This melon ball salad was so much fun to make. I'm pretty particular about which cooking tools and utensils I recommend to others. I'm definitely an essentials gal but a melon baller has creeped its way into my utensil drawer and I think it is there to stay. Obviously, you do not need a melon baller to make this recipe. Cutting up the melon into cubes works just fine. The melon baller just makes the salad look fancy with zero additional effort.
I like salads that are hearty enough to keep me full and satisfied until my next meal. This one did the trick! The "Tasting Committee" for this recipe consisted of only my husband, Tom, but he was very adamant about his conclusion which was forkful forkful chew chew "good" forkful "very good" forkful chew chew silence. I took that as a good sign considering Tom is definitely a meat and potatoes kind of guy.
This salad has a little bit of everything. It has fresh melon, chewy dates, salty prosciutto, buttery pine nuts, soft mozzarella, peppery arugula and just a hint of fresh mint. All of these flavors are good but combined they are GLORIOUS!
Since there is no actual cooking in this recipe (just assembly of ingredients) this salad is perfect for brunch, parties, picnics or just a nice lunch that can be put together quickly. Enjoy! Until next time dearest friends!
Prosciutto Melon Ball Salad
- 1 melon (cantelope or honeydew)
- 3 oz prosciutto
- 4 oz fresh mozzarella
- 10 pitted dates (1/2 cup)
- 1/3 cup fresh mint
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 5 oz baby arugula
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. lemon
- 1 tsp. agave
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. white balsamic vinegar (optional)
- Mix Vinaigrette: In a large bowl (large enough to hold vinaigrette and the melon balls) whisk together all the vinaigrette ingredients until well combined. Set aside.
- Make Melon Balls: Cut the melon in half and scoop out the seeds with spoon. Use a melon baller to scoop out little melon balls or use a knife to cut the melon into cubes. Put the melon balls into the large bowl with the vinaigrette and gently toss them until the melon is coated with the vinaigrette.
- Prep Toppings: Tear prosciutto into pieces. Cut fresh mozzarella into pieces (if needed). Chop dates into small pieces. Roughly chop or tear fresh mint.
- Assemble: Put baby arugula on a large plate or bowl followed by the vinaigrette coated melon balls. Then top with the prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, chopped dates, fresh mint and pine nuts.
Note: You will notice I only the melon balls are coated with the vinaigrette versus coating the whole salad. It is very easy for a vinaigrette to over power a salad or mask flavors and textures of other ingredients. Coating only some of the ingredients with the vinaigrette prior to assembling the whole salad brings out all the flavors versus masking them.