Kiwifruit, a careful balance
There are loads of kiwifruit coming into the stores, but I’m bored with just eating them raw. They don’t cook up very well, and I can’t have pav or sweet puddings every night. I’ve tried them in a salsa, but would love to pair them with meat or fish or other savoury things. What can you suggest to do with kiwifruit (green and gold) for a lunch or dinner dish?
Back in 1999 when I was head chef at London’s The Sugar Club, I was asked to create a series of recipes to help launch the golden kiwifruit into the British market. I really do love them, so was more than happy to help Zespri launch with a set of recipes. I was aware that the British consumer would be used to raw kiwifruit on meringues and the like, so created a series of dishes that treated them as an ingredient rather than just a fruit for dessert.
The first thing I devised was a sort of bellini. Peel yourself 2 kiwifruit and puree on slow speed with a teaspoon of caster sugar and 20ml cointreau or golden rum. Pass through a fine sieve to remove the seeds as they can sometimes make your throat itchy, then spoon the puree into 4 champagne flutes. Pour 30ml prosecco into each flute and gently stir to combine, then gently pour on enough prosecco to fill each glass.
What this did was to make the flavour of the fruit somewhat more grown up for the consumer, although perhaps it was more intended for a cocktail-maker than a parent at home. Although I bet parents at home would love to break their day up with one of these!
The next thing I created was a salmon and kiwifruit crostini (pictured above). The peeled kiwifruit were diced and mixed with grated ginger and thinly sliced spring onions. Raw salmon was diced and mixed with extra virgin olive oil and more spring onions, salt and pepper. Both were left to macerate separately for 30 minutes, then the salmon was piled on crunchy crostini and the salsa spooned on top.
This was a more savoury approach to the fruit and we served this at the restaurant in several guises.
Green kiwifruit are somewhat less subtle than their golden cousins, but they too will work well in both cases. Pork and green kiwifruit go well together, as domozzarella and kiwifruit — although it’s a careful balance of fruitiness and sourness that you need to achieve.
Making a chutney works well, where the volume of kiwifruit is slightly more than that of red onions which you’ve sauteed until almost caramelised, then added chopped kiwifruit, sugar and vinegar to taste (it depends on the ripeness of the fruit) and various flavourings along the line of chilli, ginger, allspice, star anise, cinnamon and cloves. Once cooked out, this will go well with pork as previously mentioned — especially crispy roast belly pork, as well as roast chicken or duck, oily fish like grilled salmon steaks or a warmed smoked kahawai wrap.
If you want to make a sorbet of sorts, puree peeled ripe fruit with lemon juice and caster sugar and pass through a sieve to remove as many seeds as possible - pureeing on medium speed will prevent the seeds splitting and making the mixture "woolly’’.
Spread into a metal tray and freeze until . frozen. Whip 3 parts cream with 1 part honey or golden syrup to medium peaks then ripple the kiwifruit through it and return to the freezer — a loaf tin lined with parchment is good. Cover the top with more parchment, and freeze.
Serve slices with a crisp wafer and some diced fresh kiwifruit and it makes a great dessert — refreshing and tasty.
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