Australian Functional Ingredients – by Vic Cherikoff

Bunya nut vegetarian pie

200g prepared refried bunya nut pastry 50g munthari 1 medium onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, chopped 2 large mushrooms, sliced 2 shiitake or Chinese mushrooms, sliced 1 medium carrot, grated 1 small kumara, thinly sliced and paperbark baked ½ teaspoon Alpine pepper 1 red capsicum, chopped 1 medium potato, sliced and steamed 75g warrigal greens, blanched 1 large tomato, blanched and peeled ½ teaspoon native thyme oil for frying 100ml cream 1 medium sized head of broccoli, steamed 100g mature cheddar cheese, grated 2 teaspoons akudjura Press the prepared refried bunya nut pastry into an oiled, loose bottomed pie plate appropriate for 4 serves. Make the sides about 1cm thick. In a frying pan the same size as the pie plate, stir-fry the munthari with the onions until the onions are translucent but not brown and lightly season with salt. Add the garlic, stir briefly and then add the mushrooms. Sauté until mushrooms soften and spread the mix over the prepared pie base reserving a small amount for the topping. Next fry the grated carrot, spread it on top of the mushroom mix and season with the Alpine pepper. Add the steamed slices of kumara. Fry the capsicum and the sliced tomato until relatively dry and reserve for the topping. Chop the blanched warrigal greens and squeeze out the moisture. Spread as the next layer followed by the potato, seasoned with native thyme. To prepare the topping reduce the cream by half , together with the broccoli arranged with the flowers set for the top. Add in the reserved mushrooms, capsicum and tomato scattering them around the broccoli and sprinkle the lot with the cheese seasoned with akudjura. Place the pan under the grill to melt the cheese and slip the topping into place to finish the pie. Cover with foil ensuring that the aluminium stands proud and is not in contact with the food (aluminium foil reacts with food fats; the plastic coating is carcinogenic while the metal may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease). Bake the covered pie at 250ºC for 50 minutes uncovering it for the final 15 minutes. Cool a little before slicing. Serve slices with a native flavoured chutney and a scatter of fine diced Roma tomatoes drizzled with aniseed myrtle oil.

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Vic Cherikoff