Summer has announced itself with a bang. This past week has seen temperatures touching in the 90’s. Way too hot to cook but if you do it is time to get out of the kitchen (or at the least away from the stove)…and take your cooking to the backyard and fire up the barbecue. Lucky for me I have my own barbecue guru, Wes. So while he stood outside in the heat barbecuing I figure the least I could do was throw together a cool and refreshing salad with the melon I had picked up at the Framer’s Market.
I pulled out a favorite recipe I found on Epicurious years ago, Brochettes of Melon, Prosciutto and Fresh Mozarella. The original recipe called for threading melon, prosciutto and fresh mozzarella on skewers. When I am going to a party I will go the extra mile and do this but for a casual meal I cut the melons into bite size chunks, tear the prosciutto into strips, throw everything including the mozzarella into a bowl and finish it with the basil oil. Much quicker and just as tasty, the perfect dish for a hot summer day. The basil oil is a breeze to whip (or whisk) up. Just 2 ingredients, EVOO and minced shallots but it definitely brings this dish to the next level. Delicious! Try this salad NOW while the cantaloupes are super sweet and juicy.
And to go with our melon salad, Grilled Vietnamese Chicken. Big bold flavors that include lemongrass and fish sauce. The marinade is easy to put together and it only needs a couple of hours to sit before grilling. Its so good it deserves its own post which you can find here (it’s here!).
I’m so happy summer is here! Enjoy!
- Adapted from Epicurious-Brochettes of Melon, Prosciutto, and Fresh Mozzarella
- 1 small (about 2-pound) cantaloupe, halved crosswise, seeded, cut into 6 wedges, peeled
- 6 small fresh water-packed mozzarella balls or one 8-ounce ball,* drained
- 6 thin slices prosciutto, cut in half lengthwise, gathered into ruffle
- 6 8-inch wooden skewers
- 1/2 cup EVOO (olive oil)
- 1/3 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves plus sprigs for garnish
- 1 medium shallot, quartered
- Cut each cantaloupe wedge crosswise in half. If using large mozzarella ball, trim and cut into 6 cubes. Alternate 1 melon piece, 1 piece ruffled prosciutto, 1 mozzarella ball or cube, 1 more prosciutto piece, and 1 more melon piece on each skewer. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead; cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature 15 minutes before serving.)
- For basil oil: Using on/off turns, puree olive oil, 1/3 cup basil, and shallot in processor until basil and shallot are finely chopped.
- Arrange skewers on platter. Drizzle with basil oil and sprinkle with cracked black pepper. Garnish with basil sprigs.
- Forget the skewers
- Cut cantaloupe into bitesized 1" pieces (add watermelon if you like) and place on platter
- Add mozzarella balls
- Shred prosciutto and toss on top of melon and cheese.
- Drizzle with basil oil and garnish plate with basil sprigs