I don’t know about you but I am more than ready to kiss 2020 goodbye. And I’m going to do it with extra festive season cheer this year, because that’s what I need. So this Christmas it’s loads of fairy lights, absolutely everywhere. Loads of white Iceberg roses and masses of blue hydrangeas in giant glass vases, absolutely everywhere. And loads of white candles and tea lights (you guessed it) absolutely everywhere! And because that’s not enough, I’m shaping as much of my food as possible into a Christmas wreath.

Prosciutto and melon has been a thing for decades for a reason. It just works. All that salty earthiness of a very aged Italian ham complemented to perfection by sweetness that tastes of the sun. I add melon’s distant cousin, cucumber, to this magic medley. Plus goat’s chevin shaped into baubles and rolled in pink peppercorns. A few pretty borage flowers and it’s Christmas on a plate.

All you need is…

prosciutto
melon and cucumber, cut into any shape you want
goat’s chevin
pink peppercorns
radish, sliced as thinly as possible
wild rocket
celery
balsamic glaze
edible flowers

Use a julienne peeler to cut long shoestring strips of celery and pop them in cold water for a few minutes to crisp up, then drain and pat dry. Form a wreath shape with the celery. Shape the chevin cheese into little ‘baubles’ and then roll them in some crushed pink peppercorns – not a lot, it’s wonderfully perfumed but also strong, so go gently. Assemble your wreath using the rest of the ingredients. Decorate it with a few rocket leaves and some edible flowers.

serves

6

prep

20 min

cook

0 min

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tips, tricks and trivia

Can’t find Prosciutto?

Anything else that is aged and a little bit ‘funky’ works too, like Parma ham, Serrano, Iberico or Coppa.

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Not a ham fan?

Replace it with smoked salmon or trout ribbons. Keep the celery, radish, cucumber and goat’s chevin, they all work. But nix the melon, because melon and salmon are words that should never be said in the same sentence!

enjoy with

My choice with prosciutto and melon? A well chilled Rosé of course! I’m opting for a glass or two of Zandvliet Shiraz Rosé. Say Zandvliet, and Shiraz immediately comes to mind. After all, this estate on the outskirts of the Robertson Valley Wine Route was one of the first to bottle this noble cultivar.

The clay soils of their Shiraz plantings contribute salty mineral characters and elegance to this wine. It’s a delightful pale pink, the juice having minimal contact with the skins. The wine spent 18-24 months in seasoned French and American oak barrel. It’s a delight of a Rosé, with rose petals, strawberries, melon and raspberries on the nose. On the palate it’s vibrant, packed with juicy red fruit and a subtle floral end.

A real celebration Rosé, it was given a Double Gold in the 2019 Rosé Rocks awards. Find it nationwide at selected outlets or online at R80 at time of posting.

Zandvliet

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