Sweet Pumpkin, Papaya, Strawberry and Kiwi Salad

by Leah Halmagyi


  • ½ butternut pumpkin
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1½ cups caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 1 tsp almond essence
  • 12 dried peach halves
  • ½ cup Kola tonic
  • 2 cups organic hay, crumbled
  • 1 cup papaya, diced
  • 1 punnet strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 2 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
  • ½ bunch marjoram leaves
  • ¼ cup toasted almond flakes
  • ¼ cup coconut flakes
  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds


Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

1 Peel the pumpkin and cup four thick slices (approx. 3cm each). Cut each into a 7cm disc, reserving all the trim for another use. Put the wine, 1¼ cups caster sugar, vanilla and almond essence into a medium saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes, until aromatic. Add the pumpkin, cook for 10 minutes until the pumpkin can be pierced with a knife, then add the peach halves and cook for a further 5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
2 Dice one-quarter of the peaches, then combine the remainder in a blender with ½ cup of the syrup and Kola tonic. Purée until smooth. Pour into a bowl and apply hay smoke with a cold smoke gun. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes. Mix in the remaining peaches.
3 Remove the pumpkin from the syrup and pat dry. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and caramelise with a blowtorch. Pour the sauce into bowls, then arrange the pumpkin on top. Garnish with the papaya, strawberries, kiwifruit and marjoram. Grin the almonds, coconut and fennel to a powder, then sprinkle on top.