Recipes

Prosciutto and cantaloupe: the perfect Italian appetizer

In heat of summer, there’s no Italian appetizer quite so perfect as prosciutto e melone, or prosciutto and cantaloupe!

Cantaloupe and prosciutto or prosciutto e melone, is the perfect Italian summertime snack!
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This is my first “Italian” recipe I’m sharing since moving to Italy! We are eating our weight in pasta and pizza, so I haven’t bothered to make much of those at home yet. Once we get out of the hotel and have an actual kitchen, I’ll start sharing more Italian dishes!

I knew Italy got hot in summer, but I thought that living in northern Italy near the mountains would mean less heat and low humidity. Nope! It’s actually similar to North Carolina weather: temperatures in the 90’s high humidity, sudden summer storms. North Carolina gets hotter in August, yes. But here in Italy that heat has a weird difference to us Americans: there’s very little air conditioning to escape the heat. Logan’s office doesn’t have it, restaurants don’t have it, even the gym doesn’t have it. Our hotel claims to, but I haven’t seen it make a difference in 3 weeks of living here.

Cantaloupe and prosciutto or prosciutto e melone, is the perfect Italian summertime snack!
Cantaloupe and prosciutto or prosciutto e melone, is the perfect Italian summertime snack!

It’s not that bad, just an adjustment. I’m always slightly sweaty, which kind of reminds me of Oklahoma. 😉

The heat has a huge influence on the food: there’s a bunch of a pasta freddo available (cold pasta dishes), and gelato is practically a requirement if we’re walking around.

That’s why this dish is perfect for summertime. It can be found on any menu around, and I see people ordering it every time we’re out. The cold juicy cantaloupe is irresistible at the height of ripeness. That balance of sweet and salty while still being light and refreshing is just perfection!

Cantaloupe and prosciutto or prosciutto e melone, is the perfect Italian summertime snack!
Cantaloupe and prosciutto or prosciutto e melone, is the perfect Italian summertime snack!

Here in Italy, the prosciutto served is sliced super thin to give keep the dish light. Typically, it’s served with the prosciutto draped over the top of thick slices, rather than the way I’ve seen it in American restaurants, where slices or bite-sized chunks are wrapped with it. The latter is easier if you’re serving a tray at a party, but if a few people are sharing at the table, go Italian. It lets you find your perfect balance of sweet and salty.

Bonus: this takes zero cooking and five minutes’ prep. You can also cut the cantaloupe a day or two in advance and add the prosciutto just before serving. Just don’t do what I do and eat it all before your friends arrive!

Cantaloupe and prosciutto or prosciutto e melone, is the perfect Italian summertime snack!
Cantaloupe and prosciutto or prosciutto e melone, is the perfect Italian summertime snack!

Tools you’ll need: knife and cutting board.

Cantaloupe and Prosciutto

Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: dairy-free, fruit, gluten free, Whole30
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cantaloupe small
  • 5 oz prosciutto

Instructions

  • Cut cantaloupe into slices (thick or thin, depending on how you prefer).
  • Top (Italian style) or wrap (American style) with generous amount of prosciutto.
Cantaloupe and prosciutto or prosciutto e melone, is the perfect Italian summertime snack!
Cantaloupe and prosciutto or prosciutto e melone, is the perfect Italian summertime snack!

What are your favorite summer appetizers? I also love deviled eggs, southwestern salsa, and cold spinach dip!

Thoughts?

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