Summer arugula salad with melon, mozzarella, and prosciutto

Mass Appeal

(Mass Appeal) – Summer is the perfect time to tuck into a salad, so we invited Betty Rosbottom, cookbook author and chef, to show us how to make a summer arugula salad topped with melon, mozzarella and prosciutto.

Cantaloupe is deliciously served on its own, but it also makes a great addition to salads like the one featured here. A honey red wine vinaigrette, which takes only minutes to assemble, is used as a dressing for a mélange of baby arugula leaves, diced cantaloupe, and small mozzarella balls. As a garnish crispy sautéed julienned prosciutto strips are sprinkled over the salad.

Part of the appeal of this salad is its interesting mix of flavors and textures. Cantaloupe and honey provide sweet notes, while cheese and prosciutto offer salty accents. The velvet-smooth texture of the mozzarella contrasts with the crunch of the frizzled prosciutto and the crisp arugula. You can serve this salad as a first course or as a side (it’s especially nice with grilled chicken). Or pair it with your favorite pizza or summer vegetable soup.

Red Wine Honey Vinaigrette
3 tbsp honey
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil

4 thin slices (about 2 oz) of prosciutto
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups diced ripe cantaloupe cut into 1 -inch cubes
12 small mozzarella balls, halved
6 cups (4 to 5 oz) baby arugula

  1. For vinaigrette, in a medium nonreactive bowl, whisk together honey, vinegar, mustard, and salt. Gradually whisk in the oil. (Dressing can be prepared 1 day ahead; cover, and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature and whisk well before using.)
  2. Cut the prosciutto slices into julienned strips about 1/4-inch wide by 2 inches long. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy, medium skillet set over medium heat. When hot, add the prosciutto strips and sauté, stirring, until crisp and lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towels. (Prosciutto can be sautéed several hours ahead. Leave, uncovered, at cool room temperature for up to 2 hours.)
  3. To serve, in a large bowl, toss the arugula with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the dressing or more, and mound in the center of four salad plates. Drizzle the melon, and mozzarella halves lightly with some dressing and arrange around and on top of the arugula. Garnish each serving with frizzled prosciutto. Serve extra vinaigrette separately. Serves 4 as a first course or side.

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