Perhaps one of the oldest food combinations on record, that is still as popular as ever, most likely is the Italian Prosciutto di Parma e Melone, or Prosciutto and Melon. Prosciutto is a dry-cured ham and the melon used are typically honeydew or cantaloupe.
It’s origins can be traced back to the 2nd century, to a Doctor Galeno, who considered balance in life to be essential for good health (an idea that still holds true today). The sweet juiciness of the melon is balanced by the dry and savory ham. I have been enthralled by this combination since first having it as a youngster.
Now, the easiest and perfectly acceptable way to serve is simply slice the melon (one doesn’t even have to remove the rind), set it upon an individual plate or serving platter and drape the prosciutto, which must be incredibly thinly sliced, over the slices.
Of course, one can build upon this in a beautiful and delicious way, and at Brian Beal Moore Catering we do! Here is a simple, yet extraordinarily delicious, salad that makes a lovely first course, or perfect addition to your next picnic outing.
Honeydew, Peach, and Prosciutto di Parma Salad
Total Time: 20 minutes, Serves: 4
One 1½ pound honeydew - seeded, peeled and thinly sliced
1 peach, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tbl good quality extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsps vin cotto or balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground peppercorns
2 tbls chopped fresh basil
2 tbls chopped marjoram
½ lb fresh mozzarella, chopped
8 thin slices of prosciutto (two ounces)
How to Prepare
In a bowl, toss the melon and peach with the oil and vin cotto; season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the herbs and cheese. Transfer the salad to individual plates or a platter, top with the prosciutto and serve.
Pairs well with a crisp chardonnay!