MELON AND PROSCUITTO SALAD

I WOULD HAVE POSTED THIS LAST WEEK, BUT FORGOT TO PHOTOGRAPH IT. LAST WEEK'S GUESTS WERE SO PLEASED WITH THE SALAD, HOWEVER, THAT I MADE IT AGAIN LAST NIGHT WITH SOME MINOR FINE-TUNING AND A DIFFERENT COMBINATION OF MELONS. THE PLEASURE OF THIS SALAD COMES, OF COURSE, FROM THE MELONS. THANKS TO GLOBAL WARMING MELONS ARE STILL IN SEASON AND WEISER FARMS HAS FEATURED A VERITABLE MELON CORNUCOPIA: CANTALOUPE, CANARY, GALIA, CHARENTAIS, AND WATER MELON. THE MELONS ARE SO SWEET THAT THEY CRY OUT FOR LIME JUICE. THE PROSCUITTO OR SERRANO IS BOTH SALTY AND SWEET. THIS IS AFTER ALL DECONSTRUCTED OR PERHAPS I SHOULD SAY RECONSTRUCTED PROSCUITTO AND MELON, BUT MUCH MORE FUN TO EAT.

AuthorChef JohnCategory,

 2 MEDIUM-SIZED MELONS, PREFERABLY DIFFERENT TYPES
 4 LIMES
  lb PROSCUITTO OR SERRANO HAM, SLICED PAPER THIN
 1 RED SERRANO CHILI
 FRESH BASIL, MINT, TARRAGON AND CHIVES

1

AN HOUR BEFORE SERVING, CUT THE MELONS IN HALF, REMOVE THE SEEDS AND CUT INTO 6 SLICES. USING A THIN-BLADED KNIFE, SLICE THE RINDS FROM THE FLESH.
NOTE: IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MELON SHOOTERS TO ACCOMPANY THE SALAD, SQUEEZE AS MUCH JUICE AS YOU CAN FROM THE RINDS AND STRAIN JUICE INTO A GLASS MEASURING CUP OR A BOWL.
CUT ONE MELON INTO TRIANGULAR CHUNKS. SCOOP BALLS OF FLESH FROM THE OTHER MELON. PLACE IN A CERAMIC OR GLASS SALAD BOWL AND REFRIGERATE UNTIL YOU’RE READY TO ASSEMBLE THE SALAD.
REMOVE ZEST FROM THE LIMES WITH A MICROPLANE. SLICE LIMES IN HALF AND SQUEEZE JUICE INTO A BOWL ALONG WITH THE ZEST.
REMOVE SEEDS FROM THE SERRANO CHILI WITH A SMALL, THIN KNIFE. SLICE CHILI CROSSWISE INTO PAPER-THIN DISKS.
(USE RUBBER GLOVES IF YOU’VE GOT THEM. IF NOT, REMEMBER NOT TO TOUCH YOUR EYES AFTER YOU’VE HANDLED THE CHILIS. WASH YOUR HANDS FIRST.)
PLUCK THE LEAVES FROM THE BRANCHES OF THE HERBS. YOU SHOULD HAVE ABOUT 2 CUPS.
STACK THE SLICES OF PROSCUITTO, ROLL AND SLICE CROSSWISE INTO JULIENNE STRIPS.
TO ASSEMBLE THE SALAD, LIGHTLY SALT AND PEPPER THE MELON PIECES. TOSS GENTLY WITH LIME JUICE, ZEST AND SERRANO CHILI. ROUGHLY CHOP THE HERBS AND ADD TO THE BOWL. TURN A COUPLE OF TIMES WITH A RUBBER SPATULA.
APPORTION MELON SALAD IN EIGHT BOWLS. SCATTER WITH PROSCUITTO AND SERVE.

OPTIONAL EXTRA: MELON SHOOTERS
CHILL 8 SHOT OR CORDIAL GLASSES
COMBINE MELON JUICE AND VODKA, GIN OR TEQUILA 1/3 ALCOHOL TO 2/3 MELON JUICE
GARNISH EACH WITH A STRIP OF LIME ZEST
SERVES 8

Ingredients

 2 MEDIUM-SIZED MELONS, PREFERABLY DIFFERENT TYPES
 4 LIMES
  lb PROSCUITTO OR SERRANO HAM, SLICED PAPER THIN
 1 RED SERRANO CHILI
 FRESH BASIL, MINT, TARRAGON AND CHIVES

Directions

1

AN HOUR BEFORE SERVING, CUT THE MELONS IN HALF, REMOVE THE SEEDS AND CUT INTO 6 SLICES. USING A THIN-BLADED KNIFE, SLICE THE RINDS FROM THE FLESH.
NOTE: IF YOU WANT TO MAKE MELON SHOOTERS TO ACCOMPANY THE SALAD, SQUEEZE AS MUCH JUICE AS YOU CAN FROM THE RINDS AND STRAIN JUICE INTO A GLASS MEASURING CUP OR A BOWL.
CUT ONE MELON INTO TRIANGULAR CHUNKS. SCOOP BALLS OF FLESH FROM THE OTHER MELON. PLACE IN A CERAMIC OR GLASS SALAD BOWL AND REFRIGERATE UNTIL YOU’RE READY TO ASSEMBLE THE SALAD.
REMOVE ZEST FROM THE LIMES WITH A MICROPLANE. SLICE LIMES IN HALF AND SQUEEZE JUICE INTO A BOWL ALONG WITH THE ZEST.
REMOVE SEEDS FROM THE SERRANO CHILI WITH A SMALL, THIN KNIFE. SLICE CHILI CROSSWISE INTO PAPER-THIN DISKS.
(USE RUBBER GLOVES IF YOU’VE GOT THEM. IF NOT, REMEMBER NOT TO TOUCH YOUR EYES AFTER YOU’VE HANDLED THE CHILIS. WASH YOUR HANDS FIRST.)
PLUCK THE LEAVES FROM THE BRANCHES OF THE HERBS. YOU SHOULD HAVE ABOUT 2 CUPS.
STACK THE SLICES OF PROSCUITTO, ROLL AND SLICE CROSSWISE INTO JULIENNE STRIPS.
TO ASSEMBLE THE SALAD, LIGHTLY SALT AND PEPPER THE MELON PIECES. TOSS GENTLY WITH LIME JUICE, ZEST AND SERRANO CHILI. ROUGHLY CHOP THE HERBS AND ADD TO THE BOWL. TURN A COUPLE OF TIMES WITH A RUBBER SPATULA.
APPORTION MELON SALAD IN EIGHT BOWLS. SCATTER WITH PROSCUITTO AND SERVE.

OPTIONAL EXTRA: MELON SHOOTERS
CHILL 8 SHOT OR CORDIAL GLASSES
COMBINE MELON JUICE AND VODKA, GIN OR TEQUILA 1/3 ALCOHOL TO 2/3 MELON JUICE
GARNISH EACH WITH A STRIP OF LIME ZEST
SERVES 8

MELON AND PROSCUITTO SALAD
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