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Unveiling Stunning Australian Edible Flowers, Herbs, and More

Chefs, elevate your dishes with the vibrant artistry of native Australian edible flowers, herbs, and sprouts! Go beyond the ordinary and transform your plate into a hospo canvas celebrating local flavours and textures.

chef cooking edible flowers

Exploring the Edible Palette:

Native Australian Edible Flowers:

  • Flavour & Texture: Experience a taste of Australia with unique native blooms. Warrigal greens (kangaroo paw flowers) offer a peppery kick, while billy buttons (craspedia) surprise with a honey-like sweetness.

Warrigal Greens
Warrigal Greens | Yandina Community Gardens

  • Varieties: Explore the diverse world of natives – warrigal greens (kangaroo paw flowers), billy buttons (craspedia), nasturtiums (introduced but widely available), violets (introduced but widely available), and blueberry borage (an edible flower with a borage-like flavour).

Preparation Tip: Some native flowers benefit from blanching in salted water for 30 seconds to soften them slightly before using them as garnishes.

Australian Herbs:

  • Flavour & Texture: Embrace the distinctive profiles of Australian herbs. Lemon myrtle offers a citrusy zing, while wattleseed adds a nutty, coffee-like aroma. Samphire brings a salty, sea-like essence.

  • Varieties: Showcase the bounty of Australian herbs – lemon myrtle, wattleseed, native thyme (Tasmanian thyme), riberry (native currant), strappy leaf mint, and samphire.

Seasonal Spotlight: Look for finger limes (quandongs) with their citrusy caviar pearls in northern Australia during the warmer months. In cooler southern regions, mountain pepper (Tasmanian pepper) adds a unique peppery kick throughout the year.

Australian Sprouts:

  • Flavour & Texture: Unlock a new dimension of flavour and texture with local sprouts. Australian pea shoots boast a sweeter, more intense pea flavour than their non-native counterparts. Micro watercress offers a peppery kick.

  • Varieties: Explore the diverse world of local sprouts – local pea shoots, micro watercress, alfalfa sprouts, sunflower sprouts, and broccoli sprouts.

Storage Recommendations: Store fresh edible flowers in the refrigerator wrapped in a damp paper towel. Use them within a day or two for optimal freshness. Herbs can last up to a week in the refrigerator stored upright in a glass of water. Sprouts should be kept in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator in a sealed container and used within a few days.

Unlocking Unique Flavour Pairings:

  • Embrace Native Flavours: Pair native elements to create a distinctly Australian experience. Warrigal greens complement kangaroo or emu dishes, while lemon myrtle adds a zing to seafood. Mountain pepper's unique spice pairs beautifully with grilled meats like lamb or kangaroo.

  • Consider Textures: Balance textures for a flavours mouthfeel. The crispness of micro watercress adds a pop to creamy sauces, while wattleseed adds a remarkable crunch to desserts.

Crafting Stunning Visual Flavours:

  • Celebrating Colours: Utilise the vibrant hues of native ingredients. The deep purple of billy buttons creates a striking contrast on a white plate, while the delicate yellow of warrigal greens adds a touch of elegance.

  • Storytelling Through Arrangement: Arrange your edible garnish with artistry. Create a native flower wreath on a lamington or scatter vibrant micro watercress across a barramundi dish.

Beyond the Plate: A Celebration of Local Produce

Edible flowers, herbs, and sprouts can be incorporated beyond garnishes:

  • Signature Dishes: Infuse your signature dishes with the essence of Australia. Use wattleseed in a dukkah crust for lamb or create a lemon myrtle-infused panna cotta for a refreshing dessert.

  • Bush Tucker Cocktails: Craft unique cocktails that celebrate native flavours. Infuse gin with lemon myrtle for a refreshing twist or create a vibrant billy button-garnished cocktail with a hint of honey sweetness.

  • Desserts Down Under: Reimagine classic desserts with a touch of local flair. Decorate pavlova with warrigal greens or create a billy button and Davidson plum sorbet for a truly remarkable dessert experience.

Remember: When using native flora, ensure they are ethically sourced and identified correctly.

Embrace the Hospo Canvas Down Under:

Unleash your creativity and explore the world of local edible flowers, herbs, and sprouts. With a touch of artistry and these simple tips, you can transform your dishes into stunning creations that celebrate the unique flavours of Australia and tantalise both the eyes and the taste buds.

Bonus Tip: Partner with local growers specialising in native local produce to discover the freshest and most unique ingredients.

Examples & Inspiration:

  • Chef Creations: For a taste of innovation, explore dishes like Chef Davidson Plumm's signature "Wattleseed Crusted Lamb with Warrigal Greens and Davidson Plum Jus," or try a refreshing "Lemon Myrtle Gin Fizz" by renowned bartender Anita Chantal.

Recipes for Inspiration:

  • Wattleseed Dukkah: Combine wattleseed with roasted nuts, spices, and sesame seeds to create a uniquely Australian dukkah, perfect for dipping lamb or grilled vegetables.

  • Lemon Myrtle Panna Cotta: Infuse cream with lemon myrtle leaves for a fragrant panna cotta dessert, topped with fresh berries and a drizzle of Davidson plum sauce.

Ready to take your kitchen creations to the next level? Explore the vibrant world of native edibles and transform your dishes into edible masterpieces. Partner with local growers, experiment with flavour combinations, and embrace the unique flavours of Australia on your hospo canvas.


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