Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS FEATURE -

Three of Jo­hanna Knox’s wild food favourites:

Kawa kawa. ‘‘Such a uniquely New Zealand taste.’’ Quite closely re­lated to black pep­per. The heart shaped leaves and seeds are pep­pery and de­li­cious. They have a no­tice­able anaes­thetic ef­fect, which is why Maori have long used them for toothache. Wait for the green fruit to go orange; ‘‘the pulp al­most tastes like pas­sion­fruit’’. Kawa kawa can be used as an al­ter­na­tive flavour to vanilla in meringues and ice cream.

Dan­de­lion. Leaves are at their best in spring. By sum­mer the flow­ers and buds are the best-tast­ing part. Add the petals to sal­ads, or dip the whole flow­ers in bat­ter and fry (like onion weed flow­ers).

Nas­tur­tium. Recog­nised by its big round leaves and five-petal orange and yel­low flow­ers. Flow­ers and leaves add a pep­pery flavour to sal­ads. They go es­pe­cially well with cream cheese in sand­wiches, or on crack­ers.

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