I caught yabbies myself at Murray Bank Yabby Farm near Albury and took inspiration from local Wiradjuri woman Leonie McIntosh to incorporate indigenous ingredients into this stunning dish.

Servings: 4 as an Appetiser
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

16 yabbies
1 tablespoon salt
1 small white onion, roughly chopped
250 ml (1 cup) white wine
1 tablespoon native pepperberries
2 tablespoons lemon myrtle leaves
1 sprig flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

Lemon Myrtle Butter
125 ml (1/2 cup) white wine
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon ground lemon myrtle
2.5 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
125 g cold butter, diced

Warrigal Greens
1–2 tablespoons macadamia oil or extra-virgin olive oil
250 g warrigal greens, leaves
60 ml (1/4 cup) water (optional)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
40 g (1/4 cup) macadamia nuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped

  1. Place the yabbies in the freezer for 15 minutes to put them to sleep. Meanwhile, place 2 litres (8 cups) water, the salt, onion, wine, pepperberries, lemon myrtle leaves and parsley in a large stockpot, bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the yabbies to the pot and poach for 10 minutes or until red in colour and the tails spring back when pressed. Drain and refresh under cold water.
  2. To peel the yabbies, twist off the heads. Using scissors, cut down the side of the shell and peel off; discard. Remove the intestinal tract.
  3. For the lemon myrtle butter, place the white wine, lemon juice, lemon myrtle and ginger in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil and reduce the liquid by half. Strain and return to the heat then whisk in the butter until all the ingredients have emulsified. Remove from the heat.
  4. For the greens, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the warrigal greens and cook for 2 minutes or until slightly wilted and bright green in colour. Add the water if necessary to help the wilting process. Once wilted, add the garlic and macadamia nuts.
  5. Add the yabby flesh to the same pan as the warrigal greens (with an extra tablespoon of oil, if desired) and flash-fry to brown slightly and heat through.
    To serve, divide the warrigal greens among serving plates. Top with two yabbies and spoon over the lemon myrtle butter.

Lyndey’s Note: Warrigal greens, also known as warrigal spinach, New Zealand spinach or Botany Bay greens, were used by Captain Cook to prevent scurvy among his men. The plant was taken back to England by the botanist Joseph Banks. Warrigal greens should always be blanched, even if using for salad, to remove the oxalic acid. You could substitute silverbeet (Swiss chard), English spinach or kale.
Wine: The lemony flavours are well suited to a semillon, and the butter dictates an older one with toasty aged flavours.

Recipe from Lyndey Milan’s Taste of Australia screening on Sundays on LifeStyle FOOD at 12.30pm.