Friday, August 8

Wild Arugula, Cantaloupe, and Watermelon Salad with Prosciutto and Blue Cheese

wild arugula salad with melon and proscuitto

My mom has been pairing prosciutto with cantaloupe and melons from the time when cordless phones were first introduced (you had to pull out the long telescope antenna, and could hear yourself on your radio if you stood too close).

Lately, it seems everyone is touting melons and savory cured meats as the greatest thing since the iPhone 3G. But this combo is still old skool at our house. You really can't go wrong -- melon's inherent sweetness is always deliciously magnified by the salty, savory prosciutto, no matter how much technology has changed.

This simply chic salad is a send-up to my mom's appetizer: spicy wild arugula is paired with the season's juiciest cantaloupe and watermelon for a refreshingly tangy salad that pairs beautifully with grilled fish, meat, or pasta dishes. This salad isn't part of my Super Satisfying Salads Series though. Despite its alluring flavors, I could not classify prosciutto and blue cheese as health foods. But, boy, are they worth an extra 20 minutes on the elliptical.

Wild Arugula, Cantaloupe, and Watermelon Salad with Prosciutto and Blue Cheese
Makes 4 servings
Print recipe only here.

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh basil or parsley, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

8 cups wild arugula**
1/2 cup watermelon balls
1/2 cup cantaloupe balls
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

To make the dressing, whisk all of the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

To prepare the salad, place arugula, watermelon, and cantaloupe in a large bowl; coat with dressing and toss gently. Divide the salad among 4 plates. Top with prosciutto slices, crumbled blue cheese and toasted pine nuts. Garnish with additional basil or parsley, if desired.

**Wild arugula is a slightly darker shade of green than regular arugula, has delicate fluted leaves, and packs a more intense peppery flavor. Once only available at farmers' markets and specialty organic markets, it is now showing up at many supermarkets, including Trader Joe's. TJ's carries both organic and conventional wild arugula for just over $2.00 for a 7-ounce bag.

You might also like:

Watermelon and Green Olive Salad

Wild Rocket (Wild Arugula) Pasta

Looking for more savory watermelon recipes? Check out my latest piece, Watermelon Confidential, Dessert And So Much More, on NPR's Kitchen Window.

And check out Allen's week's worth of wonderful watermelon recipes over at Eating Out Loud.

On a separate but important note, most of you know that Sher of What Did You Eat? died unexpectedly of a heart attack recently. In her memory, Lia of Swirling Notions is hosting an online fundraiser in conjunction with WomenHeart, the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease. To learn more, please see Lia's announcement.


Le Flâneur Novice said...

Altough I have about 35 cookbooks, now I see that I wouldn't need a single of them with your blog Susan, and some other wonderful blogs like yours :)))

I hope I'll be able to cook/bake/make all these things as good as you at my new house, in my new life soon :)

Manggy said...

Susan, I doubt anybody else makes salads look as naturally pretty as you do! :) I've only seen and used "wild" arugula once-- it came from a local organic farmers' market. Lovely deeply lobed leaves, just like the ones they use in England (or at least, the food magazines from that region).

Anonymous said...

Lovely, lovely salad! I bet the peppery arugula is just perfect with the melon.

Scribbit said...

Oh just lovely, there's a similar salad at one of my favorite restaurants here in town so this is one I'll definitely use.

Anonymous said...

Those colors are so incredibly beautiful! I agree, prosciutto and melon is a classically delicious pairing. Now with blue cheese you've added another flavorful twist! Lovely!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A refreshing, colorful and flavorful salad! Delicious!



Ivy said...

Peppery, savory and sweet, perfect combination. You do make beautiful salads.

Simona Carini said...

Very nice, Susan. Melone e prosciutto was one of my favorite summer dinner options when I was growing up. Your salad looks fabulous. Prosciutto and figs is a good pairing as well.

Simona Carini said...

Oops, I forgot to add that I have never tried prosciutto and watermelon: it's on my list now.

ames said...

I've never really been a fan of cantaloupe, something about the flavor rubs me the wrong way. But I have to say that wrapped in prosciutto it is the food of the gods. I have a very vivid memory of devouring an entire platter of prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe wedges with my family at a restaurant in Rome, pure heaven!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Bal-Oh, that is so kind of you to say. Here's wishing your new life is everything you want to be and more.

mark-Aw, aren't you sweet. Yeah, I think the Europeans were ahead of us when it came to wild arugula.

ann-It really is.

michelle-Oh, great!

kathy-Thanks! Yeah, that pungency is awfully good.

rosa-Many thanks!

ivy-I appreciate that.

simona-Everything sounds so much prettier in Italian. :)

ames-Eating anything in Rome must be pure heaven! It sounds like you have cherished memories.

Nic said...

I really like this photo, I find salads really hard to capture. Great job and totally delicious!

Kevin said...

What a perfect combination! Particularly the peppery arugula which is a perfect contrast to the sweet melo and tangy blue cheese.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous salad, Susan. I make a very similar one without the blue about once a week during summer. Yum!

Thanks so much for the mention of the fundraiser, Susan . . . all you food bloggers out there, stop on by and spread the word!

Coffee and Vanilla said...

It sounds really good.... I love blue cheese, melons and rocket leaves... I wouldn't use prosciutto (no red meat for me) but I think I will try it very soon! :) Thank you for such a great idea!
Sorry for not commenting lately... only on weekends I find time now to do it due to some new idea I'm trying make alive (online shop)... but I will be back to previous life soon, when the new website will finally be finished.

Have a wonderful weekend, Margot

Sharon said...

You're right - I've been seeing melons in savory dishes all over town these days, but I've never seen one with pretty melon balls. looks great! I've still yet to try one so I may just have to make your recipe this weekend!

Anonymous said...

Susan, you always post the most refreshing thing. I just had cantaloupe and prosciutto last night. Now I want to add wild arugula and blue cheese the mix.

K Allrich said...

Susan- I love stopping by. Your fresh and colorful recipes always inspire me (and make me wish I lived in So Cal so that I could shop the Farmer's Market). Beautiful!

Allen said...

Thanks for the shout out, Susan :-) The salad looks so beautiful and the combination of flavors AND textures sounds exciting!

Anonymous said...

This recipe is really well thought out Susan, thanks. I don't miss those cordless phones at all...


Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said...

Aaahh! The classic "prosciutto e melone"...wonderfully "re-invented" for the palates of today. Great idea to add the arugula although I would 86 the blue cheese.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

nicisme-Thanks. The beautiful colors made it easier.

kevin-Thanks so much!

margot-No apologies necessary. Life in busy-- I understand. :)

sharon-Yeah, I just think those little globes are prettier,you know?

veron-I appreciate that. See what I mean? Everybody is eating melon and prosciutto!

karina-That is so kind of you to say.

allen-You're quite welcome!

marc-I don't miss them either.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

peter-Whoops, didn't see your comment, there. Oh, yeah, just add or sub whatever cheese or nuts you like.

Heather said...

i love proscuitto and melon! and those are the most perfectly formed melon balls i have EVER seen! this sounds delicious :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful salad! And now, whenever I see one of those old-style portable phones in a movie or on a television show I'll immediately think of melon and prosciutto.

Alice Q. Foodie said...

But.. Cheese and meat are protein, right? And protein is healthy? Right?? ha ha. This sounds delicious, and looks gorgeous too -def. going to try it soon!

LyB said...

I had to laugh at the "long telescope antenna"! A friend of mine, way back in high school, had that same kind of cordless phone, it was all the rage! lol! What a great looking salad, colorful and delicious as always. :)

Laurie said...

What a great blog! I was looking for recipes for salad dressings because the ones I've been using are about $4 a bottle. With gas at $4 a gallon, we're looking to save where we can and we make most other things from scratch, so why not salad dressing?

And I can't wait to try out this salad on guests this weekend!

Anonymous said...

Right now I am in the land of the old school, and the combination of melon and prosciutto has us hooked. This salad looks delicious and elevates the paring to the next step - I look forward to making it!

Debbie said...

Looks so light and refreshing. So tasty too!!! Your pictures on your blog are great....

glamah16 said...

I have had the combo . but not on greens. I like this even more.

Lori Lynn said...

Another lovely salad Susan! Gotta love melonballers as an indispensable kitchen tool!

Nora B. said...

I agree that this salad looks "simply chic". I can imagine the combination of flavors would be sensational. It certainly looks very appetizing and colorful.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Because I'm not a huge arugula fan, I'd make this with beautiful baby spinach. But isn't it nice that Trader Joe's (which is finally coming to Rhode Island in October, at long last) brings us such great choices now?

Anonymous said...

Susan, this salad looks so refreshing! I also really love the combo of sweet fruit and blue cheese in a salad, and the flavors blend in yours sounds so tasty.

Anonymous said...

"touting melons and savory cured meats as the greatest thing since the iPhone 3G"- LOL

Look at that amazing colours, for sure it tastes as good as it looks :)

Alexa said...

I guess food is a little like fashion that way... This salad looks very pretty and must taste delicious.

Cynthia said...

It would be a pleasure to have this salad as it has some of my favourites all on one plate.

Helene said...

Amen! My mom used to and still does start every summer meal (no kidding, every meal) with slices of cantaloupe, cured Spanish ham and a drizzle of Port. So much so that I can't eat cantaloupe anymore...but I do love its vibrant color and this gorgeous salad!

Darius T. Williams said...

I'm sooo loving this...all except the blue cheese - but yea, I'm really digging this!


Sharona May said...

Looks like a wonderful salad. I enjoy summer salads with fruit. They just taste so healthy.


Sharona May

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Yes, I would march an extra five miles a day for a chunk of blue cheese!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

heather-Yeah? Thanks! :)

julie-That's funny.

alice-That's what you can tell yourself. :)

lyb-Glad it made you smile.

laurie-Oh, definitely. They're really easy to make and fun to experiment with.

lynda-Enjoy your trip!

debbie-Thanks so much!

coco-Good. I'm glad to hear it.

lorilynn-They're so much fun, aren't they?

nora-I appreciate that.

lydia-Oh, sure, spinach would be delicious too.

miri-They are naturals together.

zita-Glad you liked that. :)

alexa-Definitely. It goes through fads.

cynthia-Oh, great!

helen-Seriously? Oh, no.

darius-It's good without it too.

sharona may-They really do, don't they?


Anonymous said...

You find the combo in every Italian restaurant in the Netherlands for many years. But those don't look as pretty and fancy as your salad, it's just melon and prosciutto. Love the look of yours and know how delicious the combination is!

Jeanne said...

Funny what you say about cured meat and melon being The Next Big Thing - I also thought it had kind of had its day in the early 1980s and was passe now... Passe but delicious! It certainly is a winning combo and I love you've updated it here :)