A Feast Menu for the First Night of the Prophet and His Bride

Prosciutto, Goat Cheese, Pear and Honey

The appetizers are as varied as Venus’s many charms. We begin with the fresh soft curve of a sweet pear, which sits upon a mound of prosciutto ham folded back and forth. The ham lies on a thick fan of Montrachet goat cheese, upon a sturdy bed of wheat grain cracker. But it is the pear, which receives the sweet elixir of honey. The chewy richness of the salty prosciutto ham, the tanginess of the goat cheese, and the sweetness of pear and honey, are a most excellent combination.

24 whole-wheat crackers that are both round and square
2 fresh pears, cored and sliced
1 12-ounce package prosciutto, thin sliced
12 ounces soft Montrachet goat cheese
6 ounces honey

Set out 24 crackers, cut the pear into 24 pieces, separate the ham into 24 equal amounts, and 24 slices of cheese. On each cracker place first a swirl of goat cheese, a layer of prosciutto, a slice of pear and dribbled over the pear a little bit of honey.

Pear is water of air, ham is earth of water, and the honey is fire of air. The wheat cracker is mostly of earth in the whole grain and air of earth as powdered flour. A fresh Montrachet goat cheese is of water because it is soft, moist, white, and of a young age. Its soft curds are rolled into the shape of a small log, sprinkled with salt and dusted with edible ash. Ash is of earth, is both preserving and adds a subtle flavor.