Sweet cantaloupe, salty prosciutto, and fragrant basil topped with sweet and tangy balsamic glaze. The perfect summer appetizer!
A Spontaneous Discovery
This dish is inspired from an amazing Italian restaurant in Barcelona, Spain. I will never forget when Trevor was invited to work on a project in Barcelona. He was given two weeks notice and during a 1:1 meeting with my manager, I casually mentioned that he would be going to Barcelona. Her response was, why aren't you going? This was three days before the trip.
I wanted to go but it was very last minute and felt like I would need to give more advance notice if I was going to be away for a week. But at the same time I was thinking, what if I worked remotely? This was back in 2018, long before the pandemic: working from home once a week was accepted but taboo at my company. I didn't have the guts to ask.
I couldn't believe it when my manager suggested that I go and work in Spain for a week! I'm grateful for her trust and flexibility to be able to experience Barcelona.
It was one of the craziest things I had ever done, especially as a type A person who likes to plan out vacations. That night, we booked the flight which cost 3x more than normal but it was so worth it because it's an experience I will never forget.
The spontaneity was exciting and this was kinda my movie-esque version of going to an airport and hopping on the next available flight to who knows where.
Trevor's team invited me to dinner one night and it was at this Italian restaurant, Acqua & Sale. We had a long table outside and were served a multi course meal made from simple but delicious ingredients!
(Side note: I hope outdoor dining becomes more common because there's just something about dining al fresco.)
One of them was prosciutto with cantaloupe. I think I've seen the dish in passing and I was excited to try it. Whoever thought of this combination is a genius. Juicy, sweet cantaloupe wrapped with rich prosciutto, two simple ingredients created the perfect marriage.
You may be wondering: who created the idea of combining prosciutto with melon? Pellegrino Artusi shared his recipe in a cookbook in the 1890s.
Only five ingredients are needed for this non-recipe recipe. It's more so getting the ingredients and assembling.
These cute skewers are the perfect summer party appetizer. You can make them a day ahead and then finish them off with balsamic glaze before serving.
So simple and yet so impressive is always a win in my book.
How to Make this Easy and Refreshing Appetizer
- Slice the cantaloupe in half and scoop out the seeds. Use a melon baller or teaspoon to create 24 balls.
- Thread cantaloupe, half a slice of prosciutto, basil leaf and mozzarella ball onto a skewer. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
- Drizzle balsamic glaze over the skewers and serve immediately.
Tips for Success
- Pick a ripe, juicy, and sweet cantaloupe.
- If you don't have a melon baller like me, use a teaspoon measuring spoon. Or just cut the cantaloupe into one inch cubes.
- Get the "ciliegine", or cherry-size, mozzarella balls to fit perfectly on the skewer and lessen prep work.
- Use cocktail skewers or toothpicks for the perfect bite sized appetizer.
- If you make this a day ahead, let the skewers sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes before serving. This will allow the fat from the prosciutto to warm up a little and bring out its flavor.
Ways to Serve Prosciutto and Cantaloupe
- Serve this simply on a large platter so the ingredients and colors can shine. Drizzle balsamic vinegar on top for a fancy touch. It's the perfect finger food.
- Forget the skewers and serve on a bed of arugula as a yummy salad.
- Serve the skewers as part of a charcuterie board with cured meats, cheese and fruit.
Prosciutto Melon Skewers
- 1 cantaloupe
- 12 slices prosciutto
- 24 basil leaves
- 8 oz mozzarella balls ciliegine size
- 2 tbsp balsamic glaze
- Cut the cantaloupe in half and remove the seeds. Use a melon baller or 1 tsp measuring spoon to scoop out 24 balls.
- Thread cantaloupe, half a slice of prosciutto, basil and mozzarella ball on a skewer. Repeat with remaining skewers.
- Drizzle balsamic glaze over the skewers. Happy nomming!
- Make the skewers ahead of a large gathering and drizzle with balsamic glaze just before serving.
- I used 3.5 inch skewers. Toothpicks work as well.