Saltbush – vegetable or seasoning?

fresh-saltbush-leaves

Travellers into our dry inland can either see 360 degrees of flat featureless plain or look closer and discover the pale green sprawling long lived grey-blue shrub growing up to 3 metres high and sometimes spreads to 5 metres wide known as Old Man Saltbush.

Many farmers favour the saltbush paddocks for their lambs in their final 3 months where grazing on the shrub produces a tender, low fat meat.

In old times indigenous Australians mostly collected the minute Saltbush seeds to grind and roast for damper. The dried Saltbush flakes are a wonderful addition to meat rubs, bread, grills, pasta and dukkah.

Fresh leaves are superb in a stir fry.

KYLIE KWONG’S STIR FRIED NATIVE LEAVES

3 tbsp peanut oil
1/2 tsp salt flakes
3 cloves garlic, crushed
200g fresh salt bush leaves
2 tbsp organic tamari
3 tbsp stock
1/2 tsp sesame oil

DIRECTIONS

Heat the peanut oil in a hot wok until surface seems to shimmer slightly.

Add the salt and garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds.

Add the salt bush leaves and stir-fry for 3 minutes.

Add the tamari and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Add the stock and stir-fry further 1 minute, then add the sesame oil.

Serve immediately as part of a banquet.

Oven baked Corn & Saltbush Chipssaltbush-corn-chips

Preheat oven to 200C (180C fan forced oven).

Combine a cup of polenta, 2/3 cup plain flour, 1 tbspn dried saltbush flakes and 1 teaspn baking powder in a bowl and add 1/4 cup macadamia oil and 1/2 cup of cold water. Mix well.

Divide the mixture in half and roll each half out separately between two sheets of baking paper until very thin (1mm).

Cut into triangles. Bake for 15 minutes or until crisp.