Monday, 11 March 2013

Salad of Cantaloupe melon, Parma ham and buffalo mozarella

This was my starter for the birthday meal, a refreshing salad from Nigel Slaters kitchen diaries. Not that you need refreshing in this weather, maybe a light salad is a better term. 
I have usually  bought mozzarella made with cows milk, but I bought buffalo milk mozzarella for this recipe. I think I prefer the cheaper version. The texture of the buffalo one is quite different, much milkier and softer. The cows milk version tends to be more rubbery. This would be a wonderful salad for a hot summers day when melons are at their ripest and sweetest.

Serves 2 as a light main dish
lemon juice - 1-2 tbsp
olive oil - 4 tbsp
Cantaloupe melon - one, medium sized
Parma ham - 6 slices
buffalo mozzarella - 6 baby or 1 large ball
flat leaf parsley - a few bushy sprigs
rocket - 50-75g

Mix the lemon juice and olive oil then season it lightly with salt and pepper. Cut the melon into thick slices, remove and discard the seeds, retaining as much of the juice as possible. Cut the flesh into chunks - they should be a bit bigger than bite size if the salad isn't to look muddled - and drop them into a bowl. Tear or cut the ham into wide strips. Break the mozzarella in half, or, if you are using a large ball, cut it into thick slices. Add to the melon. Chop the parsley, toss gently with half the oil and lemon dressing.
Wash and shake dry the rocket leaves then dress them with the remaining half of the oil and lemon. Divide them between two large plates. Tuck the melon salad among the rocket leaves and serve immediately.

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