This salad is proof that the best “recipes” are ones using few and simple ingredients that are at their peak. I was never a big melon fan. Or I thought I wasn’t. The truth was that I had never had a really good melon before.
One of my favorite meals I have ever had was in Bologna, Italy. It wasn’t in one of the fancy restaurants we dined in, it was just a few things thrown together for a picnic. While my hubby (actually we were not married yet) was in conferences, I spent three days wandering the town with my guide book, determined to hit all the best shops, gelatrie and cafes in town. After a solo glass of Prosecco in Piazza Maggiore, I stopped into Tamburini, the best trattoria/deli in Bologna. I picked up some paper thin prosciutto, pasta salad and some just-baked crusty bread. On my way back to our hotel I stopped at a fruit stand a bought a cantaloupe that had been picked that day. It was heavy, warm from sun, and more fragrant than any melon I had ever held. Back at the hotel for lunch, we cut the melon into wedges and couldn’t believe how sweet and wonderful it was with the salty prosciutto.
I used a melon baller this time, but don’t think I would in the future. A rustic chop is more my style. To make a vegetarian version, substitute fresh mini mozzarella balls. Either way, this is the perfect summer salad. Choose the heaviest and most fragrant cantaloupe you can find. I like Tuscan cantaloupes.
Melon and Prosciutto Salad
1 cantaloupe, balled or cubed, rind reserved 1 handful fresh basil, torn or sliced 1 oz prosciutto, sliced drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Toss all ingredients together and place in serving dish or in one of the reserved cantaloupe rinds.
I'm so glad you're here! I'm a busy mama to two sweet girls and a bunch of funny animals. I'm passionate about sharing the beauty of real food through plant based recipes. I hope you find many easy, nourishing, delicious recipes your family will love.