June 21, 2016

Prosciutto, Asparagus, and Cantaloupe Salad

Summer is officially here!  Having grown up in the Palm Springs area, I am very used to hot, dry summers with triple digit temperatures.  Denver has had some days in the 90's lately, and it makes me shake my head to hear how vocal people are about their disdain for the heat.   We may not be setting records for high temperatures, but we are setting records for the number of people talking about the weather!  It's summer--summer is warm. :)  

With summer here, I'm all about the light, fresh summer fare.  This recipe combines a lot of the popular summer produce into one great salad.  Who says salad always has to involve lettuce (or kale - ha!)?  Lightly grilled asparagus and cantaloupe are combined with crisped proscuitto, pine nuts, and fresh mozzarella, and the salad is dressed with a light lemon and olive oil vinaigrette.  It's summer on a plate!  It is a light dinner, but a filling one, and all of the colors just make it feel like a happy dinner.

Prosciutto, Asparagus, and Cantaloupe Salad   
Yields 4 servings

3 oz. prosciutto
1 lb. asparagus
2 cups or 12 oz. melon, sliced into cubes or balls
4 oz. fresh mozzarella balls
2 tbsp. pinenuts
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon liner.  Place prosciutto slices across baking sheet.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, until crispy.  After crispy, remove from oven and allow to cool for about three minutes.  Then, use paper towels to blot excess oil.  Finally, chop the prosciutto and set aside in a small bowl.

Preheat grill on medium heat, or alternatively heat a grill pan over the stove on medium heat.  In a bowl, toss the asparagus spears with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Grill for about 4 minutes, grill each side for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

If desired, you can toast the pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat for about four minutes.

Combine the asparagus, melon, prosciutto, and mozzarella in a large bowl, and toss with the remaining olive oil and the lemon juice, adding extra salt and pepper to taste.  Then, top with the pine nuts.  Serve and enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis


  1. I remember those hot days in Palm Springs- when I was a teen-ager, I even had the stupidity to sun bake in order to get a 'tan' (i.e. burn). Anyway, I like your salad. I normally don't like melon, but when added with flavorings such as prosciutto and lemon, count me in!

  2. Such a nice dish! Love the combo of prosciutto (or country ham) and melon. Add asparagus to the mix? Bliss! Fun dish -- thanks. (BTW, Mrs. Kitchen Riffs is the baker in our house, and is a former lawyer. Agree with you that lawyers make great bakers!)


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