My aim is to encourage foodies and gardeners to plant Australian herbs and spice plants into their own gardens and have them ready to harvest every day. I have been using Lemon Myrtle and Mountain Pepper in a wide range of dishes to great effect. I have found the best way is to grind both of the leaves together in a food processor and they are ready to use in many dishes.
Mountain Pepper is an interesting plant. Like many plants they have male and female plants. The flowers on each are quite different. The picture shows the male flowers, they have the stamens that provide the pollen to fertilise the female flowers (which have the stigma to receive the pollen) – these flowers then develop the peppercorns that are dried and used for cooking. However, both male and female plants have lovely green leaves and red stems – all of which have a spicy peppery oil that is delicious in cooking.
Mountain Pepper prefers some protection from frosts and hot winds – provide some summer watering. This recipe uses the pepper leaves. I used it on top of a perfectly cooked steak, but you can use it on chicken and it is great with stir fries, curries, soups, risotto, pasta, fritters and frittatas.
- 2 tbsp ground fresh Lemon Myrtle & Mt Pepper leaves (add more for extra flavour) (if using dried leaves use 1/2 tbsp)
- 1 clove garlic – crushed
- 1 white onion – finely chopped
- 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock or white wine
- 2 cups chopped mixed fresh mushrooms
- Ground Mountain Pepperberries
- Add a splash of olive oil to a pan and sweat the onion & garlic.
- Add mushrooms and cook till slightly softened.
- Add stock or wine – bring to simmer and cook until mushrooms are softened, reduce liquid by half.
- Add salt & pepper to taste, stir in the Lemon Myrtle & Mt Pepper mix.
- Pour onto steak or chicken or vegetable fritters.