An Aussie native herb which can be added to olive oil to make a dressing for salads and as marinade or seasoning for roasted meats and vegetables. It adds an interesting flavour to dukkah, hummus and other dips.
Recipes for Mountain Pepparberries
1. SALT AND PEPPER SQUID
Dried ground pepper leaf has a wonderful and unique flavour but isn’t overpowering. It’s a great way to spruce up a classic dish, without adding any complexity to the cooking process. Add it to salt and pepper squid… after flash frying the squid, season with Murray River salt and ground pepper leaf then serve with a roasted garlic aioli.
2. SPRUCE UP A STEAK
Fresh pepper leaf is also a fantastic addition to any dish. Chop the fresh leaf and use it to season a steak. You will find the spiciness will dissipate with heat and you are left with a beautiful flavour reminiscent of juniper, pepper and eucalyptus.
3. PEPPERY SKEWERS
All parts of the plant can be used in cooking, making mountain pepper an extremely low waste addition to the kitchen. The woody stems work really well when used to skewer meats. Use them with chicken, lamb or beef when you have a barbecue and you will find that the flavour penetrates the meat and tastes amazing.
4. FOR THE SWEET TOOTH
The uses for this plant don’t just end at the leaves and stem. When ground finely, dried pepperberries work beautifully with white chocolate. I love to use them in a white chocolate mousse, rather like you would a vanilla bean.
5. AND FOR BREAD LOVERS
The fresh pepperberries are great for baking. Add the ground berries to your favourite bread dough and watch it turn to the most stunning shade of purple. The flavour when cooked is unparalleled. Sit down with a glass of wine, some good quality olive oil and some native spiced dukkah… delicious.
- Mountain Pepper is a native species that has a high antioxidant capacity. It even outshines the world-renowned blueberry in this regard! Antioxidants have been linked to preventing or delaying cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s, autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases.
- Both the leaf and the berry contains vitamin E, lutein (a compound that plays an important role in eye health and wellbeing), zinc, magnesium, and calcium.
- The berry contains the compound polygodial, which can be used as an anti-inflammatory for issues such as arthritis, asthma and assisting in healing gut irritability .The polygodial properties protect the stomach lining from pathogens, diseases and inflammatory markers.
- The berries and leaf are also used to assist in the slow absorption of glucose from the stomach, allowing stabilization of blood sugar levels.