There is a wealth of edible native foods in Tasmania that we don’t utilise and which can add distinctive flavours to our dishes.
TazWildPlants’ Biz Nicolsonhas been growing these amazing plants for more than 35 years and here are some of her recommendations.
Vanilla lily (arthro minus) is a delicate grassy plant that looks insignificant, but underneath has flavour-packed tubers. These can be roasted gently in a frying pan using a little olive oil.
The vanilla lily grows to 10-15 centimetres and loves dry conditions. The delicate purple flowers produce masses of seed that strike readily.
Vanilla lily is a gourmet treat, with flavour-packed tubers. They are best enjoyed after a slow roasting in a frying pan.
Bulbine leek (bulbine bulbosa) is a perennial vegetable with a unique leek/spring onion flavour.
It likes a sunny, well-drained position and produces stunning, long-flowering stems with yellow starry flowers over spring and summer.
Its leaves can be used as a garnish in salads, soups and adds flavour to omelettes and savoury dishes.
It has an edible bulb with a nutty flavour.
Sea greens(disphyma crassifolium) is a salty, crunchy vegetable that grow very quickly, giving you a tasty vegetable crop all year round.
The more you pick the leaves, the more it grows.
Grow in full sun in a well-drained position. Its purple daisy-like flowers in spring/summer attract butterflies and birds.
This is a ground-cover that is happy in coastal positions and tolerates frost..
Sea parsley/celerygrows around our coastline and is part of the family of introduced parsleys.
It has a parsley/celery flavour and produces edible foliage all year. As with most native plants the more you pick the more it produces. Sea parsley also tolerate frost and is happy in coastal positions.
Manuka (leptosprmum scoporium) is an attractive common shrub covered in masses of white flowers and the small leaves are packed with flavour.
Captain Cook harvested this plant as a scurvy preventative and even brewed beer from the branches and leaves.
Early settlers found that many kinds of leptospermum made refreshing teas.
The tea is made by simply cutting a sprig from the garden, putting it in your teapot and pouring over it boiling water.
It is extremely hardy and tolerates frost, extended wet and dry periods and coastal positions. It likes full sun or partial shade.
Another refreshing and flavoursome tea is made from white correa (correa alba).
Make it by picking a fresh young tip about four centimetres long. White correa has lovely grey foliage and showy white flowers in winter when little else is flowering, making it an important nectar source.
NATURE’S BOUNTY: The Australian bush is nature’s pantry, with spectacular, unique flavours like white correa which makes a refreshing tea.
It likes a sunny, well-drained position and tolerates a wide range of soils, including sand and coastal positions and frosts. White correa is an ideal hedge or windbreak shrub.
Alpine mint (prostanthera cuneata) has a distinct mint flavour different to introduced mints.
Chop the small aromatic leaves finely and you will notice the difference. Add to chocolate and dessert dishes. It makes an ideal hedging plant.
Our own Alpine mint has a distinctive mint flavour which is markedly different to introduced mints.
It is covered in white flowers with a purple throat in spring, and attracts butterflies and small honeyeater birds.
The best known of our herb and spice plants is the mountain pepper (tasmannia lancelota). Its outstanding hot, peppery, spicy flavour is used for soups, savoury and all meat dishes.
The best known of our plants is mountain pepper, with a hot, peppery spicy flavour perfect for soups, savoury and all meat dishes.
Warrigal greens (tetragonia tetragonoides) sometimes known as wild spinach, is a delicious vegetable packed with nutrition with a slightly salty flavour.
Planting planPlan now for fresh garden vegetables next winter. Plant out cabbages (the crinkly savoy is one of the best), cauliflowers, leeks and swedes.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.