I was silly enough to hold Christmas lunch at my place this year, family and all. Christmas in Australia is hot. Damn hot, yet many silly souls still cling to the traditional roast turkey with all the trimmings, followed by plum pudding with hot brandy custard. Can you imagine this in 39°C heat?
This year it was my turn. No hot roasts this year. I decided to have simple mixed plates of cool food all washed down with seriously good Champagne.
Peaches and nectarines are wonderful, but a good white nectarine is a thing of beauty. I got hold of some unbelievable specimens the day before Christmas, and I knew I had to use them for the celebration lunch. These nectarines were obscenely good. The sweet juice ran so fast you needed a sink to catch the overflow.
The Italians have long recognized the serendipitous partnership of cured meats and fruit. Witness prosciutto con melone, or prosciutto with melon. It works wonderfully with white nectarines as well. Don't panic if they are hard to obtain, substitute. Try figs, peaches or regular nectarines instead.
Traditionally, the Italians would serve this uncooked, but I decided to BBQ it for festive effect and extra texture.
4 white nectarines (or substitute)
16 slices prosciutto (Parma ham)
Slice the nectarines around the center and pull apart the two halves. Cut these into 2 so you end up with 4 quarters from each nectarine. If substituting, cut the fruit into similar sized pieces.
Wrap up each piece of nectarine tightly with a slice of prosciutto. Heat a BBQ, or kitchen grill (broiler) and cook the parcels until the prosciutto is crispy and the fruit is juicy and soft. It should only take a few minutes.
Serve with the best sparkling wine you can afford, and preferably, not with your parents.