Narelle Happ is a great fan of gardens that you can eat. As a horticulturalist and garden designer she loves teaching people to grow Australian natives that not only look good, but since pre-European history, have been adding unique flavours and textures to foods.
Narelle was the guest of Canberra’s Cooking Circles this week and she shared her impressive knowledge of easy to grow natives for Canberra gardens and treated us to a bush tucker afternoon tea, created in the excellent Foodish kitchen at the Belconnen Fresh Food Markets. (What an amazing resource Foodish is!)
And, as always, the event provided a lovely opportunity to meet up with others who share a passion for good food and great company.
Narelle’s Bush Tucker Macadamia Nut Dukkah with hazelnuts, bush tomato, groud lemon myrtle, ground mountain pepper leaf and ground aniseed myrtle was excellent…..
as was the…
…Bush Tucker Tomato Chutney with eggplant and onion.
Accompanied by an exquisite Lemon myrtle tea made from the dried leaves of the plant, I think everyone decided that they needed a tree of their own. (Lemon myrtle is also great as a flavour for cheesecake, icecream and as we tasted, yogurt)….
Narelle brought along a trailer load of plants to show and tell (and sell!).
Native mint a very pretty plant when growing, and hardy.
Native cranberries, Native ginger, Edible tubers, Climbers, Wombat berry, Native sarsaparilla good for tea, Pepper bush (this would grow well in Canberra and you can use the dried berries like peppercorns or use leaves for tea).
We also sampled popcorn with lemon myrtle and macadamia and some with bush tomato native basil.
We know know that dried, ground leaves of saltbush are good for dukkah, in dishes like also frittata or saltbush lamb and is favoured by Kylie Kwong. Along with Lemon Myrtle, this sounded like a very useful plant to grow.
The Warigal greens grow all year round can use for dishes like a wonderful pesto….
Very lovely also were the strawberry gum bliss balls…
…and it was fun to make and try the Orange and Wattleseed muffins.
Truly a gardening- food adventure that would be fascinating to explore!