TE KAI Ō TUPUĀNUKU KŪMARA ME TE KAWAKAWA
Kūmara with Kawakawa Custard
Serves 8 – 10
Kawakawa has long been used by Māori for treating everything from toothache, skin infections and a sore puku. It’s also known as bush basil and has a spicy, deep and peppery flavour so if you’ve never cooked with it before this Matariki is a great time to start.
In this recipe you’ll blend the fresh leaves up with coconut cream and miso to make the most delicate of savoury custards and if you want a double hit you’ll also make a drizzle to finish the dish.
You’ll find kawakawa growing all over the North Island in coastal and lowland bush and in the South Island as far south as Banks Peninsular and Franz Josef. And you might already have it growing in your garden. But if you don’t, once you start looking for it, you’ll find it everywhere. Holy leaves are a sign that the plant is rich in nutrients and healing properties.
Please be respectful and don’t take too many leaves from one plant. A little goes a long way so never pick more than you need. And make sure you give thanks to the plant as you pluck. It’s listening.
Mānawatia a Matariki!
2 T olive oil
1 kg small purple Kūmara, sliced lengthwise
8 - 10 small onions, peeled and halved
1 t dried horopito
1 ½ c boiling water
400g tin coconut cream
10 medium kawakawa leaves
1 inch ginger, sliced
1 heaped T of white or light brown miso
3 cloves garlic
1 T cornflour
150 g Gruyere cheese, grated
KAWAKAWA AND LEMON DRIZZLE (optional)
5 kawakawa leaves
Juice and zest of one lemon
2 cloves garlic
⅓ c light oil
Heat your Grande Legacy Pan till smoking then add olive oil and peeled onions or sliced leek.
Turn down heat and use tongs to move the onions around in the pan until they are nicely caramelised.
In the last 30 seconds of cooking sprinkle in the horopito and mix well.
Add whole kūmara to the Grande Legacy Pan with the water. Turn the heat down to low and cover with the Grande Legacy Grill as a lid.
Let the onions and kūmara steam for 20 - 25 minutes. When you cut into them they should feel firmly cooked but not mushy. If there is still water in the bottom of the pan, remove the lid, turn up the heat to high and let the water evaporate.
Heat oven to 150°C.
To make the kawakawa custard, blend all the ingredients except for the gruyere cheese in a high speed blender till smooth and light green.
To make the kawakawa drizzle, blend all ingredients in a high speed blender till fully blended and dark green.
Evenly distribute kūmara and onions in the pan and pour the custard around the vegetables, not over the top of them, then sprinkle with Gruyere cheese and bake for 15 minutes till the custard is only just set.
To serve, spoon the kawakawa and lemon drizzle over the top and finish with a sprinkling of peppercorns.