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

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Omelette with Heirloom Green Zebra and Other Tomato Varieties

Click to enlarge

Here are two varieties of egg dishes with green heirloom tomatoes or yellow and cherry tomatoes. For vegans the eggs can be substituted with tofu. The dish can be served as a hearty breakfast or a lunch. All ingredients should be organic.

GREEN Tomato Eggs
2 -3 medium  “Green Zebra” (Solanum lycopersicum)
NB they are not unripe tomatoes!

Skin the ripe tomatoes using boiling water. Slice them and add to the hot olive oil. When cooked, push to the side and add the scrambled eggs into the rest of the pan. Cook and serve with 2 or 3 sprigs of fresh basil.

YELLOW and Cherry Tomato Eggs with Dill
Heat oil in the pan. Add cherry and yellow tomatoes and fry for a few minutes. Slide egg mixture into the pan. Cook until set. Turn over. Sprinkle with chopped dill. Feta pieces could also be added.

1 1/2 bantam eggs per person
Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl with a little water and mix well with a fork.

225g silken tofu
1 tsp Soya sauce
1 small onion
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 small potatoes ( boiled yesterday)
Olive oil

Fry finely chopped onions in hot olive oil, add small potato cubes. Mash the silken tofu in a bowl with a fork and add the Soya sauce and the finely grated turmeric. Add mixture to the pan and cook. Sprinkle with finely chopped chives.

More on ripe green tomatoes
The Battery Rooftop Garden has an interesting post on the heirloom Green Zebra. And there is some tomato art of Uli Westphal giving an insight into the amazing variety of the tomato plant family.

More egg dishes
Omelette with mushrooms and thyme
Asparagus eggs

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Dragon fruit - Pitaya Cactus with Lychees

Another fossil fuel powered heatwave calls for just fruit. Pitaya or "dragon fruit" is a night-blooming cactus with an edible fruit of various colours. This Hylocereus is yet again another food developed by Mesoamerican culture.

It has to be just ripe, overripe leaves an unpleasant taste behind. The seeds have a similar crunch to that of the Kiwi. The skin should be bright and even-colored. One can cut it in half and scoop it out (for further dessert processing) or peel it and cut it into chunks. The skin is discarded. When cut into slices, cookie cutters  can make decorative shapes.

The lychee fruit (Litchi chinensis) are best refrigerated and peeled just before consumption. The tastes vary from sweet to sour. Some have very large stones, some hardly any.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Bunya Pine Nuts in Coconut Milk

20 - 30 Bunya kernels
4 large carrots
4 leeks
6-8 small green okras
A handful of green beans
2 zucchinis
2 corn cobs
10 cm of fresh ginger root, peeled (NB Ginger safety!)
2 finger size pieces of fresh, peeled turmeric
7-8 dried chili (Capsicum annuum) or any fresh chili you are familiar/comfortable with
2 x 10 cm pieces of lemongrass, white bottoms only

2 tins of coconut (milk or cream, organic, no sugar) Or better make your own!
Some olive oil/ coconut oil
1 Tsp agave syrup
10 black peppercorns
1 kaffir lime juice (Citrus hystrix) and 2 leaves
Fresh coriander

All organic

White Basmati or organic brown rice.

Peel, clean and cut Bunya nuts in halves. Clean all vegetables and herbs. Cut carrots into large diagonal slices. Use only the white of the leek, cut into large pieces. Cut beans in half. Remove corn from cob. Cut zucchinis in large pieces. Peel ginger and turmeric. Fresh turmeric dyes everything it comes into contact with. Clean the garlic.

Heat the oil. Fry the turmeric and ginger for some time. Add the leek, then the carrot, bunyas and beans. Stir regularly. After some time add the coconut milk, corn, chili, pepper corns, lemongrass and garlic. Cover and simmer for 20 min. Add the okras, zucchinis, garlic and the agave syrup. Simmer another 5 - 10 min. Add lime juice, 2 kaffir leaves, cover.

Unripe Bunya Nuts with Blue Quandong Bird

Boil the rice. Pluck the coriander leaves off their stems and serve fresh with the dish. Point out to your fellow eaters that there are ingredients (turmeric, ginger, lemongrass etc) they might wish to remove.

All Bunya dishes
Bunya Pine Nuts: How to Prepare for Cooking
Bunya Pine Nuts with Aubergine
Bunya Spaghetti Napolitana
Kumera Bunya Soup

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Black and White Sapote

Black Sapote

Black sapote, (Diospyros nigra) is like the best chocolate mousse without all the animal matter and sugar. When ripe it is one of the most delicious desserts. The tropical Chocolate Pudding Fruit or Chocolate Persimmon has been cultured in Mexico and Central America, but is now widely grown. A light cooling in the fridge, cut in halves and served with a spoon.

Black Sapote
The white sapote, (Casimiroa edulis) was also cultivated in the same region. When ripe the flesh tastes like vanilla custard. The seeds are larger than in the black sapote. One could use the pulp in a smoothie or desserts. With both fruit over ripeness is to be avoided.
White Sapote

Monday, January 12, 2015

Macadamia Pesto

Macadamia flowers
1 bunch basil 
2-3 cloves garlic
300g raw macadamia nuts
10 tbsp olive oil

all organic

Finely chop the basil with a large sharp knife and place in a large bowl.
Add the peeled and crushed garlic.
Grate the nuts with a medium grater. Mix under the other ingredients.
Stir in enough olive oil to make a smooth paste.
Flatten the surface of the pesto and dribble some oil on top.
Serve cool.

The pesto should have a light green colour. If it is dark green add more nuts. This will depend on the size of your bunch of basil. If it seems dry use more olive oil. If you like plenty of garlic, use more.

Serve with pasta or potatoes and a salad. It compliments noodles with tomato sauce very nicely.

Coriander pesto

Friday, January 2, 2015

Green Beans in Tomato Sauce

10 large juicy organic tomatoes
1 1/2 pounds green beans
and some purple string beans
2-4 large organic garlic cloves
4 medium organic onions
3 tbsp cold pressed olive oil
6 black pepper corns
2 bay leaves
Savory (Satureja) if available
Basil and parsley

The Tomato Sauce
Pour boiling water over tomatoes and peel them.
Press garlic and fry slowly in some olive oil in a pan until translucent.
After a few minutes add sliced tomatoes and cover with a lid. Add the pepper and bay leaves
Continue to cook on a low heat for some time. Stir occasionally. Remove lid for some periods to reduce the liquid.

The Beans
Meanwhile, chop onions and fry slowly in olive oil, stirring occasionally until lightly golden. Clean the beans and trim the ends off. Dry them. Slice beans diagonally into chunks, leave small ones whole. Add beans in portions to the onions and fry lightly.
Pour the liquid reduced tomato sauce over the beans and simmer for approx. 45 min.

If available I like to add some Summer savory (Satureja hortensis) or Winter savory (Satureja montana) in the simmering process for flavour.

Sprinkle with finely chopped basil and parsley before serving. Feta and rice go well with this dish.

The dish can be eaten hot or at room temperature.