Melon & Prosciutto Caprese Salad is perfect for summer picnics, barbecues, and dinners al fresco on the patio enjoying the summer sun!
Prosciutto and melon.
It’s a classic appetizer but it always makes me think of summertime in Europe. No matter where we would go, but especially in Italy, I could always count on finding prosciutto and melon on the menu.
When the weather heats up here in the States, I love to bring a little of that common European appetizer to life in the form of a salad. It’s a fun way to update the traditional Caprese salad – which has mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil.
This dish is the perfect balance of flavors: you get the salt from the prosciutto and the sweet from the melon. The basil gives the dish a nice, bright finish that makes it even more of a celebration of summer on a plate!
This “recipe” is really one of my almost-no-measure recipes, meaning: use what you can find and place as many or as few cantaloupe and mozarella balls as your taste prefers. Want a meatier salad? Add more prosciutto!
The only thing I would caution against is using too much olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Too much of either can overpower this generally light summer recipe. Plus, if you make this ahead of time and it sits out for a while during a picnic or barbecue, the prosciutto and melon will get a little too soggy.
I served this recently at a Bunco night and have heard from at least two friends who have since made this dish for other summer gatherings. It’s a crowd pleasing dish, for sure! You can adjust the amount of ingredients easily to feed a small wedding party if you wanted to.
- 1 cantaloupe seeded and either sliced into cubes or scooped out into cute little melon balls
- 1 package prosciutto or 2 if you want more meat!
- about 1 pound of mozzarella balls I used half of a ginormous Costco-sized package of individual servings that each had three mozzarella balls in them
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil plus a few leaves for garnish
- 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
- Layer all ingredients onto a large serving plate or tray. I usually start with a layer of full basil leaves and prosciutto, then top with cantaloupe melon balls, sprinkle in the mozzarella balls in between cantaloupe, then fill in the gaps with more prosciutto.
- Sprinkle chopped basil over the entire salad.
- Drizzle olive oil over the entire salad.
- Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the entire salad.
- Lightly salt and pepper.
- Using a spoon, gently toss main ingredients on top of the base layer all together so the cheese and melon balls all get a little bit of the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil.
- Serve immediately, or refrigerate up to 2-3 hours before serving.
And, I have another take on the traditional caprese salad coming soon, too. It’s such a fun summer salad to switch up and bring to picnics, work parties, barbecues, or just make and enjoy for a nice relaxing evening out on the back deck with a chilled bottle of bubbly.
Speaking of which…
PAIRS WELL WITH: Champagne, stainless steel Chardonnay, or a fresh Rosé!
What’s your favorite summer salad?