby Gordon, and Bobby’s wife Rowena. The restaurant is located 79 Main Street, Gembrook. Photo – Sean Fennessy. Styling – Nat Turnbull.

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