Summer Melon Salad with Prosciutto

The alcohol in this salad adds a delightful splash of flavor that works beautifully with both the sweet fruit and salty meat. Both the whiskey and the salt draw out the natural juices of the melon, making additional dressing unnecessary.


The light and fruity character of Prosecco is a natural match for this sweet and simple salad; recommended producers include Bisol, Astoria and Mionetto.

  • 3 small melons (a mix of cantaloupe, Crenshaw, Crane, Casaba,
  • Charentais, honeydew, orange honeydew or green honeydew; do not use watermelon)
  • 3 tablespoons whiskey, preferably Scotch
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 ounces prosciutto, very thinly sliced
  • 1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated
  • 1 cup raspberries

Cut the melons in half and scoop out and discard the seeds. Peel one half of each melon and cut into 1/3-inch wide wedges. Set the wedges in a wide shallow bowl.

Use a melon baller to cut balls from the reserved melon halves and add them to the bowl with the wedges. Sprinkle with the whiskey, add several turns of black pepper and two or three pinches of salt, cover, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. Chill 6 dinner plates.

Cut half the prosciutto into ½-inch wide crosswise slices. Set aside.

Put the butter lettuce into a large bowl, add several pinches of salt, and toss gently.

Put the chilled melon wedges on each plate, placing them like the spokes on a wheel. Divide the lettuce among the plates, setting it in the center of each. Divide the whole slices of prosciutto among the servings, draping it across the melon wedges. Add the short strips of prosciutto and the raspberries to the melon balls, toss gently, and spoon some into the center of each plate, on top of the lettuce. Drizzle each serving with some of the juices in the bowl. Grind black pepper over each portion and serve immediately.

Published on December 18, 2009