Ripe summer melon and buttery prosciutto has to be one of the greatest culinary marriages of all time. Here, we’ve lightly pickled the melon in a sweet-and-sour syrup to give this classic combination a fresh twist.
Pickled Melon with Prosciutto, Basil and Mint
- 1 cantaloupe, 2 1/2 to 3 lb. (1.25 to 1.5 kg)
- 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) sugar
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) white wine vinegar
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 8 thin slices prosciutto di Parma
- 1 Tbs. finely shredded fresh basil
- 1 Tbs. finely shredded fresh mint
1. Set a colander over a bowl. Cut the cantaloupe in half and scoop out the seeds. Using a melon baller, scoop out the flesh, letting the fruit and any juices fall into the colander.
2. Measure the liquid that collected in the bowl. You should have about 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml); if not, add enough water to equal 1/4 cup. If you have more, discard the rest or reserve for another use. Pour the melon juice into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and add the sugar, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring once or twice, until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup comes to a boil. Boil until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes, then let cool for 10 minutes.
3. Put the melon balls in a bowl and pour in the syrup. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 4 hours.
4. To serve, arrange the prosciutto slices in ruffles on a serving platter. Using a slotted spoon, remove the melon balls from the syrup and arrange in clusters over the prosciutto. Scatter the basil and mint on top, season with a few grindings of pepper and serve. Serves 4.
Find more recipes like this one in our enticing collection of authentic dishes made modern, Rustic Italian, by Domenica Marchetti.