Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Prosciutto & Melon

Chapters of My Heart by Nicole Sheahan
Full transparency up front here.  I know Nicole Sheahan and have since before she was born!  Her mother is one of my dearest and oldest friends and we met while she was pregnant with Nicole.  I kid you not, Nicole was every bit as beautiful as a newborn baby as she is today!  And her music is truly an extension of her lovely soul.  This song works perfectly today as this recipe carries a story of one of the chapters of my heart.  Please click through on the song title and watch and listen to her video of this song from her latest album.  You'll be so glad you did!

Today is my 38th wedding anniversary!
And this marriage or ours has written many chapters
 - some up and some down - but I wouldn't change a single one of them.
We learn from each chapter, don't we?
The hard times make the good ones even sweeter.

Some of the sweetest chapters have been written while we've
taken the opportunity to travel to distant places.
You learn a great deal by visiting different cultures.
I am really bad at journaling my every day life
but I'm a champ at keeping my travel journals!
I love rereading my thoughts and experiences and find that
I often forget some of the little things.

But today's dish is one I have never allowed myself to forget.
I don't think I could forget, even if I tried!
In 2010 we traveled to Italy and
every meal, save one, was a complete delight.
And almost every restaurant offered this Prosciutto e Melone dish.
It can be an appetizer or a light meal.
All I know is that I had it almost every single meal!!
It's the perfect sweet and salty combination.
You can also dress it up by adding some fresh tomatoes.
I love adding either fresh mozzarella or burrata as well.

This time of year, with all the scrumptious melons coming on, I make sure I always have some prosciutto on hand.  Prosciutto is an Italian cured ham and is ready to eat -
no cooking necessary.
Don't confuse it with pancetta - which does need to be cooked.
They're both found in the same place at your grocery store
usually in the deli area.
Prosciutto is salty and thinly sliced and partners so well with the melon!
It's also fun to say!
 I eat the whole plate as my lunch and it is filling and satisfying.
I love cutting up the prosciutto and melon and making sure I get the perfect bite each time.
If it's a crazy idea to you to put salt on melon, all I can say is
this is how we ate melons growing up in Pennsylvania.
The salt enhances the sweetness with a surprising boost.
The salt also makes the fruit "sweat."
Fruit sweat is more commonly known as "juice."
So when you're done with the dish, you'll want to grab a hunk of bread
and use it to wipe up the "dressing" that's been made with the juices and oil
and salt and pepper.
Do yourself a favor and write a new chapter in your life by trying this.
You will title it "The Day A Melon Hammed It Up and Changed My Life!"

Prosciutto & Melon 
1 ripe cantaloupe
1 pkg. prosciutto
1/2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small handful of fresh parsley or arugula
salt and pepper, to taste

Cut and peel the cantaloupe.  I like to start by cutting off a bit of the top and bottom to give the cantaloupe a firm footing on the cutting board.
The flat bottom will keep the melon still while you take the knife and make small slices around the outside, from top to bottom, to remove the rind.  It should look like this.
Next, you'll cut the melon in half and scoop out the seeds of one half with a spoon.
Keep the seeds in the remaining half and wrap in plastic wrap to save it for another time.  Turn the half you're using upside down and cut it into slices.
Next, you'll want to place the melon slices on a plate.  If using a round plate, I like to fan the slices around like a pinwheel.  It's not much effort and I look at it as a treat for myself to make it look nice.
Prosciutto usually comes in 3 oz packages.  It's very thinly sliced and comes with some sort of paper or plastic in between the slices because they like to stick together.  
I use about half of a package, so 1 1/2 oz.  I remove one strip and tear it into strips and lay them around on top of the melon slices.
Now you'll drizzle just a little bit of extra virgin olive oil over the top and sprinkle kosher salt and some black pepper around as well.
Almost done!  Now chop up the fresh parsley and sprinkle over the top.  Do not skip the parsley!  Arugula is also a divine option!  Done!  

Eat with a knife and fork.  And, please, take your time and savor each juicy sweet and salty bite.


  1. Looks delicious !! Happy Anniversay Aunt Janice and Uncle Owen wish you guys lived closer

  2. Happy Anniversary to you both wishing you many more

  3. I just realized today would if been gramps and grams 81 years if marriage too.

    1. Yep! I'm so glad we share this day with them!