I can think of few things less wanted than a box of chocolates with Santa on it. The day after Christmas that is. The frantic discounting of Christmas goodies post the big day amuses me somewhat. Especially when they’re on the same shelf as the Valentine goodies. These too will become undesirable in about 9 days’ time. Giving someone a box of chocolates with hearts, kittens and coochie-coo prose on it on the 15th of February is not the best idea. It says you forgot. Or you’re cheap. I’m not sure which is worse. So I imagine it’s even harder to move after-the-fact Valentine stock than Christmas stock.

Go it has to, because the chickens and bunnies are lined up to go on the shelves. It seems we are doomed to measure the passage of time in chocolate.

With Valentine’s Day in mind, I briefly entertained the idea of panna cotta hearts for this post. Or maybe heart-shaped waffles topped with something decadent. But, being a bit of a cynic, I just couldn’t do it. Not when my idea of romance is a bloke taking out the trash without having to be asked. My heart just wasn’t in it.

Fortunately the fine folks from Expresso morning show on SABC3 came to the rescue. Would I appear on tele to cook something? Is the Pope Catholic? Could I make something with melon? Honey I could make something with chicken feet and sawdust if that’s what you wanted. Fortunately they didn’t.

So here it is – my recipe for a melon and prawn salad with an Asian-inspired dressing. It’s sexy and plenty fancy enough for you to serve as a starter to your cuddle-bear/buttercup/honey-buns come Valentine’s Day.

All you need is…

For the dressing
juice of 1 lime
zest of one lime
¾ tsp Thai fish sauce
¾ tsp sugar
1 tsp rice vinegar
¼ tsp sesame oil
1 tbs chopped coriander
1 tbs chopped basil
½ tbs chopped mint
half a medium-hot red chilli, deseeded and chopped

For the salad
melon
10 medium-sized prawns, cooked and shelled (leave the tails on)
cucumber, finely sliced (use a mandolin)
celery, finely sliced lengthwise
fresh coconut, finely sliced (use a mandolin)
tatsoi leaves
tiny basil leaves
tiny mint leaves
small edible flowers (I used violets and fuchsia thyme)

Mix the dressing ingredients and set aside to infuse. Slice the melon. Arrange on a plate with the rest of the salad ingredients and spoon over the dressing.

serves

2

prep

20 min

cook

5 min

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tips, tricks and trivia

Going veggie

If seafood is not your thing, you can serve this salad without the prawns. If you want to go veggie but still want a substantial salad, scatter over some toasted cashew nuts.

Toasting them is easy. Just pop them in a dry pan for a few minutes, remembering to shake them often so they brown all over.

enjoy with

This salad has a spicy bite, so a fruity pink with just a touch of sugar will be perfect.

Try Boschendal’s Blanc de Noir. It’s a reliable winner.

Boschendal BDN

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Ook beskikbaar in: Afrikaans