Old Man Saltbush (Atriplex nummularia) is a familiar sight over large areas of the dry inland of Australia. It is a sprawling grey-blue shrub, up to 3 metres high and sometimes spreading to 5 metres wide. A long living plant, it grows strongly after periods of summer rain, producing long tassels of flowering seed heads.
Long time inhabitants mostly collected the minute Saltbush seeds to grind and roast for damper but these days we utilise the large fresh or blanched Saltbush leaves as a wrap around meat or fish, in salads or as a leafy bed for grilled meat or vegetables. The fresh leaves are coveted by chefs such as Kylie Kwong in her Chinese inspired restaurant menu.
The leaves are also dried for use in bread, as well as low sodium seasoning on grills, pasta and dukkah.