Lemon myrtle, a native Australian bush spice, has become a more common ingredient in our cooking during recent years. As well as being used in everything from salt rubs to cheesecakes, it is also popular in natural skin care and you can even buy lemon myrtle toothpaste!
Lemon myrtle or Backhousia citriodora, is a native Australian tree growing naturally in QLD from Brisbane to Rockhampton. Lemon myrtle contains over 90% citral giving it that intense and unique citrus flavour. In comparison, citrus fruit typically has 3-10% citral. To read more about lemon myrtle and it's origins you can visit here.
Lemon myrtle is readily available in various supermarkets, specialty food stores and growers markets. If you can't find it near you or you live outside Australia, try any number of online retailers that supply this unique ingredient. This is a potent spice so I recommend purchasing small quantities as you are unlikely to use vast quantities in cooking. I bought my 20gm sachet of ground lemon myrtle from a local growers market. Opening this little packet and inhaling the wonderful scent is almost as good as tasting it.
I decided to pair my newly purchased lemon myrtle with some macadamias to make a variation of the traditional Middle Eastern dukkah. The lemon myrtle combined with the toasted macadamias and other spices really delivered the wow factor in this dukkah. Rather than screaming out its presence, the lemon myrtle left you wondering which ingredient in the dukkah was delivering such a unique flavour.
This recipe makes about one and a half cups of dukkah which is best stored in a sterilised glass jar. I like to eat it in the most popular way; served with great bread and dipped in a fruity olive oil then topped with the dukkah. Having said this, dukkah is also a versatile ingredient that can be used in a multitude of dishes. Come back tomorrow when I'll share a recipe using dukkah.
Macadamia & Lemon Myrtle Dukkah
¾ cup macadamias
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1 tsp salt flakes
1 heaped tsp black peppercorns
2 heaped tsp coriander seeds
2 heaped tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp ground lemon myrtle
1. Spread macadamias on a baking tray and toast until golden in oven at 180C for about 5 minutes. Place toasted macadamias in a food processor.
2. In a non stick pan, lightly toast the sesame seeds for 5-6 minutes and place in food processor.
3. Add coriander seeds, cumin seeds and peppercorns to a non stick pan and roast lightly for about 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Add these spices to the food processor.
4. To the spice mix in the food processor, add the salt and lemon myrtle.
5. Pulse until a medium consistency is achieved ensuring not to grind too finely. Store in a sterilised glass jar.