Prosciutto and Melons is one of those classic Italian flavor combinations that is difficult to replace, and it’s an amazingly simple summer snack / salad / party finger food. I love serving Melon wrapped Prosciutto in the summer- when the cantaloupes are ripe, for the sweet and salty combination.
Since Father’s day I’ve been meaning to make this recipe, I had a client event where we used prosciutto and melons for a salad and we had extra Cantaloupes sitting on top of my fridge waiting to be used.
In the pursuit of eating lighter and prioritizing dishes with minimal cooking, I want to show you this dish. It’s raw, decadent and most importantly, and takes minutes to make!
I made three versions for different occasions: casual snacks at home, a finger food appetizer for a party, and a whole salad for lunch. We were trying out different things with the ingredients and it just evolved into lunch as well.
None of us were complaining as we were fixing lighting, and camera work while munching on these snacks- so we kept having to bring more into the shoot.
A Prosciutto and Melon History
According to La Cucina Italiana the combination comes from a 2nd century physician named Galeno, who believed that there was a correlation between diet and health. Back then however, they believed in the four elements: water, fire, earth, and wind. And Galeno, like his contemporaries, categorized foods according to their corresponding elements: hot, cold, wet, and dry. He believed that foods needed to be balanced before being eaten, hence pairing melons- cold, with a dry food like cured ham, to ensure a balance in the body.
The idea stuck throughout history and now the flavors are classic.
Playing on that flavor profile I made three different dishes that show how to serve prosciutto and melon for summer snacks and antipasti.
Casual: Melon Wrapped Prosciutto
These are perfect for a light snack around the house. Thin cutlets of sweet, ripe, honeydew are enveloped in salty prosciutto di parma. Just they don’t need anything else but a little balsamic wouldn’t hurt either. Just to dial up that acidity and add a tangy component to the mix.
This is the kind of thing Alicia and I would have at home on a slow day, between cleaning the apartment and doing laundry, we would have a plate of these babies on the coffee table and eat one as we walked by.
Prosciutto and Melon Hors d’oeuvres
These little nuggets are great as an hors d’oeuvre at the start of a party. You can make them ahead and leave them covered in the fridge a few hours before you need them. You dont want to leave them uncovered as the fridge will dry out the ham and make it lose some of its appeal.
The trick is to cut 1/2 inch thick pieces of melon and wrap them in prosciutto so they stand up. In the little pockets you can add some knobs of goat cheese for an extra tangy kick. Avocado works really well too if you’re going to serve them right away- as the avocado oxidizes quickly and loses its color.
Prosciutto Melon and Avocado Salad
A perfect light lunch. Seriously! You get the sweetness from the melons, tanginess from the goat cheese, salt from the prosciutto and avocado to balance everything out. This salad is full of nutrient dense ingredients so a little bit goes a long way, and is very filling in the process.
The trick to this is to slice the avocado and the melons thinly and roughly the same size, then add knobs of goat cheese and prosciutto. I want to say it doesn’t need a dressing, since there is enough salt, and sweetness coming from the melons and ham to compensate.
That being said, If you have some balsamic reduction, this is the perfect time to use it! It works well with every component on the salad and adds an extra dimension of flavor to the whole thing.
Sweet tangy summery jamon salad for the win!Print
This Melon wrapped Prosciutto recipe is in pursuit of eating lighter dishes with minimal cooking. Its decadent and only takes minutes to make!
1 Cantaloupe diced into 1/2 inch pieces
4 oz Prosciutto di Parma thinly cut
2 oz Goat Cheese separated into knobs
4 oz Avocados (optional for hors d’oeuvres)
1 tbsp Balsamic glaze
Wrap the Melon in prosciutto and place a small knob of goat cheese on it. Repeat the process with all prices of melon. Drizzle Balsamic glaze over them and serve.
If you are allergic to cantaloupe or honeydew (I have a friend who is) you can substitute them for ripe peaches, or plums. Though not as watery, they will give you a really tangy-salty-sweet bite!
Balsamic reduction is the cook’s term for Balsamic glaze, which you may find in the store. To make your own balsamic glaze, take 1 cup of balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup of white sugar, and simmer until liquid is reduced by half. Let chill and thicken.
Keywords: Prosciutto, Melon, Antipasto, Rolls
Variations we should try next time:
Cantaloupe and Prosciutto Skewers
Prosciutto Wrapped Cantaloupe Balls: the mellon baller comes in handy for this one.
If you’ve tried this Melon wrapped Prosciutto recipe or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it was in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.