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Fennel Prosciutto and Melon Salad (Wine Pairing Included)

Fennel Prosciutto and Melon Salad Recipe

A taste of Italy and Austria together

When we went on our last trip to Elba, we made a sailing trip provided at the harbor about 10 min from our Airbnb. Included on this all day adventure was a delicious meal, cooked by our very own captain of the sailboat. Read more about our trip to Elba.

The captain was a simple man, from Parma (where Parmesan cheese came from) and cooked us his family recipes, learned from only the best — his Italian mother. It’s not like this was anything complicated or time-consuming, but like all Italian food, it was simple and honestly delicious.

A fennel salad. In and of itself, fennel has a particular taste that is hard to compliment but paired with the right things; it comes alive.

I am going to show you how to make my version of the salad. His was pretty straightforward, which paired well with our pasta and sauce he made with it. I tried something a little more sustainable as to make it a whole, light, and healthy meal in and of itself.

When you pair it with the right wine, you can create the most delicious, special summer meal to serve as a light meal late at night, or even a lunch date with your girlfriends.

I love to make things special when I host dinners or lunches. It’s a dying art — especially in America — to make meals special, pair them with the right wines, and make an event of it.

Most times I feel like America has a “get it over with” mentality. I know it’s hard to make things special and unique when you have littles, or a crazy work life. But give it a whirl — it might help you start enjoying the little things in life.

When you can create an environment of taking the time to make things good and healthy, you will not only benefit your own health, but it created an environment for your kids to learn how to slow down and take their time to enjoy the art of doing something.

It’s a mental practice of living in the now, and not rushing through life to get on to the next thing. The Italians do this well. We can learn a lot from them about quality of life. You can save time by using simple ingredients, instead of a quantity of ingredients. You can save money by using fresh, in-season ingredients instead of low-grade, unhealthy ingredients.

Let’s get back to simple, life-giving, time-taking meals. Celebrate your meals instead of get them over with. That’s my lesson here. On to the recipe!

Fennel Prosciutto and Melon Salad paired with Stift Gottweig Grüner Veltliner Wine

Inspired by the Captain of the Mediterranean seas.


Serves: 2

Time: 20 min


  • 1 fennel stalk sliced very thin – I use a mandolin
  • ½ green melon, also sliced thinly
  • 125 g (about 2 bundles) of Endive salad (This adds a little bitterness to the mix that pairs well with the seetness of the fennel and melon)
  • 150 g high grade Prosciutto – don’t even try and use the cheap crap
  • 5 sprigs of mint thinly chopped
  • ¼ c walnuts

Creamy Walnut Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tsp walnut oil (or any nutty oil)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp (or to taste) apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp horseradish
  • 1 tbsp crème fresh or mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste


Slice the fennel, endive, and melon into long thin slices. Layer all the different ingredients on top of one another, and top with walnuts. Drizzle with your vinaigrette and decorate with mint.

Serve with a dry, crisp white wine – I paired my all time favorite white wine. You can get a Grüner Veltliner at your local liquor and wine store, but this one is absolutely divine.