Jill Dupleix

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Native spinach ... frittatina with warrigal greens. Photo: Steven Siewert

What is it?

Tetragonia tetragonioides, to be precise, also known as sea spinach (or Botany Bay spinach, due to the fact that Captain Cook used the greens to prevent scurvy among his men). The bright green, matte, diamond-shaped leaves look like velcro spinach, but come with a distinct flavour of their own

Where is it?

Stuffed inside Kylie Kwong's steamed vegetable dumplings at Billy Kwong, and served as warrigal green butter with Cape Grim scotch fillet by Jeremy Strode at Bistrode CBD. At Baroque restaurant in The Rocks, chef Kurt Menghetti goes through two kilograms a week from wholesaler Glen op den Brouw of I Love Warrigal Greens. ''I'm doing them with slow-cooked lamb neck with zaa'tar, pickled eggplant, eggplant gnocchi, black tahini and smoked sheep's milk yoghurt'' he says. ''It's boring using spinach or silverbeet all the time''.

Why do I care?

Because it's our native spinach. And because it's packed with vitamins - and it kills English spinach for flavour, with none of the shrinkage.

Can I do it at home?

Grow your own, or look for Outback Pride warrigal greens, produced as part of a brilliant indigenous youth project in South Australia (outbackpride.com.au). Available from Wholefoods House, 109 Queen St, Woollahra (9363 9879) and 3/9 Danks St, Waterloo

(9319 4459) and Pyrmont Growers Market, December 3.

TRENDING Tomatillos. These small, sour, green tomato-like fruits are in season now until March, just in time for summer's gazpachos, Mexican salsas and guacamoles. Find them at growers' markets and greengrocers.

Sourcing it

Baroque

88 George Street, The Rocks,

9241 4811

Billy Kwong

355 Crown Street, Surry Hills,

9332 3300

Bistrode CBD

Level 1, 52 King Street, Sydney,

9240 3000

Frittatina with warrigal greens

A frittatina is a small individual frittata. Use warrigal greens as you would spinach, with eggs, vegetables, fish or meat, or as an Aussie pesto or salsa verde. Always blanch the leaves first for at least a minute to destroy the oxalic acid, which is toxic in large quantities.

40g warrigal greens
3 tsp olive oil
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
1 free-range egg
1 tbsp dry white wine or milk
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 slice ham or prosciutto
1 tbsp freshly grated parmesan

1. Wash the warrigal greens and blanch in simmering salted water for 1 minute (a necessary step that destroys the oxalic acid). Drain and toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil, sea salt and pepper.

2. To make the frittatina, whisk the egg with the white wine (or milk), parsley, sea salt and pepper. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small non-stick frying pan, pour in the egg and cook as for an omelet, drawing back the edges and allowing the uncooked egg to spill over onto the pan and cook. When set, slide the frittatina onto a warm plate and top with ham and warrigal greens. Scatter with parmesan, fold the frittatina over the greens and finish with a little extra cheese and pepper.

Serves 1