Saturday, September 10, 2011

Dinner party, missing Roma: Proscuitto & Melon

This has always been a summer time favorite for me. It's a very refreshing combination of sweet summer melons with salty hams. When I was travelling in Italy (Rome) with my family this summer, we had this pretty much every lunch and or dinner. It was just that good; never underestimate to power of simplicity. 

It seems like everyone has their own way of making this popular appetizer. 

The Roman rendition of prosciutto e melon: 

Located in Murray Hill, Vezzo serves a proscuitto with melon served with arugula tossed in olive oil.

Vezzo Thin Crust Pizza
178 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY

And of course, my very own recipe. It's so simple. I decided to add rocket to give this refreshing appetizer an extra kick. Rocket is essentially arugula, and like the arugula you usually consume in mesclun salad mixes, it has a bitter and spicy peppery taste. However, rocket has an even more powerful bite to it and should be used sparingly for people unfamiliar with the plant. It can be quite an explosion of flavor.

Prosciutto and cantaloupe
1 cantaloupe/honeydew*
1/4 lb prosciutto
1/2 cup rocket

1. Slice the melon into slices, remove the peel, and proceed to slicing bite size chunks.
2. Then strip the prosciutto  and top each piece of melon with the ham, and finally top it off with the rocket.

 * This is based on personal preference, so you should just see what seems better in the produce aisle. I've even had it with kiwi in Capri, Italy!

I have the luxury of living walking distance from Eataly, so I had quite an overwhelming selection of dry-cured ham to choose from. I just asked the butcher what he recommended that would have a noticeably salty flavor. What's Eataly? Only one of the new gourmet supermarkets to open in Manhattan.  Eataly offers an Italian shopping experience complete with fresh pasta, in-house made breads and foccacias, and a great produce selection (definitely better than the Trader Joe's two avenues away). It also has an eating area (quite high end for a cafeteria) serving their salumis, cheeses, and wines. Molto di classe!

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