Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Bunya Pine Nuts with Sauerkraut and Pasta

650 g organic Sauerkraut
500 g pasta (Spirali, Spiralini or Rotini)
300 g Bunya Nuts 
or chestnuts 
2 onions
1 red capsicum
150 ml cream (optional)
Olive oil
300 ml stock/water
A pinch of caraway
6 juniper berries
2 bay leaves

Bunya Pines, Araucaria bidwillii

Chop the onion finely, and fry in olive oil till golden. Drain sauerkraut and add together with some hot stock/water. Add the caraway, juniper berries and bay. The kraut should be covered with liquid. Add the peeled bunya nuts, stir and cook for 30 min.

Bunya 'nuts' with lost cowrie shell

Cook the pasta al dente. Chop the capsicum in small thin strips and add to the dish, keeping a few bits for decorative purposes. Add some of the parsley. Cook for another 15- 20 min.
When the pasta is done, take the sauerkraut off the heat and stir in the cream. Decorate with chopped parsley and the remaining capsicum.

Serve with a rucola salad and slices of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Baked penne with tomatoes

This dish is a favourite with leftover pasta and tomato sauce from the day before, but can be done from scratch too.

500 g Penne
1 cup of tomato sauce
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
Some basil leaves

2 cups of cream
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup rennet-free cooking cheese 
1/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese
1/4 Mozzarella cheese

A)  The leftover option:
The pasta and tomato sauce have been already mixed the day before. Now add the small tomatoes and if you like the cream and cheese mixture. Heat the oven. Grate some of the cooking cheese over the dish and cook till the pasta is hot and the cheese has melted. Decorate with basil.

B)  Without the leftovers
Boil the pasta al dente and drain. Mix all cheeses, cream in a bowl. Mix pasta, dairy and the small tomatoes and place on shallow baking dish. Grate some of the cooking cheese over the dish. Cook till the cheese has melted. Decorate with shredded basil leaves.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Butternut Pumpkin Soup

2 butternut pumpkin
8 carrots
10 yellow button squash
4 cloves of garlic 
Some ginger
1 bunch of coriander
Some parsley
4 chillies
6 peppercorns
Olive oil

Peel and gut pumpkin. Put 1 l of filtered water in a pot and add the pumpkin offcuts. Add the chilies and peppercorn. Peel the carrots, wash the parsley and add to the stock.

Heat some oil in the soup pot. Fry the sliced carrots and ginger. Cut the pumpkin into large chunks (keeping 1/4) and add. Cover all vegetables with the hot (sieved) stock and simmer for 40 min. The cut the remaining pumpkin into mouth-size pieces and the red chili into thin strips. Cut each yellow button squash into 8 parts.  Simmer for another 10 - 20 min. Sprinkle with chopped coriander.

Some people use coconut milk or put the lot through the mixer. It is nice to not have machine noise or tins in the kitchen.

Sweet potato carrot turmeric soup

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Mushrooms with pesto

250g large open field mushrooms
100g spelt flour
5 tbsp olive oil
Lemon thyme

1 bunch of basil
200g macadamia nuts
2 large cloves of garlic
1 cup olive oil

Clean and remove the stems from the basil. Chop finely.
Medium grate the macadamia nuts and add to the basil in a bowl. Mix.
Crush the garlic and add.
Add oil bit by bit while stirring until a thick paste forms.
Press into the bowl. Dribble a little oil on top and cover.

Clean the mushrooms, dry them, cut a little off the stem and discard. Cut into thick slices.
Put the flour on a large plate and roll the mushrooms in it. Do this in 2 lots if there are too many mushrooms. Leave for ½ hour so the mushrooms collect lots of flour. Turn from time to time.
Heat olive oil in a stainless steel frying pan and add enough mushrooms when the oil is hot so that they do not touch. Turn when golden.
Push the mushrooms to the side of the pan when they are golden on both sides and fry the remaining mushrooms.
Sprinkle with lemon thyme.

Can be served with potatoes and a salad or with noodles and tomato sauce.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Creeping Cucumbers, Cucamelon or Mouse Melons

The Mexican miniature watermelons (Melothria scabra) are an edible fruit. They look like 'mouse' melons but appear like little cucumbers when cut up. The skin is rather tough and the center is like a juicy center of a cucumber.

Our mouse peeled them and chopped them into a salad.

Another method was to pour boiling water over them, let them stand for 30 min. Cut the tops off and press out the 'cucumber' pulp into dressings or salads. Capsicums, cut into thin strips were also mixed in a salad with the cucamelon pulp.

The fruit of the pretty, high-yielding vines are also very suitable for pickles.

Yet again another meso-american cultural product.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Bunya Nut and Macadamia Burgers

20 bunya nuts
200g macadamia nuts
80 ml tahini
1 small onion
100g organic spelt flour
filtered water
4 tbsp olive oil

Steam the bunya nuts in their shells for 40 minutes.
Peel and chop the onion finely. Place in a large bowl.
Mix in the tahini with a wooden spoon.

Medium grate the macadamia nuts and add to the mixture. Mix.
Cut the hit bunya nuts in half with a serrated-edged knife. Removed the bunya flesh and press through a garlic press into the mixture. Mix after each couple of bunya mash is added. It is important to mix the bunya paste in while it is hot or it becomes too firm to mix in. Do a few bunyas at a time leaving the rest in the steamer to keep warm. When they have all been added, mix well. Add some more grated macadamias if necessary to lighten the mixture.

Place flour on a large dinner plate. Put some water in a bowl. Put a large flat spoon in the water. Dip your clean hand into the water.
Scoop some of the mixture using the wet spoon and press it hard onto the palm of your wet hand to form a burger. (You can use 2 wet spoons if you don't like to use your hand). Place the firm burger on the flour and turn it. Leave it on the flour and turn occasionally so it becomes covered in flour. Repeat until you have enough burgers. Cover the rest of the mixture and store in the fridge.
Heat some olive oil in a frying pan. Fry the burgers at a low heat until lightly coloured.

These burgers will become quite crunchy if fried golden. If you prefer them that way, they also taste good golden.

Also recommended cold and on the next day.

I use the tahini from the bottom of the jar when it is too thick for other purposes.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Champagne Melon with Finger Lime 'Caviar'

The Champagne melon (Citrullus vulgaris) is a watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) with yellow flesh. It has seeds just like most of the red watermelons. On a hot day slices of refrigerated melon, sprinkled with tangy finger limes, make a refreshing dessert.

Finger limes (Citrus australasica) are from the Australian subtropical rainforest and make the ideal vegan 'caviar'.

Rather than extracting the ovaries from an ancient survivor (Acipenseridae) and driving wild sturgeons into extinction, it would be wiser to allow the 'living fossils' to continue to be on the planet.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Mango with Finger Limes

Failure to act on a habitable climate will bring more unbearable heatwaves across Australia. They are becoming hotter, lasting longer, occurring more often and starting earlier.

In the present heatwave only chilled fruit helps. In this case a gigantic deep red mango is cut in half and sprinkled with green finger limes.

The varieties of mangoes are dazzling, each having a different taste and structure. There is no such thing as 'the mango'. The non-organic fruit tried this season had an awful aftertaste which I think is due to pesticide. Organic seems to be the answer with Australian mangoes.

Another issue is the declaring of native wildlife a 'pest' that might 'steal' suburban exotic mangoes. In the Northern Territory mango farms shoot magpie geese.

As a consumer one should take care that not too much pesticide or blood clings to one's fruit crop.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Bunya and Lima Bean Soup

40 bunya nuts
350 g lima beans (Phaseolus lunatus) or
the burgundy-speckled heirloom variety
5 carrots, finely chopped 
2 leeks, the white bits only finely chopped
Some green beans, finely chopped
2 zucchinis, finely chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
Bouquet garni
Fresh parsley, finely chopped
Olive oil
all organic and filtered water

Click 10 kg Bunya pine cone pattern
Wash and soak the 'butter beans' the night before. Add fresh filtered water, the bay, bouquet garni and pepper, cover and boil. Scoop off possible froth and discard. Turn down the heat and cook for 30 min. Add the peeled bunya nuts and cook for another 25 min.

Fry the onion in olive oil golden. Add the leek, the carrots and then the beans. Fry for 15 min and stir. Add the content to the soup pot. Add the zucchini bits and the garlic and some of the parsley. Cook for another 10 min. and remove the bouquet garni.

Both the beans and bunya nuts will sink to the bottom of the pot. Stir before serving, sprinkle with parsley and serve with a baguette.

Lima beans cultured by Meso-American civilisation

All Bunya dishes  
Bunya Nuts Pine Nuts: How to Prepare for cooking
Bunya Pine Nuts with Aubergine
Bunya Spaghetti Napolitana
Kumera Bunya Soup
Bunya Pine Nuts in Coconut Milk 
Bunya pine nuts in green tomato sauce 
Bunya Mushroom Ragout with Buckwheat noodles

Bunya kernels cultured by Australian indigenous civilisation

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Cold Drinks from Finger Limes and Passionfruit

1 litre of cold mineral water
or cold filtered water
4 finger limes
1 lime

Pour water into jug. Cut finger limes lengthwise, discard seeds. Scrape vegetarian caviar into water and stir. Cut washed limes into halves. Juice one half and add to the water. Cut the other half of the lime into 6 thin slices and stick a few on the edge of the glass. Pour mixture into glasses and enjoy on a hot day.

1 litre of mineral water
or filtered water
8 passion fruit
2 Tbsp of agave syrup

Cut pulp out of ripe passion fruit and press through a fine mesh sieve. Add agave syrup, stir. Place in jug and pour cold water on top. Mix and serve cold.

More Finger limes

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bunya Mushroom Ragout with Buckwheat noodles


30 Bunya nuts
250g mushrooms
3 white onions
2 cloves garlic
6 pepper corns
1 bay leaf
500ml water
olive oil
200g buckwheat noodles

Cook peeled bunya nut halves in water with bay leaf and pepper corns for 60 minutes.
Allow to cool for a couple of hours. Drain and set the stock aside. Discard pepper and bay leaf.
Separate the thin stock from the top for cooking noodles and the thick stock for the sauce.
Peel and chop onions. Fry slowly until glassy. Add garlic pieces.
Push onion and garlic to one side of the pan.
Fry the mushrooms in batches adding more olive oil as necessary. The mushrooms should fry and not become soggy.
When each batch is ready, push it to the side next to and under the mushrooms and add some more.

Bunya bark Araucaria bidwillii
When all the mushrooms are fried, add the drained bunya nuts. Stir it all together.
Add a few tablespoons of thick stock, just enough so that it has a thick sauce, not watery.

Serve with buckwheat noodles cooked in the remaining thin bunya stock with extra water as necessary.

Bunya Pine Nuts with Aubergine
Bunya Spaghetti Napolitana
Kumera Bunya Soup
Bunya Pine Nuts in Coconut Milk 
Bunya pine nuts in green tomato sauce 

Mushroom pasta 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pink Grapefruit with Finger Limes or Granita

1 Grapefruit
2 Finger Limes (Microcitrus australasica)

Refrigerate fruit. Cut the grapefruit in halves. Cut around the edges with a grapefruit knife, cut along each wedge. Cut finger limes, in this case one of pink, one of lime colour lengthwise and distribute 'citrus cavier' over the grapefruit. Ready to eat on a hot day.

 More time... for a semi-frozen dessert?
Granita from Pink Grapefruit decorated with Finger Limes

4 Pink Grapefruit
5 Limes
4 Finger limes
100 ml Orange juice
5 Tsp. Agave syrup

Juice grapefruits and limes. Add flesh. Stir in the syrup with the orange juice, mix in the other citrus juice. Place in freezer. After 30 min. check for ice crystals. Stir with a fork. Repeat the process... A pleasure on a hot day.

After 4 hours distribute into glasses and serve. Decorate with various colours of finger limes or lime wedges.
If you distribute the mixture into  2 - 3 containers it freezes more quickly.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Bunya Potato Salad


5 medium to large waxy potatoes
30 bunya nuts
3 sticks celery
3 tbsp hot mustard
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove crushed garlic
250 ml water
6 pepper corns
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp eggless mayonnaise

3 slices of fresh pineapple

all organic


Steam potatoes until soft.
Peel bunyas and remove skin. Boil them in the water with pepper corns and the bay leaf for 60 minutes, then 15 minutes without a lid to reduce the volume of liquid. Let the bunyas cool in the liquid. Remove the bunyas from the pot and set the stock aside. When added to the vegetables, they will soak up the tasty stock, hence requiring only small amounts of mayonnaise.

Peel the potatoes, cut in half lengthwise and slice very thinly. Put in a large ceramic bowl.
Mix the mustard, garlic and olive oil. Add to the potatoes and lift under.
String the celery, cut lengthwise and chop finely. Add to the potatoes and mix in.
Add the bunyas and mix.

Pour in about 75 ml bunya stock and mix. There should be a slight 'puddle'. This will be absorbed with time.
When cool, lift some mayonnaise under the bunya-potato salad.

Optional: Cut the pineapple into small pieces, keep some for decoration and mix the rest in.

Serve with chopped parsley/coriander, a salad and some tofu. Store in a cold place.

The proportion of potatoes to bunyas should be about 2:1.

Bunya Pine Nuts with Aubergine
Bunya Spaghetti Napolitana
Kumera Bunya Soup
Bunya Pine Nuts in Coconut Milk 

More Potato Salads

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bunya Pine Nuts in Green Tomato Sauce


25 Bunya nuts
10 ripe green “Green Zebra” Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum)
see details on previous post
1 large onion
4 garlic cloves
2 celery sticks
a dash of agave nectar
some olive oil

Split Bunya nuts with garlic

Peel the bunya nuts. Skin the tomatoes and chop them. Cut the onion fine and fry in the hot olive oil. When golden, add the tomatoes, the garlic and the finely chopped celery. Add the bunyas, cover and simmer for 25 min. Remove the lid and lightly cook for another 10- 15 min to get a sugo/thick consistency.

The sauce was served with small firm potatoes. This combination puts an end to the simile 'The bunya tastes like a potato'. Served with a crunchy rucola salad

Tomato, Bunya, Garlic in cooking stage

The desired cooked consistency

The unpredictability of the bunya harvest: 6 cones were peeled, a large box was filled with 'compost' and the yield can be seen on top. A crop that does not conform to an efficiency obsessed agri-industry.

Click to enlarge

More Tomatoes
Bunya spaghetti napolitana
Tomato sauce with noodles

More on Bunyas
Bunya Pine Nuts with Aubergine
Bunya Spaghetti Napolitana
Kumera Bunya Soup
Bunya Pine Nuts in Coconut Milk