Monday, January 03, 2011

Prosciutto and Melon Pasta Salad...

Back in the middle of summer when the melons were not only abundant, but sweet and plenty juicy, we had picked up a cantaloupe at the farmers' market for the sole purpose of noshing on as a snack. For as good as it was, after a couple days of gorging on the orange flesh and seeing it not shrink that much in the refrigerator, I realized I'd better find another way to use some of it up before it started to go! After a bit of digging around to see if I already had a recipe somewhere, this Prosciutto and Melon Pasta Salad dish popped up and Jeff immediately gave the green light.

The dressing for this salad was a snap to make, created by simply whirling fresh lemon juice, tangy white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, a clove of garlic and for a note of heat, cayenne pepper, in the processor bowl. With a few tablespoons of fruity extra-virgin olive oil gradually streamed, the dressing was finished in a flash! If you'd rather not dirty the processor, you could, of course, whisk this together in your favorite sturdy bowl.

The bulk of this salad is made with cooked and cooled farfalle pasta, but to round out each serving, peppery arugula leaves, the above cantaloupe, diced, sliced shallots, mint and thin strips of salty prosciutto were added to the bowlful of bowties. With the distinct dressing drizzled over and the salad gently tossed together to coat, the last ingredient to lift this up came in the form of cheese - but don't use any ordinary Parmesan, treat yourself to a good hunk of sharp Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Even if you don't think you would like the cayenne in this, I urge you to try leaving the bare amount called for in the dressing - the slight bite was not enough to put your mouth on fire in the slightest, rather it was there to light up the salad with a note of warmth. Jeff and I both thought this was a refreshing, unique and a bit more filling twist on the classic melon/prosicutto combo!

8 comments:

  1. Love prosciutto and melon together, delicious!

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  2. That salad looks so refreshing! Can't go wrong with prosciutto and melon.

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  3. Can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!

    If you ever want culinary arts advice, check out my blog so that I can share with you too :)

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  4. Ooh, Joe! This is my ideal salad. I'm craving summerish salads now and I'm missing my melons. Prosciutto is always in our fridge. I'm printing this one now! Thank you...

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  5. NetflixandNutella - Thanks!

    LLT - Newly acquired taste for me, but we loved it!

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  6. Amy - Yes!

    Lisa - Thank you!

    Culinarian - Let us know what you think!

    Kim - I can't wait until summer rolls around again for watermelon, myself!

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