Ostro by Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Julia Busuttil Nishimura started her blog Ostro in 2014 and has steadily gained a strong and loyal following for her uncomplicated, seasonal food. As an Australian of Maltese descent and a fluent Italian speaker, who is married to a Japanese man, Julia expertly brings together a broad range of cuisines and culinary influences using the very best produce available. Her style is relaxed and graceful and her food simple, yet elegant.


Her debut cookbook, Ostro: The Pleasure That Comes from Slowing Down and Cooking with Simple Ingredients reflects that relaxed, elegant beauty in terms of both her food and her life. She guides us through the uniquely satisfying experience of making pasta or pizza dough from scratch, clearly explaining the processes and demystifying the reasons behind them.

Julia also shares simple, flavourful salads and one-tray bakes (like the recipe we are sharing today) for days when time is scarce or the desire to cook is absent. Baking and desserts, too, needn't be overly complicated - as the author demonstrates, some of the best go-to recipes are the ones passed down the generations. But we also need the odd show-stopper on standby for special occasions and this book delivers.

Ostro is an old friend in your kitchen teaching you to slow down, enjoy life and make good food: "My approach to food favours intuition over strict rules and is about using your hands, rushing a little less and savouring the details. It is food that slowly weaves its way into the fabric of your daily life - food for living and sharing." Brilliant words.

NOTE: While this book is expensive for those on this side of the world (US), the $13.99 Kindle price is worth every penny. It is available at Amazon UK and on Kindle there as well.

Special thanks to Pan Macmillian AU for sharing the following recipe with our members and for providing two copies of this special book that was chosen as one of the Books of the Year 2017 by Gourmet Traveller Australia in our giveaway below. 


Tray-roasted chicken with grapes, olives and walnuts
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Serves 4 to 6     

A meal that can be prepared in just a few minutes is sometimes very necessary and much appreciated in the middle of the week. Nice free-range chicken from a reputable source will ensure this dish really sings. You really must use skin-on chicken thighs to prevent them from drying out. I like to use good-quality Italian olives, with their pits still in, for the best result.
  • 6 boneless chicken thigh fillets (about 800 g in total), skin on
  • 120 g red grapes
  • 50 g (¼ cup) olives
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 30 g (¼ cup) walnuts
  • 1 rosemary sprig, leaves picked
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • sea salt
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Arrange the chicken thighs, skin-side up, in a deep roasting pan. Scatter around the grapes, olives, garlic, walnuts and rosemary. Halve the lemon, squeezing the juice into the pan, then nestle the lemon halves into the grapes and olives. Drizzle with the olive oil, season with sea salt and roast, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and golden. If there is too much liquid in the pan, increase the oven temperature to 200°C.

Remove the chicken from the pan, keep warm and return the tray to the oven for 5-10 minutes to reduce the liquid. Return the chicken to the pan and serve.


The publisher is offering two copies of this book to EYB Members in AU and NZ . One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on August 29th, 2018.


  • CC.cooks  on  7/12/2018 at 9:04 PM

    Home made ricotta with seed crackers and honey sounds amazing

  • demomcook  on  7/12/2018 at 11:07 PM

    Orange-hazelnut shortbread

  • sarahawker  on  7/13/2018 at 10:21 AM

    Pasta and chickpea soup

  • riley  on  7/13/2018 at 12:20 PM

    Beef rage

  • pappaslauren  on  7/13/2018 at 12:39 PM

    Chocolate, Rhubarb and Walnut Cake

  • aoiwowie  on  7/13/2018 at 1:12 PM

    Pork & white beans

  • tennyogirl  on  7/13/2018 at 3:19 PM

    ricotta with seed crackers and honey!

  • kaivulagi  on  7/13/2018 at 4:25 PM

    Orange-hazelnut shortbread. Yum!

  • amandabeck  on  7/13/2018 at 10:05 PM

    soft polenta with bitter greens and walnuts

  • GregH  on  7/14/2018 at 12:55 AM

    Mushroom and Barley Pie

  • ravensfan  on  7/14/2018 at 12:29 PM

    Slow Baked Beans

  • MaryCunningham86  on  7/15/2018 at 4:00 AM

    Mushroom and barley pie!

  • Karen.2018  on  7/16/2018 at 8:18 AM

    Roasted onion and bread salad sounds amazing!

  • infotrop  on  7/16/2018 at 5:07 PM

    Orzotto of mushrooms with mascarpone

  • SallyCristina  on  7/16/2018 at 6:58 PM

    Tray-roasted chicken with grapes, olives and walnuts

  • mduncan  on  7/19/2018 at 11:56 AM

    Saffron gnocchetti with ragù. I can't pass up a new gnocchi recipe!

  • RNJessicaK  on  7/20/2018 at 4:50 AM

    Crostini of zucchini and basil

  • Laura1  on  7/22/2018 at 8:12 AM

    orange hazelnut shortbread

  • RSW  on  7/22/2018 at 10:22 AM

    Saffron gnocchetti with ragù

  • LSanders  on  7/22/2018 at 4:34 PM

    Roasted onion and bread salad

  • jd5761  on  7/22/2018 at 8:29 PM

    Chocolate, Rhubarb and Walnut Cake for me

  • leilx  on  7/24/2018 at 3:44 PM

    whole orange cake with candied fennel seeds. Spiced honey cake.

  • Lem9579  on  7/25/2018 at 4:14 PM

    An oat biscuit for dunking. I mean what else would one do with an oat biscuit?!

  • Julia  on  7/25/2018 at 4:16 PM

    Roasted onion and bread salad and Beef Ragu

  • luccio  on  7/25/2018 at 6:07 PM

    Fish stock - I've always been meaning to try this...

  • ktpotat  on  7/25/2018 at 10:08 PM

    cheese and onion pie

  • Akarbowiak  on  7/26/2018 at 12:38 AM

    Orange hazelnut shortbread

  • Juli  on  7/27/2018 at 5:13 AM

    Orange hazelnut shortbread - love the sound of that combination.

  • jmay42066  on  7/27/2018 at 2:52 PM

    Roasted onion and bread salad

  • beetangsurat  on  8/1/2018 at 5:57 PM

    Crostini of cannellini beans, black olives and mint. Anything on bread, really.

  • DarcyVaughn  on  8/3/2018 at 12:08 AM

    Roasted peppers with basil and capers

  • RobynNZ  on  8/3/2018 at 8:16 PM

    Ricotta and apple hazelnut cake

  • sequoia55  on  8/4/2018 at 2:37 AM

    Chocolate, Rhubarb and Walnut Cake

  • Niki  on  8/4/2018 at 3:14 AM

    Lemon olive oil cake

  • mrscahughes  on  8/4/2018 at 1:00 PM

    cheese and onion pie

  • Julia  on  8/4/2018 at 9:54 PM

    Slow roasted chicken and stove top potatoes.

  • JRumi  on  8/5/2018 at 10:15 AM

    Orange hazelnut shortbread

  • relle40  on  8/5/2018 at 6:55 PM

    I would definitely make the home made ricotta with seed crackers and honey as I love all the ingredients!

  • Wojtanowski  on  8/6/2018 at 2:45 PM

    Orange Hazelnut shortbread

  • ameliark  on  8/8/2018 at 5:30 AM

    Braised lamb and chickpeas

  • v.t  on  8/12/2018 at 4:42 PM

    Zucchini and mint salad

  • EmilyR  on  8/19/2018 at 7:49 PM

    Yellow peach and shiso sorbet - I have so much shiso to use.

  • orchidlady01  on  8/21/2018 at 11:30 PM

    Pumpkin, rosemary and onion focaccia

  • MiMi60  on  8/26/2018 at 11:43 AM

    Roasted broccoli with lemon, garlic and anchovy crumbs

  • kateivan  on  8/28/2018 at 2:41 PM

    Baked ricotta cheesecake with figs and grapes (we have a ton of figs on our tree, and we've already shared with friends and neighbors and made our own jam)

  • mreils  on  8/28/2018 at 7:29 PM

    The tray roasted chicken looks great and is easy too!

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