For this classic antipasto, I wanted to be artistic and innovative in presenting Parma prosciutto and melon. I added apple “carpaccio” and a balsamic reduction. The balsamic “sauce” complements the sweet fruit and savory prosciutto. Buon Appetito!
Prep time: 20 to 25 minutes
1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar (dark brown variety)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 to 4 ounces sliced Parma prosciutto
1 cantaloup melon (8 to 12 slices)
2 Heirloom or green apples (Granny Smith or Pippin variety)
Juice of 1 lemon
1. In a small saucepot, combine the vinegar and sugar.
2. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium-high heat until mixture is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
3. Transfer balsamic reduction to a small glass or porcelain bowl and set, uncovered, in freezer until cold enough to drizzle, about 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Check coolness by stirring with a spoon after 5 minutes and tasting (do not freeze). If reduction is still warm, leave in freezer an additional 5 minutes.
5. Alternatively, the balsamic reduction can be prepared and chilled in refrigerator a day ahead.
Meanwhile, prepare prosciutto and fruit –
1. From its narrow end, gently roll up each prosciutto slice until it forms a small log.
2. Arrange prosciutto logs at one end of a large serving platter and set aside.
3. Cut melon in half, lengthwise, and scoop out seeds and pulp.
4. Cut melon into 8 to 12 slices, remove rind and place next to prosciutto on platter. Set aside. Save remaining melon for future use.
5. Cut apples in half and then into fourths. Remove core from each fourth and then cut apples into thin slices.
6. Immediately sprinkle apple slices with the lemon juice – this avoids blackening.
7. Arrange apples decoratively on platter with prosciutto and melon.
8. Serve immediately – ask guests to help themselves to some prosciutto, melon and apples and to drizzle some balsamic sauce over apples.
Enjoy with bread and white wine.
Wine suggestion: Malvasia or Greco di Tufo (both are Italian whites).
Text and Photographs ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real