Recipe: Ruth Pretty’s Chilli Prawn, Roasted Kūmara, Yellow Pepper & Pistachio Salad

A little planning, a touch of prep and — voilà — a  make-ahead Christmas lunch menu that leaves plenty of time for hosts to spend with guests.

Words and Recipes: Ruth Pretty Styling and Photos: Carolyn Robertson


1kg purple kūmara, peeled and cut in 2cm dice
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow peppers, thinly sliced
flaky sea salt
black pepper, freshly ground
1 small red onion, finely diced
4 spring onions, white with some
green, finely sliced
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons mint leaves, sliced
2 tablespoons coriander leaves and stalks, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
½ cup pistachios, lightly roasted at 150C for 4—5 minutes and roughly chopped
Chilli Prawns (recipe follows)
8 lime or lemon wedges


Preheat oven to 190°C. Toss the kūmara cubes in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 10—12 minutes until tender. Don’t turn the kūmara during cooking. Toss yellow peppers in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 4—5 minutes until tender. Place cooled kūmara in a bowl with peppers, red onion, spring onions, parsley, mint and coriander.

Gently toss together, then place on a platter. To make the dressing, combine the extra virgin olive oil and lime or lemon juice, add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle salad with dressing and sprinkle with pistachios. Strew the salad with warm chilli prawns and garnish with lime or lemon wedges. Serve as soon as possible. Serves 8

Chilli Prawns

50ml coconut milk
½ fresh red chilli, seeds and
membrane removed
1 clove garlic, peeled
2cm fresh ginger, peeled and
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons lime or lemon juice
2 tablespoons liquid honey
⅛ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons canola oil
32—48 frozen raw prawns, thawed,
shelled, heads off and deveined
¼ teaspoon flaky sea salt
1 teaspoon coriander leaves and stalks, finely chopped

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Prawn Marinade

Place the first 9 ingredients in a food processor. Process with a metal blade until smooth and, while running, slowly add 2 tablespoons of oil until well blended.

Drain the thawed prawns on paper towels, place in a bowl and cover with the marinade. Gently toss together, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 220°C. Drain the prawns, toss in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and bake for 3—4 minutes or until just opaque. Sprinkle with salt and coriander.

NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.
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