We’ve teamed up again for the third in a series of blogs celebrating amazing Australian ingredients in conjunction with Malynka Williams at The Taste Australia Bush Food Shop. Each month we will feature a different herb/bush tucker food, I will provide some interesting background information about it, as normal for our blog, Malynka will provide the pictures and the herb/bush food itself, one or other of us will make the recipe. Today we are exploring Native Thyme and have a delicious lamb recipe for you to try.
Prostanthera rotundifolia, otherwise known as Native Australian Thyme or the round leaved mint bush, is a highly aromatic plant that can grow to a 2m evergreen shrub with small round leaves and profuse lilac flowers from September to October and is related to the Indian Sacred Basil, Ocimum Sanctum.
This strongly aromatic bush is a native to south east New South Wales, eastern Victoria and Tasmania. In the wild, it occurs naturally in cool moist gullies, particularly along the banks of rivers. However, it is now a very popular garden plant and can even be used as a low hedge. As a pot plant, it provides a continuous supply of herbs for the kitchen and it is easy to maintain with regular pruning.
You can grow your own native thyme. This perennial plant grows easily from seed and leaves can be picked throughout the year for garnishing or as a native tea. Once established this plant is very tough and will provide you with year round food. The plant grows in the same way as basil or mint and can be used in tomato dishes, soups, salsas or salads. The German explorer Ludwig Leichardt called the plant “wild marjoram” and used the leaves to make a tea.
Native Thyme was used by indigenous Australians for its medicinal properties. Native Thyme acts as a powerful antiseptic, antibacterial and an excellent anti-oxidant. You use it as you would Mediterranean Thyme but unlike traditional thyme, it has a complex flavour based on mint. It is particularly good when mixed with Artesian Salt, Minced Garlic, Macadamia Nut Oil and Breadcrumbs as a crust, as a baked potato spice, a red meat rub or BBQ marinade. Or add 1/4 tspn dried Native Thyme to Lemon Curd!
Lamb with Native Thyme, Desert Lime and Peppermint Gum
- 1 deboned lamb leg
- 1 desertspoon dried Native Thyme
- 1 desertspoon dried Peppermint Gum
- 6 fresh Desert Limes sliced or juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 3 large garlic cloves crushed
- 3 tablespoons Macadamia oil
- Pinch each of Artesian salt, Pèpperberry and garlic
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