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From Simple Appetizer to Delicious Summer Salad

Posted By brosbottom On July 13, 2022 @ 1:32 pm In Food News | No Comments

Melon, Prosciutto, and Fresh Mozzarella Drizzled with Basil-Scented Olive Oil

1 bunch fresh basil (enough to make 1/2 cup lightly packed leaves) plus extra sprigs for garnish, optional
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium clove garlic, peeled
1 small ripe cantaloupe (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds)
6 paper-thin slices best quality prosciutto (about 6 ounces)
16 small balls of fresh mozzarella di buffala (6 to 8 ounces)

1.Pull off 16 large basil leaves or enough to make 1/2 cup loosely packed leaves: rinse them and pat dry. Rinse and dry remaining basil and reserve for garnish.

2.Combine olive oil, garlic, and basil leaves in a food processor or blender and process, pulsing machine several times, until the basil and garlic are finely chopped and blended into the oil. Oil will be a bright green and thin, not thick as for pesto. Set aside. (The oil can be prepared 4 hours ahead; cover and leave at room temperature.)

3.Halve the mozzarella balls and place in a medium bowl. Pour 1/4 cup of basil oil over them and toss gently to coat well. Marinate at least 30 minutes or up to an hour.

4.Halve cantaloupe through the stem and scoop out and discard seeds. Cut each half into 4 wedges. Cut off skin from each wedge and discard. Cut each wedge into 1/2-inch thick slices. You should get about 10 to 12 slices from each half.

5.Trim and discard any excess fat from the prosciutto slices, then cut each slice in half crosswise and roll into a cornucopia shape.

6.To serve, arrange half of the melon slices slightly overlapping on one side of a serving platter or plate, and arrange remaining melon slices in the same way on other side of the platter. Mound mozzarella balls and arrange rolled prosciutto on platter.  Drizzle the melon and prosciutto lightly with some of the basil oil.  Place remaining basil oil in a small bowl to serve with a spoon. If desired, garnish platter with some basil sprigs.  Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from The Big Book of Backyard Cooking by Betty Rosbottom (Chronicle Books 2004)


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