Saltbush ( Atriplex cinerea)
Locally referred to as coastal saltbush, A. cinerea is the best
Tasmanian variety, but there are
61 species in Australia, many with edible leaves and seed. Saltbush is known as a food for sheep, but its leaves are delicious for humans, too. Baked or fried, the leaves are widely offered in gourmet restaurants – they make moreish, healthy vegetable chips that can be eaten as a snack, mixed through mashed potato or used as a garnish on baked meats. Historically, boiled saltbush leaves were eaten as a nutritious, tasty green vegetable. As it is a halophyte (salt absorbing) plant, it should be boiled before eating in any volume to reduce salt content. Seeds from female plants, either fresh or dried, are a welcome addition to dukkas and nut mixes, or ground seed can be used in baked foods. The plant, with pretty silver foliage, grows up to 1.5m, and is easily grown in drier areas.