Prosciutto y meloni, or prosciutto-wrapped melon, is a favorite appetizer or first course in Italy and throughout Europe. Who better than Austrian-born chef Wolfgang Puck to reimagine this simple, elegant dish as a salad for the perfect start to your meal?
Says Chef Puck, who created this preparation for the Macy's Culinary Council:
"Melon and prosciutto are classic Italian antipasto partners. Here, I’ve made them the centerpiece of a simple, flavorful salad, lightly coated with a sweet-and-tangy dressing."
- 2 ripe cantaloupes
- 1/4 cup ice wine (Eiswein) or other sweet white dessert wine
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (preferably aged)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 thin slices prosciutto
- 4 cups baby mache or butter lettuce leaves, loosely packed
For the salad:
- With a sharp knife, cut each cantaloupe in half through the stem end. Using a spoon, scoop out and discard the seeds and strings from each half. Then, with a large, sharp knife, cut each melon half into slices about 1/4-inch thick.
- With a paring knife, neatly cut away the rind and any hard, pale or green flesh from each slice, leaving just the ripe orange fruit. Arrange the cantaloupe slices in a large, shallow dish.
For the ice wine dressing:
- In a small bowl, stir together the wine, olive oil, Champagne vinegar and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
- Drizzle 1 1/2 tablespoons of the dressing over the cantaloupe slices and turn the slices to coat evenly. (At this point, the dish may be covered and refrigerated for no more than 1 hour before continuing.)
- Divide the cantaloupe slices evenly among individual serving plates. Drape 1 prosciutto slice over the cantaloupe slices on each plate.
- Put the mache leaves in the shallow dish you used for dressing the cantaloupe slices, add the remaining dressing, and toss until the leaves are evenly coated.
- Arrange the mache attractively on each plate, dividing it evenly. Serve immediately.
Try out these other Wolfgang Puck recipes on Food Republic: