See me making this recipe live in Afrikaans on Expresso
I am so excited, its Christmas time again! It is a time of happiness and joy, family and friends and it is a chance to experiment with all the wonderful Christmas foodie thingies… Too often people say that Christmas is just too busy with all the preparations, the decorations, the cooking and the sweating but it is not. Folks, Christmas does not have to be complicated. Just keep things simple, vibrant and flavourful and you can’t go wrong…
My mom always says that we eat far too much over the festive season particularly on Christmas Day … with the roast turkey, the smoked gammon or ham, leg of lamb and every other meat variety under the sun. She actually banned the glazed gammon from the Christmas table this year …but Christmas for me without gammon is like Christmas without turkey or Father Christmas arriving without presents! So I have decided to disguise my “gammon” (I used Black Forest Ham) in a lovely fresh summer salad.
In this recipe, perhaps the most important part of this salad is the dressing. You can have the most beautiful ingredients but if the dressing is dull the salad is dull. Many people just do not pay enough attention to their salad dressing and it is kind of like the angel on top of the Christmas tree.
The salad dressing I have mixed-up today includes orange blossom honey and rose syrup. Both of these flavours compliment the strawberries and the rose syrup lingers in your mouth for a while, causing the brain to be almost spirited off to another country in an instant – perhaps Arabia, India or Morocco …
Adding the little pink peppercorns just lifts the whole dish into another dimension and just one little bite sets the Christmas bells ringing. Happy Christmas cooking!
- For salad
- 200g Strawberries – finely sliced
- 100g Black Forrest ham
- Curly lettuce
- 10 Cherries - fresh (optional)
- For goats’ cheese crostinis
- 100g Goats cheese – plain
- 30g Cranberries - dried
- 1 Basil leave – big – chiffonade the basil leaf
- Melba toasts or crostinis – 3 per person
- Pink peppercorns
- For Balsamic Glaze
- 125ml Balsamic Vinegar
- 2T Honey – Orange Blossom
- ½t Rose syrup
- 2T Water
- 5 Pink peppercorns – crushed
- Pinch of salt
- For balsamic glaze - Put all ingredients in little pot and boil for 8-10 min over medium heat. Remove from stove and allow to cool down.
- For goats’ cheese crostinis - Mix the goats cheese + dried cranberries + basil together. Smear the goat and cranberry spread over each of the little toasts. Carefully place 2-3 pink peppercorns onto each crostini.
- To serve - Arrange the sliced strawberries on the bottom of the plate. Drizzle with a bit of balsamic glaze. Place a few salad leaves over the top. Add the goats’ cheese crostinis + ham + cherries + and extra peppercorns. Drizzle with more balsamic glaze and serve