I created this on Sydney’s Central Station, as a welcome breakfast to the folk on the FOOD train to Orange, which I hosted. 


  • 200 g (1 ½ cups) seedless watermelon, rind removed

  • 200 g (1 ½ cups) rockmelon, rind and seeds removed

  • 2 small figs, halved

  • 120 g quark

  • Basil or mint leaves, torn, to serve

  • 35 g (1/4 cup) roughly chopped pistachio nuts, lightly toasted, to serve

  • Sparkling spiced drizzle

  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) water

  • 115 g (1/2 cup) caster (superfine) sugar

  • 1/3 large red chilli, seeded and sliced

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) sparkling wine


  • 1.

    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.

  • 2.

    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.)

  • 3.

    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.

  • Lyndey’s note:

  • 1.

    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.

  • Wine pairing:

  • 1.

    Sparkling wine from the high-quality, cool climate of Orange is ideal for a celebratory breakfast.

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