So let’s talk about salads! Not the usual kind of salads but crazy, out of the box and the boring cooking norms of – how to make a salad – salad! Like this Melon Prosciutto and Caprese Salad with basil vinaigrette.
Ever since I can remember, the usual summer salad on my family table has been the famous Greek (horiatiki) salad: tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, olives, oregano and feta cheese. A delicious combination of fresh summer veggies topped with creamy, spicy feta cheese and extra virgin olive oil. Heaven, for sure!
No matter how I enjoy a salad like that, I always embrace variety while meal planning for my family. We should embrace food variety for so many reasons.
First of all, variety gives you a wide range of nutrients. Swapping the kind of vegetables you’re eating will provide a broader range of nutrients. Secondly, I like to shake and spice things up mostly because I hate cooking and eating the same food day in and day out without getting tremendously bored (my taste buds and me). Lastly, it is extremely important to serve a variety of healthy foods and get our kids exposed to all kind of foods and tastes.
My picky eaters drive me crazy most of the times but it is a great victory when they accept to take a bite and approve something new, something with a funny smell, color or texture. Ultimately, they are going to take a second one and then next time another one and ultimately, they are going to do the big move: eat that green salad by themselves.
TWO FAVORITE ITALIAN SALADS IN ONE
In our family menu, the melon prosciutto salad is the enriched version of the Italian Caprese salad that we absolutely adore. Served in no more than 5 minutes and the combination of juicy tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, basil and a splash of vinaigrette is love at first bite. But why not to take Caprese salad to the next level and pair it with some melon? Great idea, isn’t it? Incorporating fruits in a salad is a brilliant and tasteful way to increase daily fruit intake. Oh, wait a minute! How about adding some good protein too? Our Italian friends have shown us that melon and cured prosciutto is a happily ever culinary marriage. That’s it! A mix of two Italian favorites in one salad topped with a simple basil vinaigrette. Holy yum!!!
Don’t be afraid to improvise and make your own version of salad out of favorite ingredients or leftovers. You may be surprised at what becomes your next favorite salad!
MELON PROSCIUTTO & CAPRESE SALAD: TIPS
Tip #1 As always the success of this recipe depends on fresh, good quality ingredients.
Tip#2 Make the basil vinaigrette and cut the melon into the shape you want. Place both in different food containers and keep them in the fridge up to 2 days until served. Drizzle the basil vinaigrette a few minutes before serving to avoid soggy melon and veggies. Another idea is to serve the basil vinaigrette separately. My kids love to dip everything in the basil vinaigrette and I find this an excellent and delicious way to enjoy this salad.
My vegetarian friends will skip the prosciutto but they will keep everything else.
Serve this amazing combo on a nice platter along with a cool white whine like a Sauvignon Blanc and a Greek Assytrico like Santo Wines ΝΥΧΤΕΡΙ Reserve, relax with your friends and enjoy the coolness of the moment.
Follow along on Instagram for more day to day Mediterranean food and lifestyle ideas. If you do make this delicious salad, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram and Facebook so I can eat it with my eyes!
- 4-6 cups cantaloupe or/and honeydew melon
- 10-15 mozzarella balls or a big one in pieces
- 10-15 cherry tomatoes
- 4 slices prosciutto
- BASIL VINAIGRETTE
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- Salt, pepper
- Use a small scoop or melon baller to form ball-shaped spheres. This is optional. You may just cut it into cubes or any other shape you like.
- If you want, put the melon in a food container and place in the fridge for up to 48 hours. When you want to serve the salad, proceed with the following steps.
- Place prosciutto at the bottom of a plate or bowl or other serving dishes, tray etc.
- Over the prosciutto, layer the melon, the tomatoes and the mozzarella cheese.
- To make the basil vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Before serving, drizzle over the vinaigrette or just leave it in a small bowl with a spoon for individual serving.