I love this time of year when young spring days become warmer and longer than their older winter siblings. Now is the time to bring the outdoors inside with great seasonal fruits and veggies on the kitchen table. Melons of all varieties peak in the hot summer months, but they’re catching their stride now with respectable sweet, juicy flesh.
Cantaloupe and honeydew melons are surprisingly compatible with the sweet acidity of balsamic vinegar and cured prosciutto ham, which makes this salad perfect for any occasion, fancy or casual. It’s also great to make with kids because they love scooping melon balls, and you can set them to their task without worrying about cut fingers. They love making them and eating them so much that I now buy twice what I need to account for ravenous appetites.
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Melon and Prosciutto Salad
1 head green butter lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cantaloupe, cut into balls or peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 honeydew melon, into balls or peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 pound prosciutto, sliced into ribbons
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram leaves
Line a serving bowl, platter or four individual salad plates with the butter lettuce to create a “nest“ for the salad. (Can be made in advance and set aside in the refrigerator.)
Make the vinaigrette: Whisk together olive oil and vinegar in a small bowl; season to taste with pepper and set aside.
Make the salad: Toss the cantaloupe and honeydew melon balls with the prosciutto and marjoram leaves. Lightly dress the mixture with the vinaigrette, to taste. Spoon salad onto lettuce nest(s) and serve.
Makes 4 servings
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