Friday, June 24, 2011

Cantaloupe, Prosciutto and Arugula Salad

Take your fruit servings beyond an apple a day with this recipe. This is a fresh interpretation of the classic Italian antipasto of melon and prosciutto. This salad should be attempted only when melons are in season - it's a great addition to an al fresco dinner in the heat of summer. So simple, so refreshing, so satisfying.

Cantaloupe, Prosciutto and Arugula Salad
Serves 4 to 6

¼ cup champagne vinegar or white-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot
½ teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
½ cup vegetable oil or vegetable-olive oil blend
1 tablespoon minced mixed fresh herbs (such as basil, chives, and parsley)
8 ounces fresh arugula, rinsed and spun dry
1 cantaloupe, halved, seeded, peeled, and cut into thin wedges
6 to 8 thin slices prosciutto, torn into bite-size pieces

In a mixing bowl combine the vinegar, shallot, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper and whisk to combine. While continuously whisking, add the oil in a slow, steady stream until completely incorporated. Whisk in the herbs, and set aside while you prepare the salad.

Drizzle in ¼ cup of the vinaigrette over the arugula in a large bowl and toss to combine. Add more vinaigrette to taste, if desired, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine.

Arrange the cantaloupe wedges on a large serving plate, top with the arugula salad and the prosciutto. Serve immediately.

Helpful Hint: Any unused vinaigrette can be stored in a nonreactive, airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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