The flavor of most good orange-fleshed melons is very sweet and rich and deserves some special attention. I’ve chosen a salad with the peppery bite of watercress – which contrasts nicely with the melon that I’ve cleverly used as salad bowls. Grape tomatoes and red onion add complexity and crisp bits of baked prosciutto “chips” add crunch, while celebrating the classic combination of prosciutto and melon. Watercress and Prosciutto Salad in Melon Bowls.
- 4 slice very thin prosciutto
- 2 small, orange fleshed melons (such as Zatta, Charentais, or extra small cantaloupe)
- 8 ounce fresh watercress leaves (washed and well dried, tough stems removed)
- ½ red onion (peeled and thinly sliced)
- ½ cup grape or cherry tomatoes (halved)
- simple, mild flavored vinaigrette (choose your favorite)
- salt and pepper (for seasoning)
Place oven rack in center position then preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Arrange prosciutto slices in a single layer, not touching, on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Bake until crisp, about 20 minutes. Let cool then coarsely chop into bite sized chunks; set aside.
Halve melons and scoop out and discard seeds; set aside to use as salad bowls.
In a medium bowl toss watercress, onion, tomatoes and prosciutto with 3 tablespoon vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper; toss again.
Divide salad between melon bowls. Serve immediately