Friday, August 17, 2012

Prosciutto e Melone

This week's recipe is a super-delicious, summer treat; and it's so easy you can put it together in minutes.  It requires no mixing, heating, cooling, and only minimal chopping.  Prosciutto, which is a dry-cured Italian ham, is thinly sliced and wrapped or draped over slices or chunks of ripe melon.  The dry, salty pig offsets the sweet and juicy melon perfectly.  And you don't even have to slice the ham, as prosciutto is purchased pre-sliced and packaged or sliced to order at a deli counter.

Prosciutto e melone is a great first course, or make it the main event for lunch or a light supper with the addition of a salad of lightly-dressed mixed baby greens and grilled slices of rustic Italian bread brushed with extra virgin olive oil.  Hungry yet?

I like to drizzle my prosciutto and melon with some very old, thick and syrupy balsamic vinegar and sprinkle thinly cut ribbons of basil or mint on top.  But it's equally delicious au naturel.  This dish travels well, so it's great for a potluck, picnic, the beach, or the Bowl.  You can use other melons such as honeydew if you don't have cantaloupe.

For two first course portions:

4-6, 1-inch slices of melon, rind removed
4-6 ultra thin slices prosciutto

Wrap or drape one slice of prosciutto over one slice of melon.  Arrange attractively on a plate and serve at room temperature, or cold if you prefer.

You can also make neat little appetizers by using a melon-baller to make melon balls.  Then cut or gently tear the prosciutto into pieces or strips that can be wrapped around  the melon balls.  Wrap a piece of prosciutto around a melon ball.  Secure with a toothpick.  Repeat for all remaining melon balls.  No melon-baller in your utensil drawer?  No problem; chop the melon into chunks instead.

Today's bounty included:

From Jaime Farms:  Corn, green beans, basil, and cilantro,

From Jimenez Family Farm:  Squash blossoms and cucumbers;

From JR Organics:  Cantaloupe, red leaf lettuce, and big beef tomatoes;

From Sage Mountain Farm:  Heirloom cherry tomatoes, 8-ball squash, arugula, kale, and baby leeks; and

From Sweet Tree Farms:  White nectarines and king pluots.



1 comment:

  1. This looks delicious. I'll soon have a Burbank home (3 beds, 2 baths) for sale that has a huge backyard. It would be perfect for urban gardeners and the current sellers have several raised vegetable beds there now, along with an herb spiral and chicken coop. May I send you more info once it lists after Labor Day? My email is