“FIRE AND ICE” MELON SALAD

Yield: 8 servings

This is a perfect summertime dish to start a lunch or dinner. The heat of the serrano chilies contrasts with the cool, refreshing melon and the mint, lime and salty prosciutto add interesting counterpoints.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1⁄3 cup sugar or honey
  • ¼ cup white wine or water
  • 1 teaspoon seeded and minced serrano chilies or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon each finely diced red and yellow bell peppers
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
  • 2 large honeydew, cantaloupe, crane or other ripe melon
  • 8 fresh ripe figs, fanned
  • 8 paper-thin slices of prosciutto or other salumi of your choice
  • Garnish: Edible flower petals such as nasturtium, borage and or day lily, if desired

TO PREPARE

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and wine over moderate heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the chilies and peppers and cool. Stir in the lime juice and mint. Syrup can be stored covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

TO SERVE

Cut melons in half and remove seeds. Cut into decorative shapes and arrange attractively on chilled plates. Spoon chili syrup over melon and arrange figs and prosciutto, if using, attractively around. Sprinkle with edible flower petals.

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