Contributor: Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Based in Melbourne, Julia Busuttil Nishimura is an Italian teacher and the creator of OSTRO – an online collection of recipes that combines her love of storytelling with cooking, eating and sharing food. Her food is influenced by the seasons and time spent living in Italy. She also curates the online store MINAMI with her husband Nori, selling thoughtfully crafted Japanese wares for the kitchen and home.

julia-ostro.com/

Portable picnic: onigiri

Onigiri is a staple found everywhere in Japan: from the aisles of convenience stores to fancy food halls. This week, the wonderful Julia Busuttil Nishimura shares two quick recipes for home made onigiri with mustard greens and umeboshi, and mushroom onigiri (scroll down for more), for a rice-filled belly on the go.

Matcha and pear pound cake with ginger syrup

Some of the best moments in life are those shared over a cup of tea and freshly baked goods. In the lead-up to the holiday period, slow food blog OSTRO's Julia Busuttil Nishimura brings us a recipe for a Japanese-inspired sweet treat – its the perfect excuse to catch-up for some casual afternoon banter.

Braised Chicken with Root Vegetables

Back from a tour of Japan's culinary and cultural sites, we welcome back Julia Busuttil Nishimura of OSTRO. Australian-Maltese and a fluent Italian speaker, she brings an intuitive simplicity to contemporary Australian cooking. This week, Julia shares with us a recipe for perfect winter comfort food: chicken braised with veggies in a lightly perfumed dashi broth.

Vegetable Tempura

Sometimes the best meals are the most fleeting. You know the ones – when you don't even have time to sit at the table and end up devouring the meal over the kitchen bench. In our latest Home Made instalment, Julia Busuttil Nishimura (of slow food blog OSTRO) uses fresh spring vegetables and the perfect batter to create her take on vegetable tempura in a matter of minutes.

Pizza fritta

While studying in the Florentine and Tuscan countryside, Julia Busuttil Nishimura learnt a thing or two about slow food. Here she shares a classic recipe for pan-fried pizzette – a simple yet delectable treat for even the most fervent of pizza lovers.

French Onion Soup with Gruyere Toasts

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's slow food blog, Ostro, is a beautiful archive of dishes lovingly created by her hand. Here she shares with us a dish she's inherited from her mother (and to which she's given her own unique twist) – a classic French Onion Soup.