Lemon Myrtle is a beautiful Australian shrub naturally occurring in the wetter coastal areas of northern NSW and southern Queensland. It grows up to 3 metres high, with graceful hanging branches of soft green leaves. The clusters of cream feathery flowers occur in Autumn, creating a spectacular fragrant display. A great complement to any home garden in the wetter areas of Australia, it thrives in a rich well drained position.
Most cultivation of this herb occurs near Lismore in NSW, although it is rapidly expanding into all of the temperate growing areas of Australia. Used fresh, the Lemon Myrtle leaf is a most versatile and refreshing herb. For storage, the leaves are cool dried (to prevent loss of essential oils) and then ground and stored in a cool, dry manner for later use.
Lemon Myrtle is without a doubt the most popular of Australia’s native herbs, with its fresh fragrance of creamy lemon and lime. It complements so many culinary delights, from fish and chicken to ice cream or sorbet.
The essential oil obtained from lemon myrtle contains antimicrobial compounds and is often used as an ingredient in shampoos, therapeutic body lotions, soaps, and household cleaners. The oil is believed to possess the ability to repel fleas and is therefore a feature of some chemical-free pet shampoos.
A tea can be prepared which is said to have a relaxing effect.
Taste Australia Bush Food Shop has Lemon Myrtle as dried and ground; whole leaf; flakes
Rainforest Pumpkin Dip
Cubed butternut pumpkin tossed in Rainforest Macadamia Oil, saltbush, lemon myrtle, pepperberry and native thyme.
Roasted for 30 mins and then blended with half cup macadamia nuts.
Serve with Roast Pumpkin and Lemon Myrtle Wood oven bread
Lemon Myrtle Crusted Crocodile (entree for 4 or main for 2)
500g Crocodile tail
2 Tsp ground Lemon Myrtle
Gently roll the crocodile in Lemon Myrtle lightly covering the outside.
Cut into bite-sized medallions and grill each side in a hot pan being careful not to over-cook.
Served with salad (cos lettuce, grape tomatoes, red onion rings and avocado tossed in a dressing (half bush tomato vinegar, half macadamia oil) and potato mashed with Rainforest Macadamia Nut Oil and salt to taste.
Quark & Lemon Myrtle Cherry Cake
2 eggs separated
1 Tbspn Lime Juice
50gm roughly chopped macadamia nuts
1 teaspn Mango or Vanilla Essence
2 teaspns Lemon Myrtle
Beat egg whites with 1 Tbspn of the sugar abd 2 teaspns Lemon Myrtle until soft and peaky.
Mix egg yolks, remaining sugar, lime juice, semolina, macadamia nuts, Mango essence and 4 Tbspn milk.
In a saucepan combine 250ml milk, 140gm Quark. Bring to boil and then add egg yolk mix. Stir. Bring to boil. Cool for 10 minutes before folding in egg white batter.
Pour into a lightly oiled cake tin which has a layer of drained Morello cherries in it.
Bake 80 minutes on low (approx 130C)
Serve with Quark & Honey Cream (mix 2 Tbspns of Quark with a tespn of honey)
Lemon Myrtle Drink Mix
125ml lemon juice
125ml lime juice
1 litre water
2 cups sugar
lemon rind (1/4 of 1 lemon – remove pith)
1 tspn citric acid
1.5 cups fresh lemon myrtle leaves (wash thoroughly)
Place first 6 ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and add lemon myrtle leaves and allow to soak for 3-5 minutes. Remove the leaves.
Cool the mixture. Pour into a sterilised bottle.
Refrigerate. Dilute to taste to serve.
Lemon Myrtle Crocodile Pizza
1 pizza base
6 Tablespoons Bush Tomato Pizza Sauce
Red onion, finely sliced
150g crocodile tail cut into 2-3mm thick slices, tossed in 1 tablespoon of lemon myrtle and pan fried.
Handful of baby spinach, blanched for 3 minutes
1 teaspoon baby capers
Spread the pizza base with the Bush Tomato Pizza Sauce.
Add a light covering of spinach
Then a small sprinkle of the red onion.
Place crocodile randomly over the pizza
Sprinkle the capers and top with the cheese.
Bake for 10 minutes at 200ºC.
Great on its own or served with a dollop of sour cream.
Crab Cakes served with Corn Relish
1 teaspoon Outback Pride Seafood Sprinkle
1/3 cup Lemon Myrtle Mayonnaise (see below)
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon Lemon Myrtle Chilli Sauce (see below)
2 (170gm) cans crab meat
2 Tbspns Macadamia Nut Oil
Mix all ingredients except the crab meat. Then stir in crab meat. Set aside and prepare the Corn Relish.
Then place oil in a pan. Fry spoonfuls of crab mix for approx 4 minutes a side. Serve immediately with Corn Relish.
1 can corn kernels (drained)
2 roma tomatoes (diced)
1/2 red onion (diced)
2 Tbspns Fresh Parsley (finely chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
1/2 teaspn Outback Pride Seafood Sprinkle
2 teaspn Raspberry Wine Vinegar
3 Tbspns Lemon Myrtle Mayonnaise (see below)
Place all ingredients except the mayonnaise into a bowl and mix. Then stir in the mayonnaise.
Lemon Myrtle Calamari Tempura –
Mix together 1 tsp lemon myrtle, 1 cup of plain flour and 2 tablespoons cornflour.
Then roll calamari rings (enough for 4 people) into mixture.
Heat 20ml macadamia nut oil and 50gm butter in a pan.
Add 1½ tspsaltbush, 1½ tsp mountain pepper and 1 tsp tanami fire.
After 30 seconds add the calamari in batches.
Lemon Myrtle, Saltbush, Mountain Pepper and Tanami Fireare available in the Taste Australia Bush Food Shop
Lemon Myrtle Chilli Sauce –
Blend 3 large peeled garlic cloves,4 tspn dried chilli flakes, 1/2 cup sugar, 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup white vinegar & 1/2 tbspn salt.
Transfer to a pot and bring to the boil. Simmer for 3 mins.
Then add thickener (1 tbspn cornflour, 2 tbspns water & 1 dspn ground lemon myrtle).
Stir well until it thickens a little. Cool and bottle. Refrigerate. Makes half a cup.
Use as a dipping sauce; mix it with aioli for a dip; brush on grilled chicken wings and grilled corn cobs or use it as a base for dressings.
For a variation – replace lemon myrtle with peppermint gum
Lemon Myrtle Aioli
Blend 2 egg yolks, 2 tbspns lime juice, 1 teaspn Outback Pride Pepperleaf and Honey Mustard, 1 heaped teaspoon honey, 1 teaspn Ground Lemon Myrtle, 1/2 teaspoon of Mountain Pepper and a pinch of Salt. Slowly add 250ml Macadamia Nut Oil
Baked Ricotta and Honey Lemon Myrtle Cheesecake
1 packet of Granita Biscuits
1/4 cup sugar
90gm unsalted butter
250gm cream cheese
600gm ricotta cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
2 teaspoons Ground Lemon Myrtle or grated lemon rind or grated orange rind
1.5 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 tablespoons honey
Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan forced). Grease a springform pan and wrap outside of pan with 2 layers of alfoil.
Finely crush biscuits and combine with sugar and butter. Press crumbs into the base of the springform pan and then refrigerate.
Beat the cream cheese and then add the ricotta and sugar. Beat for 2 minutes until smooth. Then add cornflour. Then add eggs one at a time blending well each time. Then add lemon myrtle and vanilla.
Place springform pan in a baking dish. Pour mix into springform pan. Then pour enough hot water into the baking dish so that it comes halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 140C (120C fan forced) and bake for a further 30 minutes until almost set.
Remove pan from water. Cool. Cover. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
Serve with honey and pistachios.