This rambling mint bush is found across south eastern Australia in moist forests and around waterways. The thin, soft serrated and pointed leaves are found in pairs on long running branches, tipped with delicate mauve florets. This is a subtle Australian native herb with the taste and aroma of spearmint. Indigenous Australians also used this herb for medicinal purposes.
River Mint is summer growing, thriving along the riverbanks after flood, particularly in the Murray Darling Basin waterways. It was enthusiastically embraced by the early settlers and used with their roast lamb.
Makes an interesting mint tea, which is reputedly good for easing the effects of colds. The crushed leaves were sniffed to relieve headache.
Dried River Mint is available at Taste Australia Bush Food Shop
Roasted Lamb loin rolled in native spices stuffed with pumpkin, spinach and minted macadamia.
Native Spice Mix:
2 tsp ground pepperberry
1/2 tspn Native Sage
1 tspn Bush Tomato
1 tsp of Native Thyme
1 tsp salt
Minted macadamia paste
1 cup of mint leaves
1 tspn River Mint
1 tspn Peppermint
3/4 cup of unsalted macadamia nuts
1/4 cup of macadamia nut oil
1 pinch salt
1 clove garlic minced
1 Tbspn River Mint
1 Tbspn Peppermint Gum
1 dspn caster sugar
1 cup of white wine
1 tsp unsalted butter
Lamb loin (trimmed and flattened)
1 cup of baby spinach leaves
One segment Kent pumpkin per serve
4-6 baby truss tomatoes attached on vine per serving
Garlic Mint sauce
Gently fry garlic in lightly oiled pan and add wine.
Let simmer for 5 minutes on medium heat and then add sugar, stir until sugar dissolves.
Turn off heat and stir in river mint, peppermint and butter. Set aside in pouring jug.
Macadamia Mint Paste
Blend mint leaves, River Mint, Peppermint, Macadamia nuts, salt and Macadamia Oil in a blender until pesto like in texture.
Add salt to taste but be sure not to overpower mint flavour.
Preheat oven to 180C
Line a baking tray with grease proof paper. Cut 6 lengths of waxed string approx 40 cm each. Mix spices together with salt.
Cut skin off pumpkin. Cut a pumpkin pencil approx a 2 cm in diameter and same length as lamb loin. Then cut smaller rustic shaped quarters to sit under and around loin segment. Roast all pieces for 10 mins in oven. Remove.
Brush tomatoes with oil and sprinkle with 1 dspn of native spices. Let stand
To prepare lamb lay loin flat on a clean surface. Spread minted macadamia paste evenly across meat. Lay spinach leaves across the nutty paste, covering full loin.
With thin end of loin closest to you, place the pumpkin pencil along base and roll away from you, toward the thick end of meat.
Hold roll tight and fasten roll in segments with waxed string about 2 – 3 cm apart.
Roll meat in remaining spices and sear on lightly oiled hot pan for 2 minutes ensuring good coverage over meat.
Place loin roll in 200C oven for 20 mins with the pumpkin pieces. Then add the tomatoes onto baking dish and bake for a further 10 mins.
Remove meat and rest on wire for 10 mins.
Slice loin into approx 3 – 4 cm segments.
Plate up both pumpkin and tomatoes. Place a loin segment atop of fanned pumpkin segments along side 4 -6 tomatoes and serve with mint sauce.
Minted Stuffed Eggplant
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 celery stick finely sliced
1 cup of ricotta
175gm grated Australian Parmesan
teaspoon Mountain Pepper
teaspoon River Mint
teaspoon Peppermint Gum
1 x 350gm eggplants
Mix the first 9 ingredients until well combined.
Preheat oven 180C
Pour 125ml water into a ceramic baking dish.
Halve the eggplants, scoop out the flesh leaving a 1cm border.
Dice the flesh. Arrange the shells in the prepared dish.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan and then add onion,garlic and celery. Cook for 5 mins.
Add diced eggplant flesh and cook another 10 mins.
Remove from heat and stir in ricotta, half the parmesan, Mountain Pepper, River mInt, Peppermint Gum and Saltbush.
Pack each eggplant shell with the filling and cover with alfoil.
Bake for 40 mins and then remove alfoil and sprinkle the remaining parmesan over the top and bake uncovered for 20 mins.
Native Mint Chicken
1.2kg free range chicken
a cup of ricotta
1 finely diced onion
1 diced rasher of bacon
2 cloves of garlic minced
teaspn Mountain Pepper
half teaspn each of River Mint and Peppermint Gum.
Poke in beneath the breast skin as well as the cavity. Rub Macadamia Nut oil over the skin and then bake for one hour at 180C
1 bunch fresh spinach
500gm Feta Cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon Macadamia Nut Oil
2 teaspoons River Mint
1 teaspoon Cinnamon Myrtle
1 teaspoon Mountain Pepper
16 sheets Filo Pastry
Preheat the oven to 180° C. Lightly grease a 22cm x 27cm baking dish.
Place the spinach in your sink and cover with water to remove any grit. Drain and chop roughly before placing in a large pot with 2 tablespoons of water. Secure the lid and cook until spinach has wilted. Remove and drain.
In a large bowl, mix together the spinach, feta, 1 tablespoon oil, River Mint, Cinnamon Myrtle and Mountain Pepper. Set aside.
Trim the stack of filo sheets to fit your baking pan, if necessary. Place one sheet of filo dough in the baking dish, and cover the rest with a slightly damp kitchen towel (this will keep them from drying out as you work). Using a pastry brush, brush the filo sheet evenly with oil. Repeat the process with 7 more sheets of filo, brushing each with oil before adding the next.
Pour the spinach-feta mixture into the baking dish, and spread evenly over the filo. Top the spinach with the 8 remaining sheets of filo, brushing each with oil before adding the next.
Brush the last sheet of filo generously with oil. Using a sharp knife, score the top layers of filo to allow steam to escape as the spanakopita bakes (do not cut through the bottom layers).
Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the filo is golden brown. Remove the spanakopita from the oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve. Fabulous Hot or Cold.