Nothing beats a good home-made tomato sauce and the smell in the kitchen as it’s cooking is just fantastic.
In this recipe, I have added native Horopito leaf that have been ground and added to natural salt and other seasonings. New Zealand Horopito brings a wonderful finish to sauces, slow cooking, marinades, roasted meats and vegetables, wild game, seafood and lots more.
You can use this as a base on pizza, with meatballs, as a dipping sauce and in your general cooking.
3–5 cloves garlic, crushed with the flat of a knife and sliced thinly
1 cup chopped fresh basil
¼ cup chopped fresh rosemary
¼ cup chopped fresh oregano
½ cup red wine
4 bay leaves
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
200g (4oz) tomato puree
½ cup fresh Italian parsley
Sauté onion in olive oil and simmer over low heat, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the garlic, basil, rosemary and oregano and simmer, covered, for another 5 minutes or so. Uncover and add wine and bay leaves.
Continue simmering until the mixture has reduced by about half. This should take about 30–45 minutes.
Add tomatoes, chicken/vegetable stock, ½ tsp Rhayne Horopito Wild Herb Seasoning, purée and simmer for 1 hour. You can reduce the sauce further and intensify the flavour by simmering over a low heat for another 2 hours. I have let the sauce simmer for up to 4 hours when I want to develop the taste.
When ready, remove the pot from the heat and taste. Season with the other ½ of the Horopito Wild Herb Seasoning to taste and serve with fresh chopped Italian parsley can be added at the end.
Pharmacy and supermarket shelves are packed with a myriad of herbal remedies for common ailments, especially with winter on its way.
On closer inspection these products are mostly derived from non indigenous plants, which have a long history of medicinal use in Europe.
We need to embrace of NZ native plants.
For instance, Murdoch Riley’s book “Maori Healing and Herbal” has pages of medicinal information, reflecting the depth of Maori knowledge developed over centuries of observation and use.
These plant remedies are still widely used today, by both Maori and pakeha (non Maori) the ritual and spiritual aspects are still relevant in Maori communities.
But we don't use them??? I think knowing about their special properties enriches our experience of native plants, and provides another reason to keep biodiversity in Aotearoa.
Kawakawa (Macropiper excelsum, or pepper tree)
Kawakawa is an easily recognized shrub, with aromatic, heart-shaped leaves, that grows widely in coastal regions.
Kawakawa gives us a clue as to why the first arrivals here from Polynesia called it that. The leaves are like its relative, kava (Piper methysticum), used widely in the South Pacific, Kava has a narcotic effect.
Kawakawa leaves are highly valued for relieving bronchial complaints. Boil a handful of the fresh, young leaves in a small saucepan of water for 15-20 minutes, then drink half a cup of the liquid to relieve chesty coughs.
To make a distinguished tea, for use as a general tonic, it’s best to dry the leaves first, then use a small quantity in a teapot. It’s very good for relieving indigestion.
The fruits and leaves were chewed for toothache – swallow the saliva and keep the leaf matter in your mouth for some time. (The active ingredient is myristicin, which is related to eugenol, a dental analgesic)
Kawakawa leaves were commonly used in hot baths for rheumatic and arthritic pains.
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