Sunday, 20 October 2013


Kutjera & pepperberry Sourdough rye, Wild Olive tapenade, Desert Raisin relish, Akudjura dukkah with Lemon Myrtle oil, mountain pepper-berries, desert raisins and wild bush olives.

     I came across a jar of olives while out shopping a while back, these olives are brined and bottled by a South Australian company that harvest the fruit from the wild . The much smaller wild bush olive grows rampant and is considered a weed. I remember seeing them myself when my wife Melanie and I
were on a field trip in the Noarlunga gorge  during our studies in viticulture they lined the ridge of a cliff face and dominated the flora surrounding. The birds carry the seed and the fertile drought resistant
plant spreads for miles similar to coffee with an almost 100% seed strike. The jar sat in the pantry for weeks until after the family came back from a day at the Ekka (our show). It was here at a stand in the food hall I purchased some desert raisins and mountain pepper berries. This inspired the dish you see. I was first introduced to bush foods at primary school where the school put on an indigenous cultural day
where we were able to try various bush tucker and stems through to my later years where I have 10 or so of my own bush food species growing on our property. Before I go further I'd like to add that the 'desert raisin' and the 'bush tomato' are the same thing and is called 'Kutjera' in aboriginal. As a dried and ground powder it is called 'Akudjura' to the aboriginal people.                                                          
     First of all the sourdough was made by adding wheat & rye flour, sourdough yeast, bread improver, sugar, salt, water, sun-dried tomato oil, minced re-constituted kutjera, ground akudjura and mountain pepper-berries into the bread maker on a long french style bake setting. Three and half hours later the bread was ready to be sliced thinly and toasted and a couple of thick slices were pulled apart and left fresh for the dukkah. To make the tapenade I began by pitting the tiny olives and toasting some pine nuts. Together I added these along with some de-veined lemon myrtle leaves and dorrego pepper-leaf into a blender blitzing with a little olive oil an lemon juice until a rough chopped consistency. To make the relish I simply simmered in a pot tomatoes, onions, re-constituted bush tomatoes, pepper-leaf, sugar, lemon and cinnamon myrtle tea and apple cider vinegar until reduced, softened and incorperated before straining and chilling in the fridge. The dukkah consisted of grinding toasted pine nuts, sesame seed, myrtle leaf, dorrego pepper-leaf , akudjura and a little sugar in a coffee grinder to a crumb consistency. The lemon myrtle oil was made steeping myrtle leaves in  hot olive oil for half an hour, straining and allowing to come back to room temperature before adding some finely chopped leaf to finish.                
      When plating this I basically went for a platter presentation spooning the condiments evenly spaced on the plate accompanied by their breads and respective fruits to garnish. The tastes were a sensation and was well received for a little change from the traditional mediterranean types.



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