Duck prosciutto & melon with goat's cheese & muscatels

This is a modern take on the Tuscan classic of prosciutto and melon. I’ve made my own duck prosciutto, which is very easy to do but must be made a week in advance as the duck needs to hang in the fridge. You can tea-smoke the duck once it is ready, to add an extra dimension, or simply enjoy it as it is. Muscatels are a type of aromatic dried grape; if you can’t find them, use sultanas instead.

By Luca Villari
  • 30 mins preparation
  • Serves 6
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Duck prosciutto & melon with goat's cheese & muscatels
  • 2 duck breasts, trimmed of tenderloin and excess fat
  • sea salt
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 small, ripe rockmelon
  • 1 small, ripe honeydew melon
  • 1 cup dried muscatel grapes (or sultanas)
  • 100 millilitre vincotto (balsamic reduction)
  • 80 gram goat’s cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • basil leaves


Duck prosciutto & melon with goat's cheese & muscatels
  • 1
    Place the duck breasts skin-side down on a plate, rub with sea salt then sprinkle with rosemary leaves. Transfer breasts to a flat ceramic dish and totally cover with sea salt. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
  • 2
    The next day, wash off all the salt and rosemary then thoroughly pat dry with a tea towel. Wrap each breast in a thin piece of muslin and tie with butcher’s twine. Clear a space in the fridge and hang the breasts there, with a drip tray underneath. Leave for one week to dry out before using.
  • 3
    When the duck is ready, trim the skin off the melons using a sharp knife and scoop out balls of flesh with a melon baller (or cut into large dice if you don’t have a baller).
  • 4
    Place muscatels and vincotto in a small bowl and mix well.
  • 5
    Take the dried duck prosciutto out of the fridge and thinly slice. Arrange the melon balls on a serving platter, then lay a slice of duck prosciutto on top of each piece of melon. Scatter with muscatels and vincotto.
  • 6
    Crumble goat’s cheese on top, drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and garnish with basil leaves and some cracked black pepper.