This Melon, mozzarella & parma ham salad with a honey & mustard vinaigrette forms part of an Italian feast menu I created for Galbani. It’s a fresh and light salad with their creamy Mozzarella creating a lovely texture and flavour contrast to the sweet melon and salty Parma ham. Served on a bed of crunchy watercress and rocket leaves with a honey and Dijon mustard vinaigrette it makes the perfect opening to an indulgent feast.
This honey and Dijon mustard vinaigrette is one of my favourite salad dressings and I put together a video of how to make it:
For my main course I decided to make my tagliatelle with roasted butternut and mascarpone sauce. It’s creamy and delectable and also a refreshing break from a ubiquitous tomato-based sauce. I’ve added pan-fried mushrooms to the dish to give it amazing umami flavour and to offset the sweetness of the sauce. This is a fantastic vegetarian dish. You can also add bacon, pancetta or ham to the recipe if you want to keep things carnivorous.
For dessert, I’ve made a Limoncello crème with a nut crumble because what could get more Italian the Limoncello. The Galbani mascarpone is whipped with the liqueur and sugar and then folded through whipped cream to give it a lovely light texture. The buttery crumble has roasted macadamia and almonds which give this dessert fabulous texture. I’ve topped it off with raspberries, which go so well with the lemon flavour.
Recipe – Melon, mozzarella & parma ham salad with a honey & mustard vinaigrette – serves 6
- 1 small winter melon or spanspek halved
- 2 x 125gm balls of Galbani fresh mozzarella
- 1 packet of rocket leaves – about 3 handfuls
- 1 small packet of watercress – about 2 handfuls
- 120gms Parma ham or other Italian cured ham
- 60ml olive oil
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 20ml honey
- 1 heaped teaspoon mustard
- salt and pepper
Make the dressing my mixing all the ingredients together until emulsified. Either shake in a jar or use a small whisk.
Slice wedges out of half the melon removing the skin. Scoop balls out the second melon and set aside. Slice the mozzarella.
When you are ready to serve, assemble the salad by scattering the rocket and watercress across the bottom of a large serving dish. Pace the melon slices and balls across the surface. Arrange the slices of mozzarella between the melon. Tuck the thin slices of ham in-between.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve immediately.
Tagliatelle with roasted butternut & mascarpone sauce and pan-fried mushrooms – serves 2 (double or triple the recipe to serve 4 or 6)
- 1 medium butternut, peeled and diced fairly small (about 4 heaped cups)
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 150g Galbani mascarpone
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 300g mixed mushrooms including shiitake, porcini, enoki, Portobello, sliced
- 2tsp chopped fresh thyme
- 300g fresh tagliatelle or 250g dry pasta
- Freshly grated Parmesan, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200°C, place the butternut on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, coating well. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until caramelised and tender.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Blend the butternut, mascarpone and stock in a food processor until smooth. Adjust the seasoning.
Heat a non-stick frying pan with a little olive oil and sauté the mushrooms until they just start to caramelise (about 4 minutes). Add the thyme and cook for another minute or two. Add the butternut mixture to the mushrooms and stir through.
Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente and drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Add the cooked pasta to the butternut sauce and stir. If the sauce is a bit thick, add about 60ml of the pasta water to thin it out.
Serve with fresh Parmesan
Limoncello crème with nut crumble – serves 6
- 250gm Galbani Mascarpone cheese
- 250 ml fresh cream
- 80ml / 1/3 cup castor sugar
- 90ml Limoncello
- zest of a small lemon
- 110gm flour
- 80gm butter (cold)
- 50gms macadamia nuts
- 50gms peeled / blanched almonds
- 50gms demerara sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Raspberries to decorate
Make the nut crumble in advance & preheat the oven to 160C
Put all of the crumble ingredients into a food processor and whizz until you get a coarse crumb. Spread this out on a large lined baking sheet and roast for 30 – 40 minutes being sure to stir the crumble mixture every 10 minutes. Remove when the mixture is golden brown and set aside to cool.
To make the Limoncello crème,
Using an electric mixer whip the cream until soft peaks and then set aside.
Beat the Mascarpone with the sugar and zest until smooth. Add the Limoncello slowly until it’s well incorporated. Fold the cream in by hand until well mixed but the air has been retained.
Layer your dessert in either individual glasses by filling the bottom quarter of the glass with the nut crumble and then topping it with the Limoncello cream mix. Sprinkle a few raspberries on top.
*tip – this can also be made into one larger dessert using an appropriately sized serving dish.
- This post has been sponsored by Galbani
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