I created this on Sydney’s Central Station, as a welcome breakfast to the folk on the FOOD train to Orange, which I hosted.
For the sparkling spiced drizzle, combine the water and caster sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool before using.
While the syrup is cooling, pound the chilli, ginger, black pepper and vanilla bean paste in a mortar and pestle until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of the sugar syrup and sparkling wine and mix until combined. (The left-over sugar syrup can be used in cocktails or dressings.)
Cut each wedge of watermelon and rockmelon into slivers. Place a sliver each of watermelon and rockmelon and a fig half into individual serving dishes, drizzle with the sparkling spiced drizzle and top with a spoonful of quark, the torn basil leaves and pistachio nuts.
If melons are out of season, other fruit, such as berries, pears, pineapple or stone fruit, can be substituted. You can substitute thick yoghurt for the quark.
Sparkling wine from the high-quality, cool climate of Orange is ideal for a celebratory breakfast.
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