A classic Italian combination of ingredients – the pairing of melon with prosciutto is magic. I always find it interesting to look into the history of well known dishes or flavour pairings, where they came from, how they were formed and why. After I created this recipe I wanted to look into the history of melon and prosciutto and apparently they warmed the prosciutto when serving with melon! Apparently this combination dates back to the 2. century AD and was created by a doctor called Galeno. At that point in time it was believed that food had to have a balance of four different elements that were warm, cold, dry and juicy (reflecting earths elements – fire, air, earth and water) and because melon was cold and juicy it had to be paired with something warm and dry. So back then, the prosciutto was warmed and then served with the melon. How fascinating! I found this information on a website called Italian Notes – I’m not sure where this information was found but it does make sense and I would love to research more into this. Anyway! Below is the recipe so try it out! I love how the prosciutto becomes crispy and extra salty once cooked.
Recipe for Rockmelon and crispy prosciutto salad
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: 6 (as an appetizer)
1 x packet of prosciutto
½ x large rockmelon
½ cup x basil
1 cup x baby spinach
½ cup pecorino
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Spread the prosciutto evenly over a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place into the oven and cook for 15 minutes or until the colour of the prosciutto has darkened and the size of each piece has shrunk slightly. Remove from the oven and place each piece of prosciutto onto some paper towel.
- Cut the rockmelon into wedges (removing the skin either before with a peeler or slicing off with a small sharp knife).
- Finely slice the basil and spinach and set aside. Finely slice the pecorino and break up into smaller pieces.
- Place the rockmelon wedges onto a flat plate and top with the prosciutto, the pecorino and the spinach and basil. Drizzle with olive oil and enjoy!
- The prosciutto becomes saltier as it cooks so extra salt is not necessary.